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I served in the US Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier from 2002-08. I engage in political activism in Democratic circles and occasional engagement with issues concerning Women and LGBT Rights. I have a cat and I am an Uncle. All opinions expressed in my blog are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 NFL SEASON: WEEK 13





The Cowboys are dead to me.



You read that correctly. The Dallas Cowboys for the rest of the 2012 NFL Season are dead to me. I am tired of every game being an exercise in futility.

The season started rather promising with a win at the Giants on opening night. Maybe they finally got all those problems fixed with the penalties and the offensive line issues.

Nope. They showed up again in losses against the Seahawks, Bears, Ravens, Giants, and Falcons and the overtime win against THE BROWNS!!

Perhaps I was in denial. Maybe it was that loss to the Bears that should have been the wakeup call. There was virtually no home field advantage during that game. Am I sure that the Cowboys were playing at home for that game because I could have sworn I heard “Bear Down Chicago Bears” after every time Chicago scored.

The rough part of the schedule was over; 3-5 with 5 games at home and against teams at .500 or worse… that should have put Dallas in the driver’s seat for the post-season.

But alas, reality set in on Thanksgiving evening.

Quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose last appearance at Cowboys Stadium was playing for Baylor against Texas Tech, made the Cowboys secondary look like a college team. Dallas trailed 28-3 at the half. The Dunham and Miller radio show put it bluntly the Friday morning after this game: If you trail 28-3 at the half on Thanksgiving Day and you are the home team, you suck.

Dallas has never lost a Thanksgiving Day game against the Redskins. Tony Romo has never lost a Thanksgiving Day game. All of that changed last week.

Yeah, the Cowboys made a game out of it, but…. When they needed a defensive play at a key moment of the game, they never got it.

That seems to be the theme of the 2012 edition of the Dallas Cowboys: “Yeah, but.” Actually it seems to be a common theme of the Cowboys over the last several seasons.

Dallas is now 5-6 and they still could make the playoffs. They are in a three-way tie at 5-6 with Washington and New Orleans, which the Redskins are the better team having beat the Cowboys and Saints. The final wild card spot is also in a three-way tie between Tampa, Minnesota, and Seattle at 6-5. Seattle would claim that spot due to better conference record and they beat the Vikings.

Oh and Seattle beat Dallas.

Their best shot is to win the NFC East where they trail the Giants by two games. New York has a tough schedule down the stretch: at Redskins, host the Saints, at Falcons, at Ravens, and season finale at home against the Eagles. The Giants could finish with the same record like they did last season when they won the NFC East.

The Redskins final 5 games are: home against the Giants and Ravens, at Browns and Eagles, and close out at home against the Cowboys.

Dallas could leap over the Redskins, but leaping over the Giants would require both a collapse by the Giants and Dallas suddenly playing consistent football in their final five games.

The Cowboys final 5 are: home against the Eagles, on the road against the Bengals, their final two home games against the Steelers and Saints, and close out on the road at Washington.

I see the Cowboys defeating the Eagles this coming Sunday because they are worse off than the Cowboys. The Bengals… they might slide into 2nd place in the AFC North because the Steelers are banged up.

Then their final two home games… I expect that the crowds for those games will be 60-40 in favor of the road team. The Steelers game will be heavily in favor of them because their fans travels well, while the Saints game might be 50-50… maybe 51-49 for the Saints.

Then the season finale at Washington…

In short, Dallas might be heading towards ANOTHER 8-8 season. With the amount of talent that they have, this should be a playoff team easily, but again key positions are what take this team down to mediocrity. The secondary can’t cover which was the problem last year. In 2010, Tony Romo was lost for the season due to a shoulder injury. This year it is the offensive line that can’t block and commit penalties at key moments of drives that should go for touchdowns but instead lead to field goals. The coach/coaches are not getting their players ready to play. As it was during the Wade Phillips Era it was the same idea of “Hey, we should’ve gone over this.”

And yet again, it all traces back to what Cowboys Fans have known since 1994…

“As the GM goes, so goes the Cowboys.”

Since Jerry Jones fired Jimmy Johnson at the end of the 1993 season, the Cowboys have won only one Super Bowl, but it is widely held belief that credit for that championship should go to Johnson as it was his players that won that title… plus there was some good luck to go along with that championship, Green Bay upset a very good 49ers team in the playoffs, Neil O’Donnell throwing two interceptions directly at Larry Brown.

Jerry the Owner has been good for the Cowboys. Since purchasing the team in 1989, the Cowboys have become one of the top franchises in the NFL. Jerry the GM… not so much. A long list of busted draft picks, poor free agency signings, and questionable coaching hires in the years between playoff wins. The furthest Dallas got in the playoffs since their last Super Bowl win was the divisional round of the playoffs. Only once did they start in that round and it was in 2007 when the eventual Super Bowl Champion Giants upset them at home.

Since Super Bowl XXX victory: 4 NFC East Titles, 2 playoff wins. In that era I went from middle school, to high school, to the Navy, and now my current state as a student at the University of North Texas.

Even Jerry Jones admits that his record as GM should cause instant termination.

That is not happening anytime soon.

So… it has come to this. For the rest of 2012 I am rooting for the Houston Texans. I stay in state. They have a good team and currently have the best record in the AFC at 10-1. I admit I am not a fan of the Houston Area itself, but oh well, it is what it is.

Will I be accused of bandwagoning and riding coat tails? You know, at this point, I don’t care anymore. The Cowboys just plain suck period.

Anyways… the picks.

Monica’s lead over me has now dropped to ONE game. Wasn’t it something like seven or eight at one point? It’s tightening up now. I think I might overtake her for the overall lead sometime in the final five weeks of the season.

WEEK 12:            10-6
TOTAL:        113-63-1

BREAKDOWN OF RECORD
MONICA
NOON
3PM
NIGHT
HOME
AWAY
TV
≤ 8 PTS
OT
WK 12
8-8
6-3
2-2
2-1
3-2
7-4
5-3
6-4
2-0
TOTAL
114-62-1
65-32
23-18-1
25-13
66-27-1
47-36
52-24
53-41-1
11-5-1

The picks for Week 13 are below.

Kickoff Times are Central Time
Picks Indicated in BOLD
Sunday Day Games for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area are indicated with (DFW)



THURSDAY NIGHT (11/29)
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 7:20 PM NFL


SUNDAY (12/2) CBS DOUBLEHEADER

NOON CBS
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (DFW)
Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

NOON FOX
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (DFW)
Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears


3PM CBS
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (DFW)
Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers

3PM FOX
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos


SUNDAY NIGHT
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, NBC 7:20 PM


MONDAY NIGHT (12/3)
New York Giants at Washington Redskins, 7:30 PM ESPN

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