#DezBryant has led, will the Dallas #Cowboys continue to follow?

cowboys miss playoffsToo the joy of the many who detest the Dallas Cowboys the most, America’s team has been all but irrelevant for ten consecutive postseasons. In fact, Cowboy fans have grown accustomed to witnessing great starts fizzle into disappointing finishes.

Many probably thought history was repeating itself after the Cowboys took a 21-0 and somehow surrendered 24 unanswered points to division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Too the surprise of many, the Cowboys fought back going on a run of their own led by an overachieving defense that finally showed up.

Despite the impressive win, Cowboy fans and even team owner Jerry Jones remain dez bryant heartcautious and are reluctant because they refuse to be heartbroken again. However, led by emotional lighting rod Dez Bryant there appears to be hope. Bryant’s passion and love for the game has fueled the Cowboys during its darkest hours. Although his antics on the sideline have been misconstrued by the media, his rallying cries haven not fallen on death ears.

Bryant has single handedly willed his team to victory, and there is no reason to think that his season of dominance against double and triple coverage won’t continue. Bryant may not be they guy you would want your daughter today, but he is certainly the guy that you can count on delivering in the clutch.

dez bryantIf these winning ways continue remember it was not due to the modicum of inconsistency, Tony Romo or even the NFL’s leading rusher Demarco Murray but that unstoppable force that gives defenders nightmares, Dez Bryant. Although missing and unaccounted for in the league MVP discussion, there is no question he’s the Cowboy’s most important player.Bryant has rescued the Cowboys from the brink of mediocrity, the only question is will they continue to follow? Stay tuned…I know I will.

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

The time for Washington name change is now, skins no more

indian meets indianIn light of the scandal that is unfolding with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his heinous comments my attention turns to another other deplorable act that has been allowed to persist in the public eye in our Nation’s capital. For those folks calling for boycotts and demanding Sterling to surrender ownership I ask where are those same passions demanding a name change for that NFL franchise in our Nation’s capital?

Sponsor are dropping like flies refusing to be associated with this bigot, fans are refusing to attend,Redskins name change and even recording artist have demanded that their music be pulled from the game. But why does it take offending a certain group of people cause such a reaction, while other offenses register little interest or fan fare? Since 1932 the Washington Redskins have been offending many with their name, and despite being aware of the history associated with the offensive name nothing has changed.

Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the 31 other owners possess the authority to force Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the dan snyder and roger goodellname, none of them have been compelled to do so. I find it down right absurd that Goodell can express his disdain for the comments made by Sterling while also having a franchise that’s name is racially insensitive and offensive. Native Americans only make up 2% of the United States population, will they have to quadruple their numbers before their voices are finally heard? What will it take for NFL players to boycott the league and refuse to stand for this injustice no more? An injustice anywhere should enrage us all and inspire us to act. But first the NFL, their sponsors, and the owner must be compelled to act, it has not happened in 82 years, will it happen in year 83. Three months on the job Adam Silver took a stand, when will you? You already flaked once Mr. Goodell with an absurd response, will finally right this apparent wrong? Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Super Bowl XLVIII: Who wins? Defense or League MVP

richard sherman and peyton manningOffense sales tickets, defense wins championships. Although regular seasons are often highlighted by big plays and high scoring affairs, the postseason has proven time and time again to be a totally different animals. Teams with high-powered offenses may have what it take to make it to Super Bowl, but history suggests that it has rarely proven to be enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in victory.

Only four Super Bowl winners were led by dynamic offenses (Ram 00′ Colts 07′ Saints 10′ Packers 11′). Although all four of these teams kevin dyson and london fletcherwere led by league MVPs they each had dynamic play makers on the defensive-side of the ball who made THE PLAY to seal the win ( London Fletcher, Rams 00′ Bob Sanders, Colts 07′  Tracy Porter, Saints 10′ & Clay Matthews 11‘).

History appears to be on the Seattle Seahawks side because of their dominant defense. Since the Legion of BoomSeahawks offense has been pedestrian at times their defense led by the Legion of Boom will be relied on heavily to slow down the potent record-setting Broncos offense, a task they are more than capable of doing.

But history also suggests that the Denver Broncos armed with a league MVP certainly possess the essential ingredient of past Super Bowl teams peyton manning aaron rodgers drew breeswho won without the luxury of having a dominant defense. Every team who has won a Super Bowl without a dominant defense were led by a Canton-bound league MVP quarterback, and Peyton Manning certainly fits that criteria to a tee.

When the clocks strikes zero and a champion is crowned history will repeat itself yet again. If the Seahawks win, the moniker defense wins championships will be affirmed. If the Broncos win, the league MVP Tyree catchCanton-bound quarterback exception will rain true as well, for the fifth time in 14 years.

