Finishing off what is turning out to be 'Cowboys Day' here at Big Blue View, here is this week's 5 Questions with DHalprin from Blogging The Boys.
My answers to his questions should be posted over there on Friday. Here is my Q&A with him.
Big Blue View: Let's deal with the Jessica Simpson thing. We read all the stories about her relationship with Tony Romo being a distraction, the trip to Mexico and all that. Is there real concern among Cowboys' fans about the 'Jessica Simpson Factor?'
Blogging The Boys: Well, I would say that there is real concern among some fans, I don't happen to fall into that category. Sure it makes for an amusing storyline and something out of the ordinary for people to write and talk about, but I can't imagine it has any real affect on Tony Romo. She's been at games he won and at games he lost. So he has a famous girlfriend? Heck, Tom Brady's had two (or more) and he has a kid by one, and he's doing OK. I guess the point for me is that I don't really care who he dates, he's been getting the job done. Being the QB of the Cowboys when they're winning always comes with some celebrity anyway. Wade Phillips told them to get away and relax last weekend, so Tony did that.
BBV: The Cowboys lost two of their last four games. The Giants have played very well in their last three games. Any concern on your part that the Cowboys will continue to sputter, or do you anticipate that they will play well?
BTB: I anticipate the Cowboys will play well, but I do that every week this season because they have been for the most part. I could offer excuses for some of the play down the stretch, Romo hurt his thumb in the Philly game, we were rolling over Carolina until T.O. went out, and the Redskins game meant nothing to us. But more than that, this team is rested; they are injury-free except for T.O. and I anticipate he'll at least be effective in the game - and it's the playoffs. I believe they'll raise the level of their game and match the intensity of any team playing. They know that a sterling season can be wrecked by an early playoff exit, I expect them to get after it.
BBV: A lot of people, myself included, snickered when Wade Phillips was hired to replace Bill Parcells. The Cowboys won the division even though I still don't think Phillips is as good a coach as Parcells. Even with the recent struggles, are you happy with Phillips and do you think the Cowboys can win a Super Bowl with him calling the shots?
BTB: How could I not be happy with Wade Phillips? He just guided this team to the best Cowboys season in a long time and he guided us to the best record in the NFC and put 12 guys in the Pro-Bowl. I mean, there's not much more we could have asked for out of Wade Phillips. Like I've said previously, it's the playoffs that really matter and will be the final arbiter of our season, but up to this point, there's nothing to complain about. Of course I think we can win the Super Bowl with Wade calling the shots, I'm sure you feel that way about Coughlin, the Jaguars feel that way about Del Rio, the Packers under McCarthy, etc. At this point, I think any team feels like they can get it done with their coach, and we're no different.
BBV: Speaking of Parcells, he seems to be raiding the Cowboys. First, Jeff Ireland and now possibly Tony Sparano. I don't know who Dallas's free agents are, but I'd guess the Tuna might chase a couple of them, as well. Any concern about what Parcells is doing?
BTB: I don't like losing talented people like Jeff Ireland and possibly Tony Sparano, but this stuff goes on all the time in the NFL. With Parcells it's more visible and pronounced, but a couple of years ago when Sean Payton left us to coach the Saints he raided some of our coaches, free agents and such. It happens all over the league every offseason. Guys like to hire guys they are familiar with just like in the real world. It's also the price of having a successful season; almost everybody who needed a head coach was interviewing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for that position. It's just business.
BBV: Dallas has beaten the Giants twice. Are you surprised to see the Giants still standing at this point in the season, and do you think the two victories could cause complacency on the part of the Cowboys.
BTB: I am a little surprised that the Giants righted their ship, not because of talent-level, but because of some of the late-season swoons you'd had and because I thought Shockey's absence might hurt you more than it has. I know things had been shaky under Coughlin the last couple of years but he, Eli and the rest of the crew have come together to play some outstanding football. Kudos to a job well done and for upholding NFC East honor in the playoffs. But no, I don't think the Cowboys two wins caused any kind of complacency on their part. We're not crazy, we know that in this league and at this level of the playoffs, it's a new season. The Cowboys will be ready emotionally; it will come down to executing physically in this game.
Thanks, Dave! Remember to check in on Blogging The Boys to keep up with game news from a Cowboys' perspective.