Saturday, September 29, 2007
Merry weekend, readers.
I know you're all avidly anticipating another great match this sunday. I'm here to predict the outcome before the TV coverage, to rant and rave before Madden gets a chance to.
We kept hearing about how remarkably healthy the Cowboys were last year, and for good reason. The first month of this season has definitely provided us with a glance at the other end of the spectrum. But for all our woes, the grazers in San Louie have suffered a shakeup even more drastic.
Their offensive line, once a source of pride, now consists of one mainstay and four dregs from the lowliest crevices of the depth chart. Their quarterback is playing with two cracked ribs, putting on hold a fate that would sideline him for the remainder of the season. For reference, see Hank Blalock, who sat out around two months of this season to get one rib removed. Their running back, #2 on last year's rushing yards leaderboard to the prodigious LT, (who will inexorably begin playing like LT before long) is also on sick leave.
The Rams are faced with a decision. They can play to the strength of their talented, successful wide recievers and play the sort of game they usually do against a sketchy defense. Or they can do their best to keep their quarterback alive, going with eight yard outs for the entirety of the game.
If the former is true, it will be up to the front seven to exercise the sort of dominance they've been paid and recognized to maintain. Get pressure on what will be a justifiably nervous Bulger, and everything else will fall into place.
If the Rams choose the latter poison, it will be a collective effort headed by he who has seen the burden placed on his shoulders most over the years. Roy Williams is at his best near the line of scrimmage, where he can exert his monster-back mentality, physical tools, and decision-making ability to wreak havoc through blitzes, clothlines, and well-timed sidesteps in front of Torry Holt. Of course, that depends on Roy Williams.
All that said, I'm not too worried. The Cowboys defense has played progressively better as the season has progressed, although one may chalk that up to facing progressively inferior offenses. The Rams don't look too daunting to me with all the weapons they are missing.
Offensively, the Cowboys who have shown up during the last three games would score forty on this squad without blinking. I expect much of the same: Keep their unit on the field until they are drawing on fumes for sustenance, run it down their throat and up their gut with an occasional dagger through their collective hearts. Let Tony Romo be Tony Romo. Let our terrific conglomerate of receivers do their jobs, giving Tony enough open targets for him to do his thing with the usual adeptness.