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Week 1 - Dallas Cowboys

Blognosticator - Neophyte

Welcome to the beginning of something we hope will become a feature you will look forward to every week during the regular season. As we are committed to the idea of making BGO a place driven by, and all about, member contributed content, we are launching a new member blog called Blognostications. It will be written by a different, staff selected, member each week and will feature that members take on the upcoming Redskins game, complete with his or her specific predictions on the final outcome, big plays, player stats, trick plays and on camera appearances by Dan Snyder. Ok, so maybe that last bit is optional. At the end of year, the member judged by the staff to have done the best job of blognosticating will be awarded a custom avatar and special title (staff not eligible).

With the change over in both Front Office and Coaching staff this year we thought asking someone to write up Game 1 based on the vanilla stuff we all hate seeing but hang on the edge of our seats over in Preseason was a bit unfair so I will be taking a crack at it, both to give those who follow something of a template (although this is not set in concrete and originality is certainly encouraged...hey, style points count here) and to save a member the potential embarrassment of not only being on a different page than the team but perhaps in a totally different book. The idea of thinking the Skins are approaching “War and Peace” when the truth might be closer to “Green Eggs and Ham” is very real and very scary (trust me, I am shaking as I write this).

So, welcome to Dallas Week, right out of the box. I don't know about you but I will have a tough time concentrating on work for the next few days and Sunday is going to suck because even though I will finally have the water of life that is real football to quench my thirst for the first time in some 7 months (as opposed to the vinegar of Preseason that the NFL would have me think is water) it will be rough waiting through pre-game shows, the early games, the late games and then Football Night in America for our team to throw down under the lights to open the 2010 season.

All I can say is I am glad the team is not on the road visiting the G-men again. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Twice. No thanks.

Living in Dallas, I can tell you that this place is full of hype for the Cowboys, even more so than a certain cable TV studio in Bristol CT. Tough to believe but true. Folks here believe that anything short of a Super Bowl win this year will be a complete failure and the bandwagon is well past the overload point, which I find odd considering that this team has struggled in preseason on the offensive side of the ball and early injuries to the line had the team seriously considering sitting Romo down for at least one game. It can also be argued that they completely neglected their biggest need in the off season . . . the offensive line.

So...let's get to the meat of this thing and put some skin on the line, shall we?

I think it is going to be a long night for the Dallas offense. I just don't see the left side of their line doing well against Orakpo and Haynesworth (the assumption here is obviously that Haynesworth will either start at RE or, after sitting for a couple of snaps so he isn't officially a starter, get the bulk of the work). I didn't consider Doug Free much of an upgrade over Flozell “False Start” Adams to begin with and Holland in for the injured Kozier is going to be over matched with Al in his face. In short, I think Dallas is going to have to do something to help these guys out or Romo is going to spend a good bit of time wearing Rak and Al like cheap suits. In all honesty, if Haslett has half the bag of tricks the players talk indicates he does, I think Dallas will open this season in Washington like they left the playoffs in Minnesota, with Romo on the run and the offense ineffective much of the night.

That said, I am not sure it will be a much better night for Kyle Shanahan's men. Trent Williams has been working against Orakpo for weeks so he is as ready as he can be for Ware but is that ready enough? I just don't know. The interior of our line had issues in two meetings last year with Ratliff and 2 of those 3 guys are still here so I am thinking I will be tired of hearing Jay's name by the end of the game, if not by the end of the first half. I'm pretty sure he made the Pro Bowl last year off his two games against Washington and my fear is he starts his campaign to be a Pro Bowler again with a strong first game.


Who Wins and the Score: Says here the Men of Shanahan open up his tenure here with a surprise win over the most valuable franchise in all of sports. Call it 27-17.

How they do it: Kyle will look to get his stars off to fast start and McNabb will spread it around, going 22 of 34 for 275ish. The Skins will get receiving TDs from Moss and Cooley while Portis adds a third one on the ground with a run from beyond the 30 while running for over a 100 on less than 20 carries. Gano adds to FGs to complete the scoring for our heroes.

Big Play: Banks on an electrifying punt return. He won't score on it but he will hang one of 50 or 60 yards on the Boys to set up one of the Redskins TDs. I call it electrifying because the only way we have seen 50 yards on a punt return in the last 4 years was if ARE went sideline to sideline.

The Other Half: Big night for the defense which opens with no less than 3 sacks of Romo, one coming on a wicked corner blitz by Carlos “Stone Hands” Rogers. I'm also seeing at least one INT by Hall and at least two stops for a loss by Fat Al.

Cowboy Stats: The news isn't all good though as Romo throws for 2 TDs, one to the usually MIA Roy Williams who will then disappear again. Felix Jones will also run for at leas a buck. I see McNabb getting picked at least once although Miss Cleo won't share who comes down with it for Dallas and he gets sacked twice but it won't be Ware who gets him. Instead, look for Ratliff and Spencer to do the honors.

Owner Sightings: The over/under for appearances by Dan Snyder on your TV screen is 3 and I'd bet the over if I were you.
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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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