Archived Post: Romo-Era Cowboys

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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Romo-Era Cowboys Will Never Win the Lombardi Trophy

Ever since starting law school, I’ve been away for too long to voice my input on the Dallas Cowboys through TwoOneFour Manuscript. I was recently discussing football with a friend (actually, getting out of our depression of the Cowboys short-lived playoff stint) and was reminded of a blog post from 2014. The post still rings true today of what is wrong with the most-coveted franchise and I hope you will enjoy the post below.
Friday, August 1, 2014
Ever since the “Romo-era” Cowboys have taken the field, the expectations of this franchise – once known as “America’s Team” (this should be up for debate) – have continually been lowered after every disappointing season.

For the past three years, we have dealt with injuries, an inconsistent running game, and the sad reality of being just an average football team – finishing up the past three seasons with an 8-8 record.

I hate to say it, but the Dallas Cowboys do not scream “World Champions!” and if you’ve been led to keep believing in the Cowboys to be a championship-contender… well, you are certainly in denial, my friend.

Now, let’s begin to list the Three Reasons Why the Romo-era Cowboys Will Never Win the Lombardi Trophy.

Reason #1: Jerry Jones needs to be involved in business matters ONLY.

Serving as the Owner, General Manager, and President (NFL Front Office position descriptions) does not allow adequate room for accountability and improvement in the Dallas Cowboys franchise at all levels. Jones’ three-headed monster of power merges front office and player/personnel matters, which really affects on-the-field play.

Jones is a business-savvy individual. He has ushered in the AT&T Stadium to serve as a premier venue of the biggest entertainment events you can think of: concerts, boxing matches, NFL Super Bowl, WWE, NBA All-Star Weekend, etc. You name it, I’m sure Jerry Jones has done it (or is about to do it).

The man is about $$$. Period.

So, it would serve the Cowboys a great deal for Jones to be the best business-man he can be; and, in time, release his tight grip on the area of player/personnel development.

Reason #2: The Dallas Cowboys’ defense has more holes than Swiss cheese.

There’s speculation that Rob Ryan was a great asset for the Cowboys’ defense. Another argument claims that Ryan did not improve anything in Dallas, except for his eating habits. NFL defensive statistics from the ’11/’12 and ’12/’13 seasons show the Cowboys defense ranking in at 19th and 14th, respectively. However, if you examine the numbers of both seasons compared to the 2010 season, you can be the judge of whether Ryan improved the defense or not.

But the issue still remains: this defense needs help, bad. Really bad.

As most sports fans know (or should know), DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Take last year’s Super Bowl, for example (43-8 ouch; Seattle’s defense proved themselves).

With the latest draft picks acquired through the 2014 NFL Draft, maybe there is hope of developing a championship-caliber defense. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Reason #3: Tony Romo is our best chance at winning the Super Bowl.

Yes, you’ve read correctly. Tony Romo is the best chance for the Cowboys to reach a title.

On paper: This is awesome!

In reality: Welp, time to get ready for basketball season.

Tony Romo is above average. He gives you the stats: passing yards, passing touchdowns, and even a decent QBR (Quarterback Rating). The main component Romo is not giving the Cowboys is: winning. Of course, winning is a team effort; but, when the commander of your offense (in addition to sub-par defense) is not getting the job done, we have no choice but to continually be just an average team.

So, who is there to blame for all of the Cowboys’ shortcomings?

Reason number one (see above for Reason #1).

Of course, he would most likely be the scapegoat. When you consider who hires the coaches, signs the players, oversees the operations of the franchise, and goes to sleep feeling as if everything is fine… Jerry Jones is the one guy that can pull it off.

Until he fires himself (sounds crazy) or the Cowboys can grab a guy like Jameis Winston (Cam Newton, but better) and have a top-10 defense, the Cowboys will continue to follow this downward trend.

