Back a few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the Cowboys turning a corner. At that time, they were finishing up the November part of their schedule and they were looking at playing the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers with backup quarterbacks, plus finishing up their season with a weak Washington squad and a semi-hot Eagles team. But I was worried the December curse would once again fall upon the Cowboys and doom any chance at breaking out of mediocrity. Continue reading
They say “an ugly win, is still a win”, while this may hold true, Cowboys fans have become accustomed to the “ugly win”. While it seems to be more common to see the Cowboys win a game they are supposed to in ugly fashion, a win is still a win. And take into account the Cowboys have won back-to-back games for the second time this season. The last time this happened was back in October with wins over Philadelphia and Washington.
With four games to go and sole possession of first place in the division, The Cowboys control their own destiny heading into the home stretch of the season. Each of the last four games look winnable, but most fans will have some reservations about being excited for the final games. Because whenever the cowboys look like they should win a game, they find a way to lose.
Yesterday, as the NFC Championship game started the 2nd half, it came to light that Bears starting quarterback was injured at some point during the first half. While nobody watching the game could pin point an exact moment when he was injured, it was said that he was out with a knee injury and wouldn’t return. This normally wouldn’t be a big issue, except for the fact that he was seen pacing the sidelines and riding a bike.
The television coverage didn’t help the situation by showing what seemed to be a despondent Cutler in numerous shots throughout the game. While all this was playing out on TV, the flow of critics on twitter just were rattling off every insult you can think of, he was called everything from a quitter to a certain 5 letter word that starts with a p. It was not until this morning that it was released that he had a tear in his MCL. Which was later reported by head coach Lovie Smith as a sprain. So, this has led me to wonder if all of this criticism is warranted or if it is just another abuse of many of the social networking sites that we now have access too.
Personally I can’t say anything bad about the guy, because I would not be able to play with anything sprained or torn. But numerous former and current NFL players were berating Cutler endlessly. Even future hall of famer Deion Sanders called Cutler’s heart into question. Which I find it comical since Deion wouldn’t tackle anybody head on, he would just dive and wave at them if he couldn’t intercept or strip the ball.
In the end, I don’t think it was Cutler’s decision to be put on the bench. Being told you can’t play anymore in a game that means everything would make anyone sulky. Hopefully everyone will back off this guy, because not everyone has the same pain tolerance. If he had gone back out and played, it could have made the injury far worse, or taken the Bears out of the game all together. I take all the people on twitter calling him a quitter as millionaire’s who are jealous they are sitting at home on the couch and not playing for a conference championship.
It’s the same old song and dance, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will play for the third time this season and for the 182nd time overall. But this time, it is for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. This is the first time since 1941 in this storied rivalry that these two teams will play with everything on the line. This game has a lot of story lines, but one story line that won’t matter will be the weather. Both of these teams play outdoors in some of the coldest and harshest conditions.
The Bears have been all about their defense, and they are known to be tough and make the big stop when it is needed. Meanwhile the Packers haven’t been known for their defense, but they have as strong of a defensive unit as anyone else left in the playoffs. So, don’t plan on this game being a high scoring affair, this will be the present day version of “black and blue” football. Which for old school fans, they will be licking their chops from the first kickoff. Don’t be surprised if the deciding factor is which defense gets the crucial stop at the most important time.
While both teams have strong defenses, this offensive side of the ball is a little different. Green Bay has been hitting on all cylinders with their offense and Aaron Rodgers is probably coming off his best game in the playoffs last week at Atlanta. Chicago has a reputation to win inspite of it’s quarterback Jay Cutler. Most of that is based on his previous reputation, he has been strong when needed to be. Agianst Seattle, Cutler showed poise and good descisions helped put points on the board to put away Seattle early. While most of the experts will say the offensive advantage is going to the Packers, Chicago doesn’t have a shabby offense that can score points.
One of the blaring advantages in this game goes to Chicago on special teams with Devin Hester. If the Packers can keep him from changing the momentum on one play, then this will be a close battle to the finish. But at any time he has a chance to touch the ball, Hester can change the game with a long return or a special teams touchdown. This is the one point of the game that I say Chicago can make or break it’s chances.
Taking everything into account, and looking at all sides of the ball. I have to think that home field advantage is just too much of a factor here. Not to mention that Green Bay has lost 3 of it’s last 4 trips to Soldier Field. I expect this game to be tight from the start and probably will be decided on the last possession. That is why I am going to say that the Bears will win this game as time expires with a field goal. Chicago 17 – Green Bay 14
Joeseph Don Meredith, more commonly known as “Dandy Don” to Cowboys fans and football fans in general has passed away at the age of 72. Don was born in a small east Texas town of Mount Vernon on April 10th 1938. He was recruited to play his college ball at Southern Methodist University where he lead the Southwest Conference in passing back in 1958 and 1959. Dandy Don had the distinction of being an all American in his time at SMU also. But one of the really neat facts about him, is that he never played a home football game outside of the North Texas region.
Don Meredith was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 1960 draft. But he was subsequently traded to a forming franchise called the Dallas Cowboys for future draft picks. But he was also drafted by the Dallas Texans, but refused to play for them, instead choosing to become a Dallas Cowboy of the NFL. “Dandy Don” was a backup for his first two seasons in the NFL behind Eddie LeBarron, but was able to split time in 1962, and won the job out right in 1963. While never taking the team to a championship, he was the leader of back to back teams who lost to the Green Bay Packers. His career was a good one for the Cowboys and was voted to 3 pro bowls. He was also named NFL player of the year in 1966. While never taking the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, he was always a fan favorite for his toughness and grit. He retired from football after the 1969 season.
He went on from his football career to be a broadcaster, which he was most famously known for the doing ABC’s Monday Night Football with Howard Cossell and Frank Gifford. Don became known on the broadcasts for singing “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” whenever the game reached a point where it was decided. He had a good broadcasting career and had some comical moments to say the least. He retired from broadcasting in 1984 after calling ABC’s first Super Bowl. Meredith received the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television award in 2007, and he was put into the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 1976.
After he left broadcasting, Meredithdid a few commercials and cameos on some shows, but he spent most of his time at his Santa Fe home with his wife. Which is where he passed away last night of a reported brain hemorrhage. Today God’s team has gotten a great quarterback, he will surely be missed. Rest in Peace “Dandy Don” and thank you for the contributions to this franchise. As of right now, there is no word if the Cowboys plan to do anything to honor Meredith.