Dallas Cowboys: 4-5 Falling Star – Many have questions. But who has answers? #dallascowboys

As the Dallas Cowboys continue to disappoint for yet another season news of suspended Coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints contract being voids has many in Dallas lost in the world of what-ifs. Although Dallas Cowboy owner and general manager Jerry Jones pledged his allegiance to Coach Garrett everyone knows he did not earn his billions by showing his hand. 

There was a time when the Cowboys were regulars in the Super Bowl however it seems that the consistency of winning has been replaced with unforgettable fourth quarter blunders that have left the Cowboy faithful lost and weary. It has been nearly fifteen years since the Cowboys have made it past the second round. During that time the Dallas Cowboys have mastered the fourth quarter collapse with flawless precision, Romo’s fumbled field goal snap in the 2009 playoffs still hurts many of my friends to this very day.

Currently sitting at 4-5 how the team performs the remainder of the season will make for an entertaining off-season that will not be short of drama and suspense. Although quarterback Tony Romo has taken a lot of heat while at the helm talks regarding a contract extension still remain unresolved. No one will contest the inconsistency of his play but signing him to an extension almost seems like a foregone conclusion due to the lack of studs available via the draft or free agency.

Head Coach Jason Garrett despite his high football acumen his Cowboys continues to fail to meet expectations despite the potential and talent available to produce an explosive offense. Cowboy owner Jerry Jones made his billions by knowing when to drill for oil and when the time has come to drill elsewhere. At the two-year mark many believe that the time has come to move on.

On last Sunday it was reported that Coach Sean Payton’s contract with the New Orleans Saints was voided making him available as a free agent to the highest bidder. Due to Sean Payton’s history with the Cowboys and his family living in Dallas many have made the Cowboys a prohibitive favorite to win the bidding war for his services.

If Sean Payton returns to run the show in the Big Easy do not be surprised to hear Oregon Coach Chip Kelly become an attractive commodity that’s offensive track record would certainly tickle the fancy of the billionaire oil man. Chip Kelly said no to the Buccaneers last year will he able to do the same to the Dallas Cowgirls Dallas Stadium and a impressive array of pieces on offense?

Despite their slow start, unlike Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins who has already conceded the season all is not lost in Dallas. The pieces to make a long playoff run are certainly there but how the season ends will make the Dallas Cowboys my top pick for Hard Knocks for the next off-season due to all of the drama that would certainly ensue. It is very possible that boisterous defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and his defense will be the key that ultimately determines the future of the franchise, and the fate of their head coach. What will be the first domino to fall? Will Romo get an extension. Stay tuned to America’s team I know I will – A. Denmark

The Return of the NFL Refs: How a win for the referees = a win for the NFL’s $25 Billion Dollar Empire

After the Hail Mary debacle on Monday Night between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers the five month stalemate between the NFL and Referee’s Association was resolved in time for the Thursday Night game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, who had lost nine straight to the opposition.

The NFL referees returned to a standing ovation from NFL fans and hugs and slaps on the back from the Baltimore Raven and Cleveland Brown players. Many will believe that NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell conceded due to player safety, threats of boycotts by players, pressure from picketing fans or the urging of our Commander-in-Chief,President Barack Obama.

This could not be further from the truth, the real reason the commissioner and his billionaire pals decided to finally give in was because it was a great business decision. Lets first be clear that with either referee officiating the games that the NFL was never at a threat of losing a cent of the $25 Billion Dollars that it collects annually. As with any top Fortune 500 company how one is viewed matters very little especially since companies such as the NFL are only fueled and driven by opportunities to increase capital gain.

The miscues from the Monday Night Football game sparked a media storm that the NFL only received on Super Bowl Sundays.  Everyone from the avid fan to my nine-year old niece who does not even know what a touchdown is had an opinion regarding the referee’s blown call in Seattle. Every local new network around the country spewed their discontent with the replacement referees from Al Roker, the weather man on NBC’s Today Show to Bill O’Reilly on Fox New’s No Spin Zone. Others may mistakenly view such attention negatively but the NFL seized on this opportunity of being in the headlines and saw it as an opportunity to increase viewership and ultimately regain the $30 million dollars that they had agreed to in their negotiation with the NFL Referee’s Association.