SN: Seriously, I want Jameis Winston on the Cowboys roster. Let’s just hope Dallas has a free crab leg buffet for Winston.

Turning Back the Clock: The Kobe Bryant Experience

Home, NBA

This past Saturday, Dec. 12th, 2015, I attended the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets game in Houston, Texas. Ever since Kobe announced his retirement, I promised myself to see him grace the floor with his legendary presence in his last season. Let’s just say, the experience I received was well more than what I expected.

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Expectations

My expectations were reasonable for this game. I anticipated Mr. Bryant to receive a standing ovation during the starting lineup announcements, play approximately 20 minutes, and wave at the crowd before he took his final seat in the game. As the announcer called out Bryant’s number, the crowd rose to its feet and cheered him on as if he was wearing a Rockets jersey.

ezgif.com-rotateSeeing him walk through the Lakers huddle with an aura of peace was amazing to see. It was as if he was thinking, “I’m really going to miss the game, but it’s time for me to leave it behind.” Before tip-off, Kobe could be seen laughing and talking with former Rockets players, Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis, who were sitting courtside.

The exchanges between Bryant and other members of the Houston Rockets starting five were interesting, as well. James Harden greeted Kobe with a special handshake (Harden also wore the Kobe II shoes to pay homage to Bryant) while Dwight Howard received a cold stare and a backhand pat on the shoulder from the Black Mamba.

The Game

Kobe fired so many 3-pointers in the game! The slot right section of the arc was his go-to spot all night. Even if you were not a Kobe fan, you could not help but enjoy watching someone become so lost in the game that every movement made seemed effortless. For most of Bryant’s time on the floor, he sagged off defenders and even stayed on one end of the court for 5 consecutive possessions. At one point, James Harden crossed over Kobe causing the crowd to roar with excitement. One fan even yelled out, “Take it easy on the old man, James!!”

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Kobe finished the game with 23 points (not bad for the old man). The Black Mamba turned back the clock with his performance. Witnessing Bryant drain 3’s and perform his signature fist-pump was a priceless moment. The Mamba even made a 3-pointer in Harden’s face. Kobe did not hold back at all.

In the final minute of the game, I accepted the fact that Kobe was leaving the game for good.  I became very grateful that I saw him (in person) play during the championship years with Shaquille O’Neal and his final season in LA.

The Experience

After the buzzer sounded, I met with a good friend from college (Tony Davis) who was also at the game (big Kobe fan, too). Unbeknownst to me, my friend had floor access after the Rockets game in which we could mix and mingle with the players. We reached the tunnel outside of the Lakers’ locker room and waited on the players to come out.

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Follow Tony on twitter: @tdavis_doesit

As I sat in the third row of section 105, I met Los Angeles’ Brandon Bass, Jordan Clarkson, Head Coach Byron Scott, Ron Artest, Roy Hibbert, Robert Black, and Houston’s Corey Brewer and Marcus Thornton. Plus, Clyde Drexler walked right in front of us heading into the Lakers’ tunnel. While talking to my friend’s nephew, he received numerous texts and pics of my friend with different players. All we could do was laugh and live in the moment of being surrounded by current and future NBA legends. My friend Tony even grabbed a picture with the Black Mamba, himself. It was a good night.

More pics from the game:

It’s Just Week 1

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Dallas Cowboys fans have a reason to beat their chest with pride this week, despite losing Dez Bryant to possibly four weeks or more. This Sunday, Dallas will take on their longtime NFC East rivals in Philadelphia [Eagles]. In the past three years, Dallas has beat the Eagles in their stadium and look forward to continuing its winning road streak. DeMarco Murray’s facing his former team, so this should be interesting to see how Philly’s running game works in favor of Murray.

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If you saw the Eagle’s past matchup, Murray barely touched the field in Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense. DeMarco finished the game with a total of 30 yards (incl. rushing and receiving). Maybe Philly will loosen up its grip on DeMarco this Sunday.

