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Things To Consider After The Bye Week

romo-v-vikes.jpgSo now the Cowboys have had their three or four day vacation and some well-deserved time-off to regroup and refocus.  After a weekend of watching some dismal football in England and the Patriots shred yet another NFC team to pieces, I am excited at having a Cowboys game to look forward to this Sunday.

The next three weeks should determine who is the true power in the NFC East and most likely the NFC’s best team.  In Philadelphia, the return of Anthony Henry will play a big role in getting a victory against the Eagles, even though Donovan McNabb has struggled in the passing game.  The key to beating the Eagles this year is stopping Bryant Westbrook, and the defensive line has to do a better job in the middle to prevent him from controlling the game. 

The Eagles are usually tough at home but have proven to be very beatable at Lincoln Field this season.  The offense has more than enough weapons to overpower Philly and if Romo plays a consistent game, it should be a big division win for them.

The big test for the division will be the following week at the Giants, who have vastly improved on defense since the opening week game against Dallas when they gave up 45-points.  They have a fully rejuvenated Michael Strahan and Osimenyura has been a terror against opposing quarterbacks the last five weeks, so the Cowboys will have to go into max protection to keep their passing game alive in New York.  It will be a much closer game this time and most likely decided by who makes the most mistakes. 

Hopefully, the arrival of Tank Johnson against the Giants will provide some fresh legs and needed push up the middle of the defensive line to help stop a healthy Brandon Jacobs.  The defense will prove vital in winning this one as the offense will likely struggle some against a tough Giants defense.

Hopefully, after winning all three division games, the Cowboys can coast into the traditional Thanksgiving Day game against the Jets with a comfortable lead in the NFC East.  Able to relax a little, the offense should light it up pretty good against a fading Jets team and we should all have a great Turkey-day to celebrate.

Of course, this is all subject to how things go in each of these first three pivotal games following the break.  As they say, you have to play the games and that’s what both head coach Wade Phillips and Terrell Owens have been preaching all week.   Owens says he doesn’t see much of a “drop-off” in terms of their performance and Phillips let his team have a break, unlike his predecessor who didn’t much care for long weekends.  Phillips did give an obligatory warning to his players to not get into any sort of trouble.

Historically, the Cowboys have been very good following bye weeks, and this year could be the best-timed one in recent memory.  How Patrick Crayton recovers from his short-lived honeymoon will be something to watch as he has shown some definite signs of improvement from earlier in the season.  Until the return of Terry Glenn sometime later in the season, no definite time-table given, Crayton will have to continue his steady play at the wide-receiver position. 

But everyone seems to be in agreement, and rightfully so, that the biggest factor in this latter part of the season will hinge upon the play of QB Tony Romo.  We all remember how brilliantly he shined at the beginning last year and how quickly that faded in December as the Cowboys dropped 4 of their last 5 games, one at home against the Eagles that could have clinched the division title. 

This is a new year and a new Tony Romo, by all that I have seen.  He is more confident, more disciplined and simply better than he was at the end of last season.  So take heart Cowboys fans, he is the real deal and will lead us to the first division title for Dallas in seven years. 

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4 Responses to “Things To Consider After The Bye Week”

  1. Sam says:

    I think we will have to wait and see what kind of an effect the 6 year $67.5 million deal will have on Romo’s performance next weekend :-).

    I think one thing we need to learn from the performance of Pats over the weeks is to keep playing the game and score as usual even when it may not make much sense – even when we are in a good position to win in the 4th quarter. I feel like we, like most teams out there are just trying to run down the clock once we get to that point and we know that we are going to win for sure. Maybe that will change.

  2. Sam says:

    Correction: $69 million… In effect $11.5 million per year.

  3. Benjamin Fan says:

    Someone got to douse some water on the Giants. They’re red hot and on a 6-game winning streak.

    I think Dallas will lose 3 more and finish 12-4. Five NFC East games left. Dallas will lose two of those. Games against the Panthers, Packers, and Lions. Dallas will lose at least one out of those.

  4. Sam says:

    Darn the Dallas Cowboys website, they keep changing the contract amount in their article. Right now, it says $67.5 for 6 years.

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