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Big Boss' Blast

By Tony Peralez


Who wasn’t impressed with this Week 7 victory? Dallas is now ranked the 9th best team in the NFL, just in front of the “credible” Atlanta Falcons, a great team who challenged the Cowboys to show what they were truly made of.

My boy, Austin Miles, comes up with another stellar performance backing up his impressive Week 5 achievements. With 171 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on only 6 catches, Austin proves he is no fluke.

Sunday birthed fantastic follow up to their Week 5 show, displaying the illustrious chemistry that Austin has developed with quarterback Tony Romo. The duo has paired back-to-back, high flying acts reminiscent of another Romo/receiver combination from the recent past *cough 81 cough!*.

Atlanta showed throughout the first quarter, “We are who we thought they were!”. Atlanta’s defense was incredibly resilient by shutting the Cowboys out in the first quarter of the game. The Falcons scored a touchdown early with a long drive and managed to keep the ‘Boys quite till the second quarter where Number 9 really came through.

The Cowboys fought back with 17 unanswered points to close the first half, including a laser beam from Romo to Patrick Crayton with 6 seconds left to go in the first half. The pass was completed after a 5 second scramble from Romo who on more than one occasion looked as if he had been sacked! Romo’s tenacity on that drive alone foreshadowed how the Cowboys would cap off the day.

The ‘Boys really had it all put together Sunday. We can be proud of them for what they accomplished and proved in Week 8. After a bye week to help the team recuperate and gather themselves back together, the Cowboys played as they were expected to. The most important sign from Sunday is that all three phases of the game are working as hard and as well as the other.

Special teams made the blue and silver as vibrant as ever! Crayton ran back a touchdown punt for 73 yards, the first of his career. The ironic tradgedy is that Crayton was demoted to make room for the newly acquired Allen Rossum to return punts. On his first punt return as a Dallas Cowboy, Rossum tore his hamstring. Crayton came back in and showed promise scoring late to insure the win for Dallas. It may have been a quite day for Crayton, but he and the return team showed what Joe DeCamillis, Dallas’ special teams coach, have been hard at work for all off-season.

But enough of the glory from Sunday, it was nearly a whole week ago and we must look onward! And yes I know I didn’t mention the defense but those of you who saw that game know just as much about that defense as anyone else…IT STOPS HEARTS. The big hits the secondary is laying down these days combined with it’s linebacking leadership (thank you Keith Brooking, Demarcus Ware, and Bradie James) has created a demise most teams aren’t expecting. Even New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick compliments Ware of playing similar to Lawrance Taylor. And before we continue, everyone be on the look out for Mike Jenkins in the next few weeks. That mad man is going to continue to hawk balls and play like he’s the best lock-down cornerback in football.

This Sunday the Seattle Seahawks come into town. J.J. Julius Jones makes his first trip to “Jerry World”. Although the Seahawks are only 2-4, they are an odd opponent to face. With two outstandingly talented wide receivers, (Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh) JJ in the backfield, and of course number one targeted John Carlson in a tight end, it seems that Matt Hasselbeck has a bottomless barrel of weapons at his disposal. So bigger picture and even bigger question, “How is this team only 2-4?”

The Seahawks in the past weeks have had some pretty tough games. In Week 6 they were out-gunned against the Cardinals. In Week 5 they played an outstanding game against the Jacksonville Jaguars who were shut out by the Seahawks 41-0. In Week 3 the Seahawks pulled “a Dallas Cowboys” and let the Bears come from behind to beat them on a big play in the 4th quarter with a 36-yard touchdown pass to Deven Hester.

I chose to omit bringing up their Week 4 match-up considering it was against the Colts. We all knew what was going to happen there.

All things considered the Seahawks are not a bad team! They just have a bad looking record. Their defense has been a bit weak in the past few games but is gaining back some starters they’ve been without for the better part of the 09 season. Leroy Hill comes back to the linebacking core and Marcus Trufant returns to the secondary. Trufant has been out with a lower disc injury he obtained back in July, while Hill has been recovering from a torn groin he received in September.

It will be nice for the Falcons to have Hill and Trufant back since they recently lost Lofa Tatupu, one of their biggest team voices, to a pectoral tear.

If this is to be any kind of game at all the Seahawks will have to make it a shoot out. Seattle knows that their defense is coming in with some bumps and bruises and is well aware of the Cowboys “credibility” coming into this game.

The Seahawks are also coming off of a bye week. If the NFL has taught me anything over the years, it’s that a team coming off a bye week is anything but predictable. There is also the intangible measurement of how well JJ will run against his old team.

The Cowboys could have another tremendous game against yet another home opponent this week. This is something that would greatly benefit the ‘Boys considering next week’s game is at Philadelphia. Dallas needs to hold onto it’s momentum and will only be able to do so with it’s team leaders playing at the peaks of their potential.

Tony Romo will have to continue to throw efficiently and look for my boy Miles Austin to come up with big plays. Austin’s ability to get in the open field combined with his explosive “after the catch” talent, he and Romo will continue to catapult the offense forward. The ‘Boys will also need to utilize the run game more to manage the clock better to help Romo with developing the pass game.

On defense I’m looking for my new “brother-with-arms”, Mike Jenkins, to not only be laying out some folks but also come up with another finesse interception this week. This cornerback is going places and I feel he is terribly underrated which also gives him the mismatches he so often capitalizes on.

Expect at least 4 sacks between Demarcus War and Jay Ratliff and a pleathora of knock downs on Matt Hasslbeck from the rest of the Cowboys’ Doomsday Defense. It will also help with Seattle’s starting offensive left tackle Walter Jones out for the better part of the season.

Camillis and the special teams crew will continue to display their talent and well coached discipline on the field. Their coverage on the kick gets better every week, especially with Matt McBriar pinning those punts back inside the 20.

That’s this weeks Big Boss’ Blast people. Don’t get too nuts on Saturday folks and enjoy the game this Sunday. It starts at noon so get the coals hot and your butts in the seats ‘cause it should be a good one for the stats this week. Let’s hope Wade Philips and the Cowboys can get this win behind them and focus on the big game next week against the 4-2 Philadelphia Eagles.

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