In business one never passes on an opportunity to increase profits and the NFL is no different. Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young did not need his law degree from BYU to see that everything comes secondary to the opportunity to make few more million here or there. The game on Thursday Night posted record numbers nearly doubling what was initially projected with a total of 8 million viewers.

Tomorrow after you loosen your tie, take off your suit jacket or exchange your church blouse for a jersey consider how many more people will be tuning into the game, not out of interest but merely curiosity to see the return of the NFL referees. These new viewers are the true reason the NFL finally conceded.  More viewers means new fans which of course causes higher ratings that ultimately results in more money.

While most who watch do so for the joy and love of the game NFL owner watch it for different reasons but since it takes $107 million to run a NFL franchise each year can you really blame them? As you waive your terrible towels or put on your favorite NFL team jerseys stay tuned to the madness that is the NFL…I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

 

 

NFL Week 3 Observations: Return of Dominant Defenses and the Demise of the Elite Quarterbacks

At the beginning of the season teams like the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers graced the covers of endless magazines and were considered shoe-ins to play for the Lombardi Trophy. Fans in New Orleans believed that making Drew Brees the highest paid player in the NFL would ensure that the Saints would operate without a hitch and contend for another Super Bowl.

However in only a short time the NFL has dealt its fans one harsh reality, that an unpredictable season awaits and the popular picks to win it all may struggle to even make playoffs. Last season was truly an exceptional one but the record-breaking offensive outputs are unlikely to be repeated EVER again. After being victimized by these potent offenses defensive coordinators around the league have had an entire off-season to prepare for the rigors of a long NFL season.

So far this season the NFL’s so-called elite quarterbacks (Brees, Manning, Brady, and Rodgers) have all struggled to adapt to the new wrinkles defenses have installed to beat them. The New Orleans Saints sit at 0-3 and so far this season Drew Brees has made a number of game changing decisions like the safety or the costly interception which cost the Saints the game against perennial doormat the Kansas City Chiefs.

Not to be out done, the two other 19 million dollar men Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have become shadows of themselves, their play on the gridiron is not matching the names on the back of their jerseys. For the first time in his thirteen year career Peyton Manning admitted being lost and confused when he attempted to explain his three interceptions to a stunned media room. Tom Brady was also at a loss for words when asked to explain the plight of the New England Patriots who with a loss next week may fall below .500 for the first time in nearly seven years.

Last night there were many times when NFL MVP Aaron Rodger also looked lost against the Seattle Seahawks, failing to read defenses quickly enough resulting in a NFL record 8 sacks in the first half. After nearly five years of offensive dominance by these elite quarterbacks it appears a new generation of defensive masterminds have arisen and made these future Hall of Famers finally look human.

Although there are still many more games left to play the revival of elite defenses is no mirage and the chess match which will occur throughout the season will truly be one to marvel at. A $19 million dollar quarterback used to guarantee you of a playoff run, we shall see if these old guys will have any new tricks. Are we witnessing a new era or the careers of these elite quarterbacks in decline, in 17 weeks we will know for sure. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

New Orleans Saints: No Coach No Problem, No Brees No Chance

For three years the New Orleans Saint fans have discarded their *Aints Paper Bags and grown accustomed to record-breaking offensive performances, NFC West Division Championships, and one of the best Super Bowl finishes ever. Since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy  the New Orleans franchise has apparently reached its peak and the glory years now appear to be distant memories due to Bounty Gate, Jonathan Vilma and Head Coach Sean Payton’s 1-year suspension, and Drew Bree’s ongoing contract negotiations.

Although the Saints front office can do nothing about the 1-year suspensions their failure to sign Dree Brees to a long-term contract has already cost the team their All-Pro Guard Carl Nicks who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because the Saints had to use their franchise tag on Brees. During the offseason Brees also lost a weapon at wide receiver in Robert Meacham who signed with the San Diego Chargers.

Such a troubling offseason for the New Orleans Saints combined with a stalemate on contract negotiations with Drew Brees serve as indicators that the end is near. The Saint front office is playing with fire by not meeting Drew Bree’s demands, which has been reported to be only a difference of five million dollars.

