Dallas Cowboys versus the St. Louis Rams: What a Lovely Fiasco

Originally written on my WordPress blog.

Dallas and St. Louis. Many Rams fans consider this to be a rivalry. I’m not sure what most Dallas fans think of that. I’m not even sure what I think about that. Many pinpoint to the old Cowboys/[Los Angeles] Rams days of the late 1970s up to the mid-point of the 1980s where they met in ‘78, ‘79, ‘83, and ‘85.

You haven’t seen too much of that lately. During the last couple of seasons, the Rams have been the lambs and the Cowboys, well, have been short of a playoff win since 1996, having gone through quarterbacks like Quincy Carter, Steve Hutchinson, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe, Vinny Testeverde, etc. until they found a gem in a man by the name of Tony Romo, who happens to pimp Jessica Simpson like a ‘92 Dodge Viper.

The Rams, on the other hand, have happened to win a few playoff games since 1996, including two Super Bowl appearaces (1999, win; 2001, loss), about six playoff wins (counting the Super Bowl XXXIV win) since ‘96 (or, more accurately, since January 16, 2000).

Dallas and St. Louis met last season, which saw the Cowboys defeat the Rams in an impressive 35-7 win, as Tony Romo dominated statistically by passing for over 300 yards, and compensating for a botched snap by picking up the ball and running for an untouched 15- or 20- or-so yards down the field.

This year, for Romo, the story is different. Does he sit or does he play? A broken pinkie hinders his decision. Romo says he wants to play through the injury and lead his team to a victory. Cowboys fans’ opinions vary. “I think Johnson should start — a healthy Johnson is a lot more safe than a banged up Romo,” one fan emitted. Another offered a unique view: “Brad Johnson’s immobility will kill the ‘Boys if he plays. He will end up getting Little-Longed (term dubbed by when you’re hit by either Rams’ defensive ends Chris Long or Leonard Little) before too long. The thing about the Rams is that their secondary is weak, and to attack that exploit in their coverage, Johnson will need some to throw the ball and time to escape the pocket. The good thing about him is that he has a quick release.”

The significance between this year’s game and last year’s game is amusing. Last year, it was the Rams who were banged up coming into Dallas. Marc Bulger and his broken ribs, Steven Jackson not even playing, Orlando Pace being out for the year, and the dismal offensive line could not protect Bulger. In effect, Romo tossed the football 339 yards for three touchdowns and a sole interception.

The Rams need to look for a way to patch their secondary. Now that Dallas has recently acquired wide receiver Roy Williams, everything looks a little blurry for St. Louis again. Patrick Crayton caught two touchdowns and had a career high 184 receiving yards against the Rams last year. I think the Rams can vouch for my statement that they don’t want to let that happen again.

And so the Rams shouldn’t. Jim Haslett, interim coach trying to change the ways of the team after taking over for the mediocre Scott Linehan, fired the team up for a win last Sunday against the Redskins in Washington, 19-17. If anything, the players and the rest of the coaching staff respect Haslett. Linehan lost the team a long time ago. They seem to want to work hard now that they have a winning attitude in place. Rumor has it that if the Rams win at least six games this year, Haslett will be offered the 2009 coaching position.

This Sunday is the Rams’ Super Bowl. This Rams offense still has to explode. That could happen.

Orlando Pace may be out this weekend, but Marc Bulger is feeling lucky. The Rams’ receiving corps is finally stable and ready to get out onto the field. In hopes that the Cowboys double cover Torry Holt, possession receiver Keenan Burton and speed demon Donnie Avery will be finding seams in the Dallas’ secondary to give the ‘Boys a scarce reason to be on their heels.

Steven Jackson is poised for a big game rushing. He had over 100 total yards last week (rushing and receiving combined), but he’s bound to be putting up Jackson-esque numbers on the ground sooner or later, as the media hype that surrounded him a year ago is now shifting away, lessening the pressure or, the ‘monkey off his back,’ per se.

