Little did I know at the time I snapped this pic early in the first quarter, that this was as close as the Cowboys would get to the end zone against the Bucs this past Sunday. Normally when I watch Dallas play in the friendly confines of my man cave, I sync up my satellite radio to hear the Cowboys radio broadcast. As this game unfolded, I was wishing I was there and imaging Brad Sham and Babe Laufenberg commenting on how this 10-6 snoozer was setting back the league 75 years. I can always count on their broadcast being entertaining and bringing levity whether the game is a classic between two top teams or like this one, where neither team had gotten to 200 yards of offense midway through the third quarter.
The Cowboys could not get Tony Romo back quick enough. They went 0-7 without him. For the critics who don't view him as an elite quarterback, the evidence has always proven they can't win without him. Simply put, he is one of those players that makes those around him better. His escape-ability in the pocket makes a very good offensive line even better. Having a potent passing attack makes the run game better. And he can diagnose a defense and check into a better play, something sorely lacking when Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel were at the helm. See the theme there? I kept using the word "better". Dallas' playoff hopes are on life support but a weak division gives them a glimmer of hope but no margin for error. I did see an interesting scenario that if the Cowboys won their next three, the Giants lose next two and both the Eagles and Redskins lost 2 of 3, the whole division would be 5-7. Not impossible but a lot has to happen there.
Speaking of quarterback play, I have to say how much I admire Ben Roethlisberger. His toughness is so old-school. While his linebacker mentality does bring about some of his injuries, you can never question his heart and desire to win as he came off the bench this past week with a foot injury that originally had forecast him being out several weeks. If he can stay upright, the Steelers could make some noise in the playoffs. They haven't played their best football yet and if they get hot, they are a team no one will want to face. And for all his great quarterbacking, his tackle on Nick Harper of the Colts after a Jerome Bettis fumble saved that playoff game and fueled a championship run in '06
A little history last night in Orlando, as 7-foot-6 centers Tacko Fall, of UCF, and Mamadou Ndiaye, of UC Irvine went toe to toe in UC Irvine's 61-60 overtime win. They are the two tallest centers to start a game and are two of the 40 tallest people in the WORLD. The other interesting tidbit is that both hail originally from Senegal. Ndiaye is a junior and key component to UC Irvine making the NCAA tournament last year and nearly upsetting Louisville. Fall, the freshman, got the better of the matchup early with a couple of blocked shots on Ndiaye, who rebounded after foul trouble to play a key role late in the game.
That's it for this week. Please remember to follow me on Twitter @jeffallen_88.
Jeff Allen worked in Sportstalk radio in Orlando from 1983 to 1996. most notably as the Program and Sports Director at WGTO in the early 90's, anchoring morning sports reports and various sportstalk shows. Now, after many years, Jeff is deciding to have some fun again to share sports opinions through this blog, on Twitter @jeffallen_88 and with his podcast available on iTunes, SoundCloud and TuneIn.