All week long the NFL promoted it as “ICE Bowl II”. Green Bay / Dallas – first playoff contest at Lambeau Field since the original Ice Bowl in 1967.

It wasn’t quite the “ice bowl” in all sense of the title, as it was about 40 degrees warmer than the original, but it was a classic game none of us will soon forget. Especially those of us that follow the Cowboys. Even Green Bay fans this morning have to almost turn away a collective embarrassed smile knowing they basically stole one from the hands of destiny.

It was a classic alight, with three groups impacting the final outcome – the Cowboys, the Packers and the NFL Referees.

With Green Bay leading 26-21 in the 4th with just over 5 minutes left, the Cowboys began one last drive with an intent to score a game winning touchdown. Having already seen one horrific non-call by the Refs in the 1st half in which a pass was ruled a catch when replay clearly showed it touched the ground, all Cowboy fans figured that was the expected Detroit payback call and it was out of their system now. It was purely up to us to win the game now.

So here it is, 4th down and 2. Game on the line. Fail at this and your only hope is to stop Green Bay and get the ball back with one final shot. Tony Romo opts to pass and heaves a bomb down the sideline to Dez Bryant who had single coverage. Odds are in our favor. He leaps, makes the most amazing catch of his career with  defensive contact taking place, clearly secures the ball, takes two steps, stretches for the end zone, rolls over and then the ball comes loose but he re-secures it on his chest. Cowboys Nation goes nuts. Green Bay challenges it and all of us sit around talking about how we have to score and then slow down Green Bay when they get the ball back.

Nope, the NFL Referees decided to become a part of such a classic game by making the call that it was not a catch. Complete stupidity. Anyone with a brain that has ever watched or even played football in their backyard knows that was one of the greatest catches in all of history. He was robbed. Season over.

Did that call cost us the game? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe had Murray not fumbled (as usual) on what would have been an easy long TD run….had Bailey not missed an important field goal (something he hardly ever does)…or maybe had penalties and sacks not pushed the Cowboys out of another FG chance in the 2nd half, this particular play wouldn’t have mattered. Yet, this play did matter and the NFL got its ugly arse involved in a game when it had no business doing so.

Replays played after the game clearly show he did catch the ball and that he was touched during the process, yet their quick review at the time didn’t appear to notice that. (Why the heck do they have replay anyway when game after game what is seen in the replay isn’t used to make the right call??!?!?) It should have been down by contact at the 1 yard line. Sure, Green Bay might have still gotten the ball back and kicked the game winning field goal a mere 3 minutes later. But that’s football. That’s letting the game and teams play it out. .

Instead, the Cowboys were sent home with a kick to the groin.

It was a great year and next year we will have a chip on our shoulder put there by the NFL powers-to-be that have so over-regulated the game we love it makes me sick.

My Cowboys played their butts off all year. Haven’t been this proud of this team in 20 years. Romo, Murray, Bryant, Whiten and the likes were all great. This was a chance stolen right out of their hands. Who knows how many more they might get. But we will try again in 9 months.

Ice Bowl II alright. Green Bay 26, Dallas 21, NFL 7.


It’s Been 20 Years

Yea. Two decades. That’s how long it’s been since this city and everyone I know has been this jacked up about a Dallas Cowboys team and playoff game.

Cowboys vs. Packers – Lambeau Field, Sunday. Noon. Divisional Round. Winner goes to the NFC Championship game.

The 1967 NFL Championship Game, aka the “Ice Bowl” was the last time these two teams met in Green Bay with so much on the line. It’s been since 1995 that anyone around here believed this team might have something special going on. Heck it was 21 years ago when 1310am The Ticket started up and I listened to Gordo get arrested on the field the week of a big regular season game between these two. That’s how long it;s been. I was 25.

Twenty long, Jerry Jones controlled years.

At the beginning of the season I had this team going 6-10. Instead they went 12-4. So…in light of that negative, reverse mojo, I have the Cowboys losing this game 37-17. No chance.

Either way. I am proud of this team this year. It’s about dang time NFL football be fun around here again.

Let’s do this. #Finishthefight

Cowboys Training Camp

brady speers dallas cowboys training campThe 95th season of the NFL is less than two months away, and Dallas fans are ready. Sure, AT&T Stadium had a few thousand fans to watch the World Cup on a screen, but soon it’ll be packed with real energy. The question is, how will the Cowboys fare this year? Training camp is underway, and we’re starting to get information about the team and what they’re focused

First and foremost, fans want to know about Tony Romo. It’s been about half a year since he had surgery for a herniated disk, his second back procedure in under a year for the 34-year-old quarterback.

Romo says he’s doing very well. He wasn’t participating in team drills last spring, but he was present and active, throwing and taking snaps. The year before, he was idle in the spring, and was just getting moving in July. This means we have the potential for a great season for our starting QB. This summer he’ll be focusing on more fine-tuning. Considering his excellent season last year, we’re on a path that could lead to a really incredible season. There is a reason to be excited about this.

Then there’s linebacker Sean Lee. During offseason practice, he tore is left anterior cruciate ligament…he will be missing the entire season. The Cowboys don’t have another linebacker who can replace Lee in terms of performance, but they’re still opting to fill the spot with in-house players. This will be a hit to the defense.

There’s still time for the team to find a replacement, before the end of training camp. Analysts seem to think that an experienced veteran is what the team needs as a replacement. The team picked up two young linebackers in rounds 4 and 6 of the draft, DeVonte Holloman and Anthony Hitchens. Hitchens is still being developed and isn’t quite ready to start, Holloman suffered a spinal contusion in practice after a great performance late last season.

On strategy, the Cowboys have some goals for themselves. Last season they gained 4.5 yards per carry, the eighth highest in the NFL. DeMarco Murray rushed 1,000 yards, the first time the team has seen a running stat like that since 2006.

Despite these running stats, and others, the team really didn’t feature running plays. Dallas is still among the teams with the fewest carries per game (only Atlanta carries less). Scott Lineham, the new play-caller for the Cowboys, ran a pass-heavy game in Detroit over the past five years.

The team seems to be aware that there may be an advantage to running more. Consider this interesting stat – when DeMarco Murray runs the ball at least 20 times, the Cowboys were 11-0 last season. There’s a lot of running plays going on in training camp right now.

Over the course of the offseason, the team said goodbye to DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher. Since then, the entire defensive line has been rebuilt. There are still a lot of decisions to be made about the lineup because of Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer. Each missed most of last season because of injuries. Melton is ready for training, and is expected to start in September.

Spencer is still recovering from knee surgery, an uncommon microfracture, a surgery that players rarely come back from. He’ll be present at training camp, but he won’t be participating for a while. Most are not expecting him to play in the first six games, at least.

Until we know the status of these two players for sure, the defense lineup won’t be set in stone.