I think Dallas will be ready, though. Or else they should be. They have lost two of their last three games (and barely escaped Cincinnati after the Bengals made an ardent comeback in the end of the game), and are in dire need of a win. Perhaps ‘dire need’ may be an over-exaggeration, but what can you do when your best receiver is hanging his head on the sidelines and yelling at the coaches, and you throw for three consecutive times in overtime, swindling Marion Barber, who ran in a key touchdown in the fourth quarter against Arizona last weekend? I can’t blame Terrell Owens for opening his mouth last week, but then again, I don’t have the whole side of the story like Cowboys fans do. I’ve read a couple of articles about the Cowboys’ struggles against Arizona, but other than that, nothing.

The Rams will have to put some points on the board this Sunday — there’s no doubt about it. The Cowboys are going to light up the scoreboard no matter how much time you give them. The offense has so many eclectic emanations for either quarterback (Romo or Johnson) to choose as receivers, not to mention Marion Barber. I would add Felix Jones, but according to reports, he’s set to be out of the game this Sunday.

The Rams defeated the Redskins because of their special teams play. Whether you want to believe it or not, the Rams may very well have the best punter in the league in Donnie Jones, who has been kicking the football flawlessly this season, not to mention a man made of money — also known as Josh Brown — booting field goals.

The Rams can’t rely on a fumble return for a touchdown and a couple of field goals to save them this Sunday. Marc Bulger will have to dispatch some damage on the Cowboys’ defense, as well as Steven Jackson will have to bruise through their defense, taking time off the clock and adding points as the game ensues. Dallas will have to find a way to exploit the Rams’ secondary like most teams have done this season (sans the Redskins).

Dallas Cowboys. St. Louis Rams. What a lovely fiasco.


Registered Member
Must go with Cowboys! Even though Romo is probably out. I figure they will re-group and get their s--- together. Cowboys are so unpredictable now. Even Aikman has come back to give a little pep talk.

Please, please, God-of-all-sports, send Jessica Simpson to Antartica. Talk about a hanger-on!


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
IT should be a good game, personally I think the Cowboys will win this game, even though the Rams defeated the Skins last week. The Cowboys are just to strong even without Romo, they'll just give Barber the ball more and he's going to destroy that Rams defense.

Also if Johnson is playing, I think he has enough good receivers to get the job done.
From the blog I wrote about the game today:

"The 2008 St. Louis Rams just beat the 2008 Dallas Cowboys 34-14.

No, I wasn’t drunk or inebriated when I typed the above and I’m not completely delusional by bordering on complete hubris at the moment.

In 2007, the Dallas Cowboys spanked the injury-riddled Rams by tossing up 35 points on them, as the Rams only scored 14. This year, the Cowboys were the injury-riddled team, except the Rams put up 34 on the perch and allowed — in effect, if you don’t count the touchdown Brad Johnson tossed with under two minutes — only seven points, and that was in the first drive, when it looked like Dallas was Dallas and St. Louis was St. Louis.

But it was much more than that. The story prolongs. From then on it was total domination. A play-action fake to Steven Jackson had Marc Bulger stepping back and zoning in on a wide-open post pattern-executed Donnie Avery, the speed demon rookie out of the University of Houston.

The Rams scored two more times in the first quarter with two runs by Steven Jackson (1-yard, 8-yards).

The Cowboys continued to sputter. The Rams continued to augment the game’s deficit.

In the third quarter, Steven Jackson ripped off a 56-yard run for a touchdown that pretty much sealed the game. Jackson, being shied away from the media spotlight due to the likes of Adrian Peterson, came into the game with a chip on his shoulder, still needing to bust out a huge game. Who better to dominate than a team like Dallas, who was encompassed by media outlets the whole week while the Rams were utterly shunned.

These new guys in St. Louis (new guys not being Torry Holt or Orlando Pace) are not the Greatest Show on Turf. They have no identity. They’re still 2-4, working back from starting 0-4 under Scott Linehan. The team’s ambiance under Jim Haslett is mesmerizing to Rams fans alike.

