Monday, December 31, 2012

America's Team: 2012 Season Review

This is the third and final installment of America's Team this year. (2012 Season Preview, 2012 Midseason Report)

For Dallas Cowboys fans, the 2012 NFL season was another roller coaster year that featured plenty of ups and downs. But at the end of the day, it was simply one of sheer disappointment. Finishing with a record of 8-8, America's Team is truly the epitome of mediocrity.


The Cowboys finished with the same record in 2011.


According to


1. The quality or state of being mediocre.
2. A person of mediocre ability.


Of only moderate quality; not very good: "a mediocre actor".

middling - moderate - indifferent - ordinary - mean


With the fickle nature of fandom or fanship, there will undeniably be countless subjective analytical statistics and arguments in regards to the shortcomings in coaching, the defense, and mostly of Tony Romo.

Romo is the quarterback of the team -- and the cliche about being the quarterback is that he will receive too much praise when the team wins and too much criticism when the team loses. I want to make things clear. I do not hate or even dislike Tony Romo. He is the quarterback of the football team I cheer for, so I will always support him strictly because of the star on his helmet. However, facts are facts.

Tony Romo is 1-6 in win-or-go home games in Week 17 or the postseason.

If you look at the story of Tony Romo, he has beaten the odds time and time again. He was a great athlete in high school, but still didn't earn a spot on a division I football team in college. He broke all the records at Eastern Illinois University and had his jersey retired, but still went undrafted in 2003. He was signed as a free agent and sat on the bench for 4 years before checking into a game against the New York Giants in 2006. An unbelievable journey. Anyone who discounts what Romo has accomplished is just being disrespectful. Fast forward to today, and he is one of the most marketable and highest paid players in all of sports.

Being the NFL superstar that Romo is, there is arguably nobody else in the league that is nitpicked under the microscope as much as he is. It comes with the territory. When you play for the same team and the same position as Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman -- both football legends -- you will be measured not by regular season wins or passing yards or quarterback rating or even playoff appearances. For Cowboys fans, you will solely be judged (and justifiably so) by how many championship parades you bring to the city of Dallas.

For all of his well documented late season struggles, Romo was unquestionably having the best December of his career. He was giving all his naysayers the subliminal middle finger as the team traveled to Washington for their deciding game. Before throwing three devastating interceptions against their most hated rival, Romo had thrown for 10 touchdowns and only 1 pick in the month of December. He put the team on his back and got them into a position to win the NFC East division. A remarkable feat considering the team was 3-5 midway through the 2012 campaign.

The first interception was vintage Romo. He was backpedaling, didn't get his feet set, and floated a ball over the receiver. I can live with that. It was early in the game and it was just a poorly thrown ball. It was more of a physical mistake rather than a mental one.

The second one was a clear display of Romo's lack of arm strength, severely under throwing the ball right into the hands of the defender. This one made me cringe a little bit. I understand his thought process. It was one on one coverage on the outside so he wanted to give his receiver a chance. But in that situation, you must throw it to the sidelines and not to the middle of the field. Mental mistake.

The third one basically sums up Romo's career after he burst onto the scene in 2006. He had just thrown a beautiful back shoulder pass for a touchdown, the defense got a critical stop, and everything was shaping up for a storybook ending. Momentum was clearly shifting towards Dallas's favor. Then Romo happened. Instead of throwing the football away to live and play another down, he decided to lob it to the left flat without taking notice of the defender that was dropping back into coverage. Mental mistake.

The game was basically over at that point. 

Passionate supporters of Romo may scream offensive line! Or all of the wide receivers were hurt! Or Coach Jason Garrett can't manage a game! Or the defense was completely depleted! Or RGIII is too good! 

Three interceptions is three interceptions.

1-6 in deciding games is 1-6.

8-8 for the year is 8-8.

I realize that Alfred Morris is the first running back to rush for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cowboys in history. I realize that Dallas is 2-11 in Week 17 since 2000, the worst in the NFL. I realize that Dez Bryant and Miles Austin were out of the game. I realize that half the defense was made up of guys who were literally in the streets a few weeks ago. I realize that our offensive line is horrible. I realize that Washington's execution with the read-option is unguardable. I realize that Jason Garrett makes no in-game adjustments. I realize that Jerry Jones is senile.

I realize all these things, but it doesn't change anything. It's still another year that was lost for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. For those who don't know, Romo will be 33 years old and entering the last year of his 2007 contract extension when they kick it off again next season. If the front office has any foresight at all, they would be wise to look at a couple quarterbacks during the upcoming draft and off-season. It only takes one play to usher in the Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, and Drew Henson era. Trust me.

Scary thought: Robert Griffin III is 22 years old and Alfred Morris is 24 years old.

2012 was a fun ride, but the injuries were just too much to overcome. The loss of Sean Lee was huge -- it took away the defensive play making ability that the team needed to overcome their deficiencies and mistakes. Unfortunately, Dallas is stuck in the worst position it can be in. Not bad enough to garner a high draft pick. Not good enough to make the playoffs.

The Cowboys will have the 18th pick in the 2013 draft. A talented, young player on either the offensive line or defensive line seems like the smart choice. 

It's clear that Rob Ryan has to go, the offensive line needs a major overhaul, and the team needs a completely different personality in general. It will be interesting to see what Owner and GM, Jerry Jones, has in store over the long summer. I for one truly believe America's Team will be back one day. I just hope it will be sooner, rather then later.

Photo and video content courtesy of,,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Party Foul: Boxing - Manny Pacquiao v. Juan Manuel Marquez

Back in June, when Manny lost to Timothy Bradley in a controversial decision by the judges, everyone was mad at the sport of boxing. Talks of fixing fights and corruption became rampant and the sport was taking a huge hit. Tonight on the other hand, when Manny lost to Juan Manuel Marquez in a shocking knock out, there is no one to blame other than Manny Pacquiao himself. There was no need to go to the judges for this one.

At his core, Marquez is a counter puncher -- with that being said, JMM caught Manny with absolutely the perfect shot. Manny moved in right as Marquez was cocking his right hand. The vicious blow not only stunned the crowd, but it literally put Pacquiao to sleep for a good minute where he was laying face down on the canvas. Not only did Marquez get the revenge he sought after due to what happened to him during their previous three bouts, but tonight may have punctuated the end of both of their careers.

In a fight where Manny was actually winning, he simply got caught with the picture perfect counter punch. That happens in fighting. The three judges all had Manny leading the fight 47-46 as the 6th round was concluding.

I am still in shock as I type this up. Wow.

There was only 2 seconds left in the round.

Manny has never been knocked out like that. Ever.

----> Check out this great GIF of the knock out: Down. Goes. Manny.

Total Punches Landed
Pacquiao - 94
Marquez - 52

Power Punches Landed
Pacquiao - 68
Marquez - 41

Juan Manuel Marquez landed only 21% of the punches he threw during the 6-round fight.

Manny Pacquiao falls to 54-5-2, losing consecutive fights for the first time in his career.

Pacman is done.

Mayweather v. Pacquiao is done.

Boxing is done.

Photo and video content courtesy of