Early this summer, everyone bared witness as Peyton Manning Mania took the entire league by storm, and it ended with the 37-year old  quarterback with the fused neck signing with the Denver Broncos for 5 years, 96 million dollars. If this aging injury prone quarterback was able to fetch nearly 100 million dollars, imagine what a quarterback five years younger with no injury concerns combined with record-breaking production would fetch on the free agent market.

Two months ago I told my friends that Brees will be a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season and they all laughed at me claiming that Bree would not holdout due to his loyalty to the city of New Orleans. However, Brees still remained unsigned and has grown frustrated with the progress of contract negotiations.

I predict that Brees will become a free agent at the end of the season and I believe that once more information about Bounty Gate is made public that Sean Payton will either be fired or his contract will not be extended after the 2013-14 season. If Payton is not fired I believe he will strongly consider coaching elsewhere, especially if Brees does not return after the 2012-13 season. Why commit long-term if Brees is not at the healm?

All arrows would then point to the Dallas Cowboys, who would certainly enter the bidding war if Drew Brees were available, because clutch championship pedigree is hard to find, sorry Romo. Drew Brees thrived in New Orleans with second-rate receivers, imagine how productive he would be with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten at his disposal. This scenario would become even more compelling because Sean Payton has publicly stated that the Dallas Cowboy head coaching job is his dream, I think you can connect the rest of the dots.

Saints front office, your time is running out and other franchises will start licking their chops ready to start the Drew Brees sweepstakes #nfldecision2013 – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

The Battle of Inches: Coach Sean Payton and Saints Bounty-Gate Scandal

Al Pacino’s infamous “Inches” speech from Any Given Sunday rings loud in today’s world of sports. Payton’s decision to knowingly allow his team to run a bounty program on opposing quarterbacks calls into question his leadership.  Yes, I do place some blame on Defensive coach Greg Williams as the mastermind and enforcer of this program, but at the end of the day, the BUCK STOPS with the head coach. The person with final approval is who deserves principal blame.  I’m not mad at the idiot in the meeting who raises his hands and says we should have Mike Tyson perform his rap song at the homecoming concert this year. It’s the SGA President who’s second’s that motion and allows this foolish idea to actually happen that everyone should blame. Leaaaaaa-deeeeer-SHIP!

See, Payton believed that this program was going to make his DBs play harder, nastier, giving them an edge, inches to be exact – inches to get to victory. The problem here is that Sean Payton was sending a hidden message in allowing this program to proceed: that message “It’s ok. It’s ok to steal this inch from my opponent.

Really!! And it’s not just Sean Payton we see scrapping for extra inches. There are others out there who tried to gain an illegal or immoral advantage. In every instance, the coach or CEO will have an asterisk next to his name when the history books are written. Bill Belichick and Spygate, asterisk. Paterno and the Sundusky scandal, asterisk. He didn’t want to lose what he considered to be a “good coach.” Jim, the “great coach with the high moral compass”, at Ohio State not reporting player violations because he didn’t want his players to sit, asterisk. Bonds, Sosa, McGuire all not only tried to get inches, but yards with their steroid use, asterisk. Wall St. CEO’s allowing their companies to sell bad mortgages to home buyers who couldn’t afford it then turning around and selling the mortgages as package to overseas investors. Guess who needed a bailout and have low approval numbers among the general public, asterisk.

In every case where coaches and corporate CEO’s have tried to gain an advantage and lost, they’ve tainted their image, but perhaps more important, they’ve tainted their legacy. Their miscalculation will result in history always remembering them with a BUT and an asterisk next to his name. Call me old fashion, but I still think you can win the right way. It’s like Ray Lewis says in this video “We get one chance in life to do whatever you gonna do. To lay your foundation and make whatever mark your’re gonna make. Whatever legacy you’re going to leave…  because I’m pissed off for greatness. If you ain’t pissed off with greatness, you’re ok with being mediocre.”

You’re settling for mediocrity if you try to gain an inch the wrong way. Why taint your legacy and reputation, what you stood for, scratched and clawed for years to get, for just a few inches.

– Eatdrnkslpsprtz Guest Blogger Troy Perry (@troyperry07)

Demise of Coach Payton: The Offensive Genius who DOESNT GET IT

Just a week ago Commissioner Goodell suspended New Orleans Saints head coach for the entire year without pay for his role in Bounty-Gate 2009. Other members of his staff and Saints front office were also suspended, fined, and docked draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. Everyone who played a role in paying players to injure their opposition quickly issued a public apology acknowledging their lack of professionalism and disrespect for the game that has given them so much.