But will it last?

I pose that question aloud because Chip Rosenbloom (Owner) told Haslett that if the Rams won six games this season, he [Haslett] would be handed the head coaching job. Haslett coached in New Orleans for six seasons, even winning coach of the year once and taking the Saints to the playoffs and giving them their first win in years (against, ironically, the Rams). He was fired following the 2005 season that saw the Saints play in several different arenas due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina. However, given the talent he had to work with there compared to the talent he’s working with in St. Louis, I’m sure he appreciates the personnel under the arch right now.

But will it last?

The question lingers heavily. Say the Rams do manage to win six games — does he carry the momentum into next season and the Rams become NFC West champions? Or does the team tank? I remember having lofty expectations coming into the 2007 season, after the Rams went 8-8 in 2006, winning their last three games that year, showing life and possibly a cue for an NFC West-champion type of season. However, as the team was faltered by injuries and bad coaching, the record for 2007 stood at 3-13.

Going in 2008, the Rams looked like the worst team in the NFL. I mean, think about it:

Killed by Philadelphia. . . looked good against New York until they put up 28 points in seven minutes in the fourth quarter. . . smashed by Seattle. . . looked good against the Bills, and had a lead until the first play of the fourth quarter when Trent Green threw a T.I.N.T (touchdown-interception — a new name for the ‘pick six,’ (dubbed by Bill Simmons) when a player returns an interception for a touchdown).

Then the Rams fire Scott Linehan. Linehan tearfully tells the team goodbye, telling them that they’re winners, even though they didn’t win under team. Fire to a week later, and the Rams bash the Washington Redskins (well, maybe not bash, but the ‘Skins ended up having a 3-turnover game and Josh Brown hit a game winning field goal).

People called the Rams overrated. Hell, maybe they still are. Maybe. Just maybe.

They said the Rams couldn’t score. Today, Sunday, they proved that they COULD score, with three rushing touchdowns (courtesy of Steven “Action” Jackson) and one 42-yard touchdown pass by Marc Bulger that saw a connection to rookie Donnie Avery.

The Cowboys were injured. But that doesn’t mean a lick right now. Sure, Tony Romo would have played a lot better than Brad Johnson, as Johnson was throwing inaccurate passes left and right, missing receivers over and over, with the rest of the Dallas offense incurring penalties. But what do you say about that Dallas defense? It’s no surprise that the secondary was bad before this week, but what about their run D? The Rams’ o-line is considered to be one of the worst in the league. They had a few stops on Steven Jackson, but the beast could not be contained no longer.

I’m still skeptical about the Rams. I’m going to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the season, but muse on this:

I told people over and over last year, you give the Rams these three things: 1.) a coach with experience who will produce a positive effect on the team and have them prepared, 2.) an at least MODERATELY healthy team, and 3.) Give Bulger an offensive line that will give him time to throw a football.

You give the Rams those three things, and they’re playoff contenders. Scott Linehan was a problem, injuries were a problem, the offensive line was a problem. The defense has been a problem, but they have stepped up immensely. I don’t know what the followings weeks will see for the Rams. They play against the Patriots in New England this weekend, and head to Arizona to play the divisional rival Cardinals next week. Will the Rams be 4-4, 2-6, or 3-5? That’s a solid question. After today’s game, I’m actually anticipating to know the answer to that question.

Finally, watching football is fun again."


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
What a horrible game from Johnson, he threw three interceptions, I'm so mad because there's no reason why the Rams should of won that game, the run defense was horrible. I think this was the first time that Jackson broke 100 yards this season. It's horrible lost from the Cowboys.


Staff member
Well I was at the game and that was the most exciting game I've ever been too in the Edward Jones Dome. Jackson was electric and the defense really stepped up...I cant believe we did that but boy o boy was I happy to beat the Gayboys that handily.