How will Super Bowl XLVIII be remembered?  Birth of a dynasty or the end of an era. Each Super Bowl has highlights that we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we witnessed it. What dynamic play will we witness on Superbowl Sunday that we all will add to our ever growing sports highlight list? Stay tuned… I know I will.

 

 

NFL Training Camp Reality Check

Green Bay Packers training campEvery year 32 NFL teams attempt to either improve on a disappointing season or try to duplicate the success of season’s past. After the big name free agents have been signed and the next crop of rookies have shaken the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, playtime is over, the suits are off and the real work begins.

Although the colors that NFL fans wear varies in colors and stripes their passion is all the same but which team is destined to disappoint and which team poised to surprise? EachMaclin Koppen Pitta football season we are assured of three certainties: (1) An injury will occur ruining a team’s playoff chances; (2) An undrafted free agent or late round pick will have a breakout season; (3) The preseason Super Bowl Favorite will fall short.

Last year sixth round pick running back Alfred Morris entered Washington Redskins training camp as an unknown that became a star who ended the season fourth in the league in rushing and played an intricate role in the Redskins resurgence. Small school prospect Bobby Wagner from perennial powerhouse Utah State made his presence felt with the Seattle Seahawks finishing seventh in the league in tackles. Which rookie rg3 colin kaepernick russell wilsonfrom the 2013 class will go from unanimous to stardom?

Although pundits have crowned the San Franciso 49ers as Super Bowl favorites each year we are reminded that games are won and lost with grit, blood, sweat, and tenacity. In the NFL nothing is given every inch must be earned, and each game will be tougher than the next. Now that opposing defensive coordinators have had an entire summer to study the tendencies of Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kapernick what will these promising second year starters do for an encore?

nfl training camp mapWith training camp now in full swing in small towns all over the country each day a new revelation is revealed. Although no games have been played or touchdowns recorded training camp will dictate the fate of all 32 teams, and ultimately determine if your team hoists the Lombardi or is forced to go back to the drawing board. Training camp may just be practice, but remember practice make perfect. Stay tuned…I know I will.

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

NFL Veteran Reality Check: Signed today, cut tomorrow

you are firedUnlike wine which only gets better with time the time span of an NFL athlete has an expiration date. No matter how intensity the veterans off season workout may be every player on the gridiron will lose the battle to father time. Each year the NFL get an infusion of new faces, fresh legs, and new talent and in  order to make room for the next group of stars veterans are forced to either retire, be cut, or waived. The franchise cornerstones of fans favorite teams struggle accepting this inevitable fate and often fail to leave with their pride intact.

The NFL waiver wire is filled with players who have collected their fair share of honors atBrian Urlacher Chicago Bears the height of their career who are now unemployed looking for work. Even Canton-bound Hall-of-Famers like former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and 2011 Defensive MVP Charles Woodson must find a new home place to finish the final years of their career.

Reality CheckThe brutality and sheer violence of the NFL game played on the gridiron is nowhere near as intense as the cold truths issued out by an NFL franchise front office. At the prime of a franchise player’s career he can do no wrong but with each new acquisition or draft selection the same player many viewed to be irreplaceable will one day be deemed an expendable asset.

Although a few of the former All-Pro players will receive another chance at stardom, majority of them will be forced to accept the reality that their time in the NFL is done. Which veteran who once filled stadiums and excited masses will be left waiting in vain for that call thatFalcons sign Steven Jackson will never come? Ex- Pittburgh Steelers linebacker, James Harrison? Ex – New York Jets linebacker Byron Scott? Ex- Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney? Ex- Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner?  In time the answer to these questions and more will be revealed because in the NFL its not the guy in pads but the guy in the tailored suit with matching cuff-lings who will end their career in the NFL. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 EST & Sat 1030 EST

NFL Free Agency: Its how you spend NOT how much you spend that makes the difference

2013 NFL Free AgencyNFL Free Agency is 24 hours away and several NFL franchises have a lot of money to spend while other teams have only lent in their pockets will be relegated to the sidelines forced to find value with their pennies.

Free agency is an invaluable tool that benefits players who wish to maximize their value and teams looking to add the missing piece to make a long playoff run. The NFL Free Agency period has been an off season fixture although high-priced acquisition make headlines year in and year out it is rare that the team that spends the most cash hoists the Lombardi Trophy at season’s end.

