Should G-Men fear Cowboys in 2009?

Our very own Mike Farley covers the Giants for the blog GMENDEN and in one of his recent pieces he ponders whether or not the boys in blue should be fearful of the Cowboys.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m equally afraid of Dallas as I am of Philly. It’s not like the Cowboys purged their entire roster. They did get rid of two questionable characters in Terrell Owens and Pacman Jones. But Tony Romo is minus Jessica Simpson and is healthy…you might remember he missed a few games last season, and having Brad Johnson run that offense was like putting a toddler in charge of a nuclear power plant. TE Jason Witten was also hurt for much of the season, though he played through pain. Rookie Felix Jones made everyone forget about Julius Jones, and DeMarcus Ware was just terrorizing QBs with an NFL-best 20 sacks.

You’ll also remember that while our G-men beat up on the Romo-less Cowboys in November, 35-14, they let a less-than-100% Romo beat them in December during the skid that led to our downfall by a 20-8 score. You rememer that game, right? It was a Sunday nighter, and the Giants managed just two field goals and a safety, as Eli Manning could not get on track.

So while the Cowboys finished 9-7 in 2008, you have to wonder if they would have won at least two of those games Johnson started in Romo’s place. As much as everyone likes to poke fun at Romo and his tendency to choke under pressure, he’s been mostly very tough against us–tough to take down, and always hitting clutch third-down throws while under pressure.

The NFC East will once again be one of the toughest divisions in football and as Farley points out, nobody should be sleeping on the Cowboys.

Personally, I think cutting T.O. will be addition by subtraction, although the spotlight is now on Romo. If he can’t step up and be a leader for this team, then there’s a great chance that their talent won’t be enough again. As much as his fun-loving demeanor is one of the endearing parts of his game, it’s time for Romo to take that next step as a quarterback and put the Cowboys’ success squarely on his shoulders.

Now, that’s not to say that Romo has to do it on his own. Dallas has one of the more talented rosters in the NFL and Romo is just one key piece. But guys like Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady know what it takes to get the most out of the talent around them. Romo has failed to do that so far in Dallas.

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Poll: Which division has been the best in the NFL this season?

Is it the AFC East, with the Patriots, Jets and Bills all at 5-3? Is it the NFC East, with the Giants, Redskins, Eagles and Cowboys, who have a combined record of 23-10? Or is it the NFC South, where the Panthers, Buccaneers, Falcons and Saints have a combined record of 21-12?

Poll Answers

Couch Potato Alert: 10/31

Florida vs. Georgia
The winner of this game should become the SEC East representative against Alabama in the conference’s title game, while the loser will probably not play in a BCS bowl game. Florida has revenge on their mind; they remember Georgia’s end-zone celebration from a year ago. Bulldogs coach Mark Richt ordered the entire bench on to the field after scoring their first touchdown in a 42-30 victory. Gators coach Urban Meyer was upset by the antics but has downplayed the animosity between the schools this week. You can expect fireworks on the field this Saturday at the Gator Bowl. National coverage will begin at 3:30 PM ET on CBS. Click here for the official Florida vs. Georgia smack thread.

Texas vs. Texas Tech
Texas is completing the final leg of their gauntlet schedule; they defeated: then-No.1 Oklahoma on Oct. 11, then-No. 11 Missouri on Oct. 18, then-No.7 Oklahoma State last week, and now face No. 6 Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday evening. Another week, another Heisman Trophy candidate will line up against the Longhorn defense. Red Raiders quarterback Graham Harrell has thrown for 3147 yards with 28 touchdown passes on the season. The winner of this contest will have the inside track to win the Big 12 South title, a division that features four teams ranked in the top nine of this week’s BCS bowl standings. National coverage will begin at 8PM ET on ABC. Click here for the official Texas vs. Texas Tech smack thread.

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys had home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs last season, thanks in large part to a pair of victories over the New York Giants that propelled them to a NFC East title. But the Cowboys postseason run came to a quick end, as the Giants defeated them during their improbable run to a Super Bowl title. The Cowboys are hurting coming into this week’s game, with quarterback Tony Romo missing his third straight game because of a broken right pinkie and tight end Jason Witten will be a game-time playing decision due to his broken ribs. 40-year-old Brad Johnson will be in charge of the Cowboys offense, and he has looked his age at times on the field. He has been sacked six times in two weeks, and against a Giant defense that leads the NFL with 26 sacks, Johnson’s lack of mobility will be a major concern for the Dallas coaching staff. Regional coverage will begin at 4:15 PM ET on Fox.

Redskins proving doubters wrong

Entering the year, pundits gave the Washington Redskins about as much respect as Paris Hilton gives herself. The team had a first-year head coach, a new offensive system for quarterback Jason Campbell to learn and they play in a stacked division. And after their dazzling performance against the Giants in Week 1, it was easy to see why the Skins weren’t given any respect in preseason.

Washington RedskinsBut after rallying 23-17 to beat NFC East foe Philadelphia on Sunday, the Redskins are proving critics wrong. And it’s not like they’re beating the Lions, Chiefs and Texans every week – they’ve knocked off some of the best teams in the NFC over the past couple weeks, including the Eagles and Cowboys on the road.

They’re also not winning by smoke and mirrors, either. Campbell’s development has been solid (he’s yet to throw an interception), Clinton Portis (145 yards, 1 TD vs. Philly) has been excellent and the defense has tightened up in clutch situations. They’ve also kept up the physical brand of football that Joe Gibbs implemented when he was head coach.

It’s time to admit that the Redskins are better than what most people thought they’d be. And that’s a huge credit to rookie head coach Jim Zorn.

Giants are still the team to beat in NFC East

Brandon JacobsThe Dallas Cowboys might be the most talented team in the NFC East, but the New York Giants are clearly still the team to beat. And it’s amazing the way the G-Men continue to fly under the radar in the NFL.

The Giants crushed the Seahawks on Sunday. By crushed, I mean destroyed, hammered and routed. And it wasn’t flashy, either. They ran Brandon Jacobs down the Seahawks’ throat, played outstanding defense and Eli Manning took care of the football. The end result was a 44-6 drubbing of Seattle at the Meadowlands – without WR Plaxico Burress, by the way. (Nice fill-in job Domenik Hixon.)

Entering the season, the Giants were easy targets for a team that could potentially fall apart this year. Michael Strahan retired, Jeremy Shockey was traded, Burress was bitching about his contract and Osi Umenyiora didn’t even take one snap before his season ended due to a knee injury. But after five weeks, there might not be a more sound football team in the league, save for maybe the Tennessee Titans.

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