Dallas Cowboys Tickets for 2012 to be Last with Garrett and Romo?

The Dallas Cowboys knew they would have to play NFC East foes (arguably every match up is a rivalry game, so there is no easy division win), but I am sure fans were not expecting to have to open the season against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Really, this first quarter of the field pits the Boys up against the Seahawks in Week 2, the Bucs in Week 3, and the Bears in Week 4. These are not football team of the same caliber as the Giants, but they have been tough clubs to beat in the last few seasons. Dallas Cowboