The Cowboys Fade and the Falcons Continue to Soar in One of the Strangest Seasons of All Time!
Calm down Cowboys fans…this isn’t forever. What it is, is yet another strange day in one of the oddest NFL seasons that has ever come to pass. What I would NOT like – no matter how much money I was given – is to be one of the receivers of Jerry Jones’ wrath. I mean…come on! All the money put out for a new state-of-the-art stadium when the one in Irving was really where the Cowboys should have stayed? Jerry Jones has got to be beyond simmering and at a full boil considering how much he now dislikes the coach of his ‘pride and joy.’
On the flipside, I wouldn’t mind being the kicker who made sure that the Atlanta Falcons remained the only undefeated team in the NFL. WHAT? I know, right? The Falcons are undefeated: Not the Broncos with the amazing and hugely expensive arm of Peyton Manning leading them; nor the killer and ‘undefeatable’ defense of the San Francisco 49ers; and not even the returning champs who everyone feels will do it again no matter what. Nope. The undefeated team is Atlanta!
Now being undefeated halfway through the season is an extremely rare feat when it comes to any professional sports team. In fact, since the NFL began, only one team has played a complete perfect season (both playoff AND regular season; the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went on to win Super Bowl VII to finish with a 17–0–0.
Oddly enough, what some fans may not know, is that prior to the NFL becoming the NFL, there were actually four teams that scored undefeated seasons (even though they had one or more games end in a tie.) Of those teams only the name of the Green Bay Packers is familiar, who reached this goal in 1929. The other teams were the Akron Pros (1920); and the Canton Bulldogs in 1922 and 1923. But even way back then there were battles when it came to going into the history books. It was in 1921 that the Buffalo All-Americans were actually denied the title of being (almost) undefeated when they were under the impression that their final game, a loss to the Chicago Staleys, was an exhibition game which wouldn’t count. Well…it did.
Back to present day battles…
For anyone who has ever lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, you already know that Monday morning rush hour is one of the absolute biggest nightmares in the world when the Cowboys chalk up a loss over the weekend. In fact, for this particular person, I was always more than a bit frightened with all the trucks racing by or beeping their horns, as the rifle sat framed in the back window. So I can only assume that this morning is a real mess in Dallas, seeing as that the Cowboys could not take down the mighty Falcons – rifle or not!
Now some of the players made the remark that the Falcons most likely remain undefeated because the Georgia Dome is absolutely impossible to play in. I have to laugh about this one, however, seeing as that the Falcons are playing in there and seem to be doing just fine. The screams, yells, echoes – they are hearing the same thing the competitors are hearing, and they still get their calls out A-OK!
Home-field advantage is a lovely thing – for every team in the NFL – and for the Falcons it was simply another day at the office. OF course, they should drop down into a ‘Tebow’ prayer and give high praise to their kicker, Matt Bryant, who kicked four field goals in order to beat the Cowboys 19-13 last night, and extend their title as the NFL’s only unbeaten team.
No, the Falcons don’t score BIG. I mean, you’re not talking about games that are 40-0, but the close ones count as well: 6 over Denver, 2 over Carolina, 3 over Oakland, and now 6 over the Cowboys – making them 8-0. And even though some of their home games were called absolute ‘luck’ and were actually criticized by a lot of the analysts, I have a feeling these birds are still flying high when they look at the final numbers. QB Matt Ryan completed 24 of 34 passes for a season-high 342 yards, so I don’t think he’s exactly upset about the ‘close’ win either.
And although Dallas coach, Jason Garrett, was one of the first to comment on the fact that they’re undefeated halfway through the season because the Georgia Dome is a “challenging place to play,” he also made sure to add that the Cowboys, “didn’t do enough to win this game in all three phases of our football team.”
Tony Romo wasn’t asleep, by the way. He did complete 25 of 35 passes for 321 yards, but the team also achieved only 65 yards rushing, with 39 of those yards being attributed to Felix Jones.
Romo did his best (or, perhaps, Cowboys’ fans hope it was NOT his best) to achieve a comeback last night, completing all his attempts on a huge drive that ended with a touchdown to Kevin Ogletree. But, unfortunately, the Falcons got the ball back and kept the ball for a good, long time in the 4th quarter, leaving only seventeen seconds on the clock after Bryant hit yet another field goal.
Suffice to say the seventeen seconds was not enough for Romo, especially seeing as that the Cowboys had burned all their timeouts during the Falcons’ long drive. Something else that fans will not like is the fact that Romo didn’t even try the deep pass, even though he had eighty yards to cover in order to win the game.
What remains is the fact that today, there are two things bound to be true. One: There are many people shaking their heads that the Atlanta Falcons are the one undefeated team left in the NFL, seeing as that they have not ‘excelled’ as much as other teams. And, Two? The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is – right now – a seriously scary place to drive!
This Moment in Sports is Brought to By: Be First Media Group
Until Next Time, Everybody,