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One major takeaway from this past Sunday’s game vs. New York [Giants] is how our defense has remained a dominant force in winning games for us. They continually bail us out of games, in which we should have already put away. Although our offense finally stepped up in the final minute-and-a-half of the game, the defense placed us in a position for Tony Romo to lead the charge in this clutch victory.

If the Cowboys keep this intensity up, there will more excitement to cheer for in the future.

Until then, we’ll hope for a speedy recovery of Dez Bryant and a Cowboys victory in the weeks to come!

Go Cowboys!

5 Reasons Cowboys Fans Should Be Excited for the 2015 NFL Season

Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, NFL

The NFL off-season is one of the longest gaps in professional sports schedules. This drought of football has been very tiresome, but Cowboys fans have plenty to be excited about. Below, I have compiled a short list of five reasons Cowboys fans should be excited going into the 2015 NFL season.

1. Dez Bryant’s Contract

Bryant’s future with the Dallas Cowboys proved to be very cloudy after the Dallas front office stamped their #1 WR with the “franchise tag” during the free agency period. Although it was a very bold move, Bryant threatened to sit out pre-season and a couple of regular season games if the “franchise tag” remained as his contract status. To sum things up, Bryant inked his long-term deal, securing his place with the Dallas Cowboys for five more years.

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2. Elite Offensive Line

Now, DeMarco Murray had a great rushing season last year but most of the credit needs to go to the offensive line. The Cowboys had the NFL’s best offensive line in 2014, and they’ve added more strength this offseason with the addition of rookie La’el Collins. Collins gives Dallas four first-round caliber players up front, if he beats out Ronald Leary at left guard. Regardless of who starts, Dallas’ offensive line will be the best in the league once again.

3. Another Year Under Coach Jason Garrett

Jason Garrett: most scrutinized coach in the NFL. That was the storyline prior to last season when he led the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and a playoff win. Now just six months removed from signing a five-year contract, Garrett is in Dallas for the long haul. Cowboys fans should feel good about placing their faith in his hands for years to come.

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4. Return of Sean Lee

Dallas’ defense was formidable at best last season. Injuries didn’t help the cause, especially Sean Lee suffering a torn ACL. Lee is on track to be 100% this season,  With Lee back as a centerpiece of the defense, Dallas could rank in the top 15 in defense this season. Lee’s return should excite Cowboys fans big time.

5. New Running Game

With Murray no longer in the backfield, Cowboys fans will turn their attention to Joseph Randle. Along with Darren McFadden, Randle will attempt to replace All-Pro DeMarco Murray in Dallas, which is no easy task. On the bright side, Randle averaged 6.7 yards per carry last season and showed incredible vision and speed on numerous runs. He’s a home run threat on almost every carry and should be exciting to watch running behind this offensive line.

The Dallas Cowboys are legit Super Bowl contenders. As long as Dallas keeps its intensity up and cancels out the noise from the media, this team will have a great chance at making a better playoff run than last year.

Go Cowboys!

Follow this blog on Twitter: @214_Manuscript

Kobe Bryant says he’s made Lakers teammates cry before

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For The Win

Kobe Bryant compared the Los Angeles Lakers to both the Titanic and toilet paper in the span of a single week last December, so he isn’t exactly afraid to speak his mind after 19 seasons in the league.

In an interview with ESPN’s Jemele Hill at the BET Experience, Bryant revealed that some of his sarcastic remarks have made teammates cry.

Hill asked Bryant what was the worst thing he’s ever said to a teammate, and Bryant had to think about it.

Via ESPN:

“I’m not sure if the fact that I’m thinking about the worst things that I’ve said really means that I haven’t said that many, or maybe I’ve said too many. I’m scrolling through them [in my mind]. I’m like on iPod shuffle. I have made somebody cry before…. There are certain players that I’ve made cry. If I can make you cry by being sarcastic, then I really don’t want…

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