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And away we go….

By Mark Solway | January 2nd, 2008

Life, as they sometimes say, gets in the way of drivel, which explains the lack of said drivel in the past couple of weeks. Darn that pesky life. Wah. I’ve been really surprised by the talk by Terri Glenn (and no, that misspelling is no mistake) that Landry was intentionally targeting his knees. First of all, in case Terri hasn’t noticed, this game is violent. Players try to knock each other out. If it bothers you, try soccer. Next, it’s clear from the video that Landry wasn’t even looking at Glenn, and was diving for the ball. Any Cowboy fan who argues otherwise is probably just sporting a bruised ego from the beating. Speaking of which… I know Cowboy fans and players alike will argue that the game didn’t mean anything to them, that had it been a meaningful game, they would have played with more passion, and how they would have staged a comeback in the second half. Still, as meaningless as the game was, this was not the type of game that Dallas wanted to see. Joe’s Donut of the Week Award goes to… Tony Romo! Of course, there are many great moments during the course of the game when we beat the Cowboys, the one that made me laugh was the slo-mo replay of Romo slamming his coat down on the bench. You could almost hear him whine ‘I’m so mad I could slam my coat!’ Some players will slam helmets, Gatorade tables, even other players. But Romo slams coats. Poor coat. When fiction becomes reality. You know that Pepsi commercial where the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys sends in a play with a yawn at the end, and it gets sent to the field, and then Cowboys are bouncing off each other? Well, it became reality during one defensive play, when Bradie James (I think it was him) called an audible, and as he and Ware switched places, they bonked smack into each other. I love him, but… I love Chris Samuels, and I think he’s a true Redskin, but it seems like it may be time to start grooming his replacement. He had quite a bit of trouble with Ware, and while Ware is an excellent pass rusher, Samuels should be just as excellent in his pass blocking, and I didn’t see that on Sunday. Shhh. Andre Carter has quietly has a successful season. Led the team in sacks, played the run well all year, and did a good job of generating pressure. The ‘Carter is a bust’ threads have been few this season. If only…. With the Joe Gibbs’ December record now at some amazing percentage, it sure would be nice to go into the month with 7 or 8 wins, instead of having to play catch up every year. Someone get an eye doctor! I have some serious concerns about Roy Williams’ health, specifically his eyesight. After watching him play for several years, I have come to the conclusion that he suffers from a condition that allows him to see opposing ball carriers only from the shoulder pads and above. I mean, why else would he be seemingly unable to make a single tackle by hitting a ball carrier below the head?!? Get well, Roy. …but they don’t fall down… While Wade may have changed the staff in Dallas, one requirement that has remained from the Parcells era is the size of the belly. In his all-blue jumpsuit, he looks a bit like a Weebil. Write in candidate. I vote for more dump offs to Portis. He’s cutting up the secondary right now. Bully. Flozell Adams must have been one of those guys who picked on smaller kids in school (of course, there probably weren’t too many kids larger than him), given his cowardly showing of shoving a 200 pound Shawn Springs around. Do it again! As many times as it was shown, my kids never get tired of seeing the Fox robot guy dodge a few snowballs, catch one in the face, and have a load of snow fall on him. It was the one time when I cursed my TiVo, because I was constantly pestered to rewind so they could watch it again. Challenge challenged. Joe Gibbs’ luck on challenges just stinks. Four reversed calls in the first half alone that went the other way. Brain fart. Everyone is allowed to have them, I just wish that Al Saunders would have them while he’s mowing his lawn or playing Madden or something, and not while he’s calling plays. A swing pass with 9 seconds left in the first half?!? It’s a good thing it was off target, or we would have missed the opportunity to kick the field goal. Could it be…. …that we’re actually learning to finish games? No more second half collapses. We can only hope that this new killer instinct carries over to the playoffs, and 2008. Speaking of which…. If you’ve watched any of the Patriots games this year, you’d have noticed that they attack your weaknesses without mercy. The Redskins attacked the Cowboys weak corners until they had their fill. As little respect as I have for the Pats integrity, you have to admire the approach to the game, and hope that the Redskins are finally learning how to finish teams off. Am I right, or am I right? I’ve spoken numerous times about the critical importance of third down conversions on both sides of the ball. This past week, the Redskins were a modest 9 for 15 on third down, but held the Cowboys to zero conversions in 11 attempts. Zero. You can’t get much better than that. Biggest question of the game…. Ryan Seacrest – Dallas fan or Redskins fan? Bigger question – do we WANT him as a Redskin fan? I was wrong (don’t tell my wife). A few short weeks ago, I was beginning to be convinced that Joe Gibbs was done, that the game was now too much for him, and that he should move into a front office role, and let someone younger take over the head coaching duties. Shows what I know. After watching player after player hug him and have a few words with him after the game, I don’t know of a coach in the NFL that has more support from his players right now. Yay! Yay! Wheeeee! Seattle is a tough opponent, and it’s a very difficult place to play, but I can’t help but laugh every time I see that clip of Alexander clapping and jumping up and down like a little girl (my apologies to little girls). Deeper Meaning quote of the day: ‘Dallas defensively is a bit confused…’ When Joe Buck said this, he was talking about a single play, but I think you could apply this to the whole game, and both sides of the ball. Expletive of the Week goes to…. While I usually win this award, this week Julius Jones and Marion Barber get the honors, because of their visible frustration at the whopping one yard they combined to gain. One. Yard. Don’t talk to me. Boy, it’s a good thing that Joe Gibbs didn’t have someone telling him the status of the Vikings game, given Denver’s collapse. How do you let a game go into overtime when you’re up by 16 with 6 minutes to play?!? Dumb. While I was shaking my head in disgust at the squib kick to end the first half, I’m sure Cowboys fans were doing the same thing as Romo was pulled to the ground while trying to generate some magic on the untimed down. Not better, just different. Watching Todd Collins run the offense, I felt that the ‘problem’ with Jason Campbell was not his abilities, but that he was simply trying too hard. I’m hoping that he is watching and learning, and will return next year a calmed quarterback. Score! If we wish to continue with the high school cheerleader metaphor a bit longer, it looks like after being teased earlier this year, we’ve now been invited over to her house on Saturday night while her parents are away for the weekend. Waka waka. How far is far enough? Making the playoffs is wonderful, especially after the accomplishment seemed impossible a few short weeks ago. But how far is far enough? If we lose in the first round, is it still a successful season? Or do we need a NFC Championship appearance to honor Sean Taylor’s death? How far should the motivation of his passing take us? The final word. If I traveled back into the past and told my past-self that the Redskins this year would endure the tragic death of their star defensive player, plus season ending-injuries to two offensive lineman early, plus others as the season wore on, not to mention key injuries to the secondary and receiver cores, and top it all off with the second most difficult schedule in the league, my past-self would no doubt have predicted a very poor finish. And yet we sit here at 9-7, and are going to the playoffs. I love that. It speaks directly to the character of the players and coaches on this team. The Pats can have their 16-0, the Cowboys can have their number one seed, Seattle can have their loud stadium. I’ll take this team and its character any day. Go…

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