For years the Washington Redskins have been the biggest spenders on the freeWashington Redskins Spending Spree agency market, foolishly handing out lucrative contracts to big name players way past their prime in Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders to 5 year contracts for a combined salary of $90 million dollars after their 15th years in the league. Or who can forget $100 million contract the Redskins gave Albert Haynesworth whose poor conditioning and bad attitude led him right out of the league. Redskins owner Dan Snyder can spent nearly $330 million on big name free agents and still has yet to get past the second round of the NFL playoffs.

Although it seems that Snyder has finally learned his lesson, it appears that several franchises may receive a similar reality check this off-season. The Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts appears to be the three franchises with the deepest pockets this year.

mike wallace 2012 game logsThe Dolphins are reportedly a favorite to land wide receiver Mike Wallace who is believed to be the top wideout available in free agency. But before the ink dries on his contract the Dolphins should be reluctant because Wallace struggles with drops and has some diva-like  tendencies, frequently giving up on routes and quitting when the ball is not coming his way. Dolphin fans remember we buy Advil for headaches we don’t spend $30 million to guarantee them.

The Browns and Colts are reportedly in a bidding war for the services of defensive end paul kruger ray lewis ed reed baltimore ravensPaul Kruger, numbers have allegedly reached an absurd $10 million dollars per year. Although Kruger was a dominant force during the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl run, he failed to record a single sack during the regular season. Clearly Kruger’s postseason performance has clouded the judgement of two franchises whose desperation will only lead to disappointment.

After the dream team failure it would have been reasonable to presume that the philadelphia eagles dream teamPhiladelphia Eagles would resist the bait of big name free agents. However, news of their reported interest in former Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook who is rumored to be demanding to be the highest paid tight end in the NFL says otherwise. Cook is commanding $8-10 million and it appears the Eagles and the Dolphins may be the only two franchises dumb enough to meet his demands.

Free Agency was created to serve as an equalizer, to provide franchises an opportunity to go from worst to first. However, year in and year out the franchises with the biggest pockets disappoint their fan bases by remaining in the division cellar, and reminding us spendthat it’s not how much you spend, but how you spend which separates a title contender from a pretender. When the clock strikes twelve NFL March Madness will begin… Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Tues/Thurs 630 EST & Sat 1030 EST

Derrick Rose and Robert Griffin III – why patience is a virtue, knee-d I say more?

rg3 and derrick roseFor nearly a decade the city of Chicago and Washington D.C. sports franchises have been mired in mediocrity and disappointment as fans of the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bulls have been relegated to  cherishing the past due to the endless years of disappointment.

However, after years of poor personnel moves and there fair share of draft busts and free agent signings the Redskins and the Bulls were fortunate to have innovators and future of the NFL and the NBA fall into their lap. After years of making all of the wrong moves all the Redskins and the Bulls had to do was hand their selection to the commissioner to make it official.

When the Bulls selected Derrick Rose with the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft derrick rose fansno one expected the hometown kid to reach elite status in such a short time. Rose revitalized his hometown and restored hope to a franchise that had become an after thought after his Airness retired. Blessed with elite athleticism and maturity beyond his years Rose lead the Bulls to the best record in the NBA and collected a MVP in only his third year. Lead by one of their the city of Chicago embraced Rose who embodied the toughness, grit, and swagger of  his hometown. However, chatter of championships was reduced to a whimper when Rose tore his ACL and MCL in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs.

The Redskins also appeared poised to return to their era of dominance when they selected 2011 Heisman winner Robert Griffin III with the second pick in the griffin iii and fansNFL Draft. Blessed with Olympic speed and a howitzer for an arm Griffin took the entire the league by storm with his jaw dropping athleticism and precision passing. A franchise known more for draft bust and free agent blunders had finally struck gold. Although the Redskins were not expected to contend for a title the fate of the franchise was dealt a harsh blow when Griffin III went down in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.

These two promising stars have more in common than the Adidas apparel that they bothrg3 d rose adidas and acl injuries endorse. Despite their young ages Rose and Griffin carry the weight of a city and a franchise on their broad shoulders. As each continues down their long road to recovery the pressure too return is immense due to the NFL and the NBA crowning them as the future of their perspective leagues.

Although some injuries are unavoidable both young stars fueled by competitiveness played through the pain which ultimately lead to their torn ACL injuries. The Bulls are pressuring Rose to return after the All-Star break and the Redskins are angling to pencil Griffin III in as their week 1 starter.

rg3 and derrick rose draftedBoth Rose and Griffin III possess once in a generation talent and their future is bright but if they truly wish to make a last imprint for their teams patience must be a virtue. Many players have failed to reach greatness because they faltered under pressure, for the sake of their careers and their franchises I hope Griffin and Rose don’t do the same. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrkslpsprtz2)

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google