I did a '5 Questions' segment with 'A Cowboy Nation' earlier this week. Now, it's time to turn to the heavy-hitter among Dallas Cowboys blogs, SB Nation's own 'Blogging the Boys.' Dave, the head honcho over at 'Boys, and I traded questions.
Here is the Q&A I did with Dave.
Big Blue View: Sunday's loss was a very difficult one for the 'Boys, obviously. Do you think they bounce back and make the playoffs, or are they in a lot of trouble?
Blogging the Boys: Oh they're in trouble all right, but they still have every chance to make the playoffs. Yes, the schedule down the stretch for us is brutal, Giants (home), Ravens (home) and Philly (road). Injuries have killed us this year, a few more happened in the Steelers game that will cost us players. There are some obstacles for this team to overcome to make the playoffs, but I still believe they will. Of course, that's partly the fan in me wishing it so, but this Cowboys team does have the potential to play with anybody in the league. We play much better on offense at home and our defense is finally rounding into shape and helping the team instead of hurting it. We have to beat you guys though, or the ship will start sinking fast.
BTB: Personally I don't think so. I've believed all along that Wade Phillips had to take this team deep into the playoffs or Jerry Jones would become impatient and want a fresh start when moving into the new stadium next year. This team has been built for the past two years to win Super Bowls, but it only has one playoff loss and a troubling path to even make the playoffs this year to show for it. Wade's future is tied to how this team finishes this year. Of course, Jerry Jones could make me a liar, predicting what Jerry will do is a tough business.
BBV: I have been reading your site this week, and I am seeing a lot of criticism of Tony Romo. Romo obviously had a bad game against Pittsburgh. Considering the impassioned Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo debates we have had with Cowboys' fans, the Romo-bashing still caught me by surprise. Where do you stand on Romo right now?
BTB: I haven't lost faith in Tony Romo as the Cowboys QB, I think he'll do great things for this franchise. But I will criticize games like the one he turned in against the Steelers. The consensus is that if he had even a decent game Sunday the Cowboys would have won. So there's a bit of a firestorm over his play. The criticism of Romo stems from the Cowboys frustrations in Dec/Jan and Romo's uneven play in some of those games. But remember this is only his third season with significant playing time, so even though he's in his late 20's, he's still maturing as a QB. For me, he is under scrutiny down the stretch as I would like to see him take command of this team and cut down on his turnovers. Ball security is my number one issue with him at this point.
BTB: I'm old-school (in reality just old) so I still have a love-to-hate the Redskins mentality and in some ways consider that the biggest rivalry. But I have no problem ginning up a healthy hate for the Giants, especially after the playoff game last year which was a huge loss for the Cowboys. Earlier in the decade, the Eagles were the team we hated and wanted to beat, mainly because they were winning and then the whole T.O. brouhaha. In some ways the NFC East is kind of a revolving rivalry depending on who the big-dog is in the division, and you guys are that right now. Still, I don't think I'll ever let go of the Redskins as the biggest rival for the Cowboys, that one is a constant for me.
BTB: Right now we don't know much about Barber's status, they say it looks good for him to play but they said that last week, too. He isn't practicing yet but Wade has said it isn't necessary for him to practice to play. So I think we'll be looking at a late week/gametime decision on Barber. Jerry tried to backtrack on questioning Barber's toughness and made a plausible case that what he said had been misunderstood. Still, the best thing would have been to keep his mouth shut on the subject. Marion Barber is as tough as they come, he's absorbed big hits and meted out some of his own, the whole thing was silly for Jones to comment on.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Dave is probably right on the rotating nature of NFC East rivalries. Whoever is on top has the nastiest rivalry at that moment.