You can find my answers to Grizz of Blogging The Boys questions here. You know the drill, enjoy:
Hogs Haven: Conventional wisdom is that the Dallas Cowboys are at the top of the world right now, which must be very exciting. Your team is playing extremely well, but are there any exploitable weaknesses you've seen developing on what many consider the best team in the NFL?
Blogging The Boys: I don't see a developing weaknesses, it actually appears our one main weakness, is getting better, not worse. Our secondary can be exposed on occasion; the Eagles did it a couple of weeks ago, but the window on that might be closing. Terence Newman has returned to the lineup in full health and played a great game against the Packers. Adam "Pacman" Jones is starting to round into form after his long layoff from competitive football and rookie Mike Jenkins is getting some valuable experience that should help his game. So this unit should be getting better as the season progresses. The Cowboys also have problems with self-inflicted wounds like penalties that we are racking up in alarming numbers. It hasn't hurt us yet in the final score but somewhere down the road it could. We also haven't been getting enough turnovers from our defense, something I would like to see get better.
HH: So Texas Stadium will be forced to endure the most unceremonious funeral I've ever seen, with the Cowboys closing out against the Baltimore Ravens. That will probably be garbage time anyways, but even were it not, the Cowboys have less history with the Ravens -- two games, you lost them both, neither was at Texas Stadium than any other team in the league. I understand the reluctance to schedule a Redskins-Cowboys game in what could be garbage time, uhhh that didn't stop the league from doing it last year, but shouldn't the last game in Texas Stadium history be played by and between the most well-known rivalry in the league? I'm pissed off and I'm a Redskins fan, not my stadium disappearing. Shouldn't Cowboys fans be livid over this? I think the league squandered a huge opportunity to make history out of this rivalry by scheduling the Redskins as the final Texas Stadium opponent, and I'm wondering if Cowboys fans agree. At least Philly or the Giants, right? Baltimore??
BTB: When the schedule first came out for this season there was chatter among Cowboys fans about how the Baltimore Ravens would close out the regular-season history of Texas Stadium and how that was a letdown. We have no history with those guys and looking at it now, it really doesn't provide much excitement for the game. By the time it gets here, maybe the game will have some kind of meaning in playoff positioning etc., but it is kind of a disappointment. But I'm not livid, things like that are always peripheral to me, I just care about the games themselves.
HH: Wade Phillips is now 16-3 as head coach of the Cowboys. When you hired him I remember some of the talk being that it was a temporary move to get Jason Garrett set for the HC job. Obviously Phillips is the real deal and Garrett will have to wait, but my question is, are Dallas fans generally thinking Parcells who? or is there any attempt to attribute some of Phillips' success to the players Parcells brought to Dallas? I'm a huge Parcells fan, as you know given the amount of time I've spent defending him at BtB and elsewhere, but even I'm becoming a doubter given the incredible success Phillips has had thus far.
BTB: Oh Lord, the Parcells' debate. That question borders on hysteria for some Cowboys fans. All I will say is that it's patently obvious to me that Parcells helped turn around this franchise, he was very instrumental in building this roster and that he's one of the greats of the NFL. Jerry Jones hiring Bill Parcells was one of the best moves he's made during his ownership tenure. I tend to think the hate of Parcells among some Cowboys fans is hate of the person, not the football ability. 'Nuff said for me on the subject.
HH: You asked the question and I'll shoot it right back at you: Best and worst moment for you in Washington Redskins - Dallas Cowboys rivalry history?
BTB: For me, the best memory always comes from my youth. (Yes, I'm old). Thanksgiving Day in 1974 when Clint Longley, the Mad Bomber, stepped in for an injured Roger Staubach and led Dallas back to victory from a 23-3 deficit. I remember as a kid watching that game in a house divided, my family being Redskins fans, and I was taking a beating from my brothers just like the Cowboys were from the Redskins. When Staubach went down, everybody thought that game was over – except Clint Longley. When he hit the 50-yard TD to Drew Pearson to win the game, pandemonium ensued. The turkey sure did taste better on that day.
As for the worst, I've got two. One was when I was a young kid. As mentioned above, my brothers were Redskins fans. I don't remember the exact year, but it was in the 70s and the Redskins beat the Cowboys late in the season. The next morning our local newspaper ran a headline that said "Washington whips Dallas; takes over East lead." My brothers taunted me mercilessly with that and brought a young me to tears. To this day, that headline is a running joke in my family and my brothers never cease to bring it up when we lose to the Redskins.
The other memory, more recently, is the Santana Moss game. After dominating the Redskins for 55 minutes, the Cowboys gave up two long bombs to Moss in the final minutes to lose 14-13. Talk about a total meltdown. I can't remember feeling worse after a regular-season game than that one.
HH: I always ask this because I usually don't know, but I live in Texas (much of the year in Dallas) and so follow your team very closely. But still, why not, supposing I didn't follow the Cowboys so closely, who on your roster should/will Redskins fans know about after this week that they might not otherwise have heard much about? Who are the unheralded heroes of the Dallas Cowboys offense and defense?
BTB: On offense, one of the unheralded unveiled himself last week with two long bombs against the Packers. Miles Austin is a receiver who has been on the team for the last few years but never received much playing time. He's always had the speed and size you dream of in a receiver, but he could never put it all together. Hanging onto the ball was one problem and the nuances of playing receiver seemed to elude him. But it looks like he's starting to put it all together now, so watch out for him going forward.
On defense, I don't know how much you guys know about nose tackle Jay Ratliff, but he's turned into a beast. He's kind of undersized for a 3-4 nose tackle, but he's very active, he has a relentless motor. He can rush the passer from that position, which normally isn't the case, so keep an eye on him in the middle of our line. He can really disrupt and offense.
Thanks to Grizz for stopping by and make sure you visit Blogging The Boys during this week of institutionalized hate on the Dallas Cowboys.
This website hates Dallas but loves Zach Thomas. That is all.