Since these penalties were handed down each of the accused have thread softly, everyone accept former Head Coach Sean Payton who is proving that even geniuses can be stupid. A coach who was not able to control his lockeroom or properly manage his staff is now trying to dictate the Saint franchise’s next move.

According to the guidelines of his suspension Payton is to not have any contact with Saints staff and front office representatives until the end of the 2012-2013 regular season. However the same offensive mastermind who broke numerous offensive records is now attempting to play the role of owner, general manager, and president of football operations.

Because of his poor choices the Saint franchise must now look for a new head coach and rumors suggest that Payton is trying  force the franchise to hire his mentor, Coach Parcells to fill in on an interim bases during his suspension. Although many may praise this is a wonderful move, such a decision would be a huge mistake. It would be a travesty if Coach Parcells replaces him on an interim bases because it indicate who is control of the organization, and also make a mockery of the Rooney rules, which requires a minority be interviewed for every head coaching vacancy.

The time has come for the Saints organizations to wash their hands of Bounty-Gate and the first step in the franchise restoring order is firing Sean Payton permanently. Although Saints fans will never forget how Sean Payton helped the Saint franchise restore hope to a hopeless city, as with athletes who have passed their prime, the time has come to move on.

 

We often criticize owners such as Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys) and Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) for being in the limelight and playing a critical role in decision making, but never would anyone question if they controlled their franchise. Its evident that Sean Payton does not get it, its imperative that the Saint owners take back control, no one person is bigger than the franchise. In life, there is a time to talk and a time to be quiet. Each of those punished for their role in Bounty-gate have been silent, its unfortunate that Sean Payton did not know that it was best for him to do the same. He does not get it, and the list of excuses he has given during the owner meetings this week are indicators that his time as the Saints Head Coach MUST come to an end.

Au revoir, mon chere !!!   A.Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprts)

Who Dat!?!?: Commissioner Goodell thats who! Goodell < Hammurrabi's Code

NFL Commissioner Goodell has often been criticized for not showing leniency toward players with his steep fines and suspensions that forced many players around the league to think before they leapt and pause before they spoke. In only a short span of time Roger Goodell has made it his mission to clean up the NFL image and protect the seal. After suspending Saints Head Coach Sean Payton for the year, and suspending former defensive coordinator indefinitely a message was sent to everyone in the league, from the players to the front office representatives.

Like the Under Armor Commercial, Commissioner Goodell has certainly ‘protected his house’ . Since taking over as the commissioner in 2006 the culture of the NFL has changed. Goodell believed that player safety and the integrity of the game needed to be preserved. As the amount of fines began to increase due to illegal hits and player misconduct a lot of players cried foul alleging that the punishments were too harsh or they criticized the appeals process.

But interestingly enough, the head coaches and coordinators stood silently choosing to not contest the suspensions or fines of their players. I don’t ever recall Coach Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers questioning the suspension and fines of Harrison or Coach Fisher of the Saint Louis Rams standing up for Cortlan Finnegan? Do you?

However, these coaches and coordinators are now crying foul as two of their own are suspended for jeopardizing the safety of players and compromising the integrity of the seal. I believe the decision by Roger Goodell is correct, no one is bigger than the seal and it important that coaches and NFL front offices be held to a higher standard. When others presumed that the commissioner would turn a blind eye or dish out a minimal punishment Roger stood pat.

In a country where we tout free will and freedom of expression, in the NFL there is one ruler and his power will neither be contested, questioned or overruled. Playing football in the NFL is a privilege not a right, and today everyone was given notice.  [Roger Goodell > Hammurabi’s Code (eye for an eye tooth for a tooth)]

Denmark Prognosis – Williams is a great defensive mind that could do wonders at the college level as a head coach. However, I believe that his loyalty will be tested. Will he snitch? Will Williams name names in an effort to get an opportunity to coach in the NFL again? This was the first round of suspensions, current and former Saints players start saving your checks because a hefty fine awaits or worst you may have played your last down in the NFL (i.e. Vilma, Fujita, Porter, and Ellis). – A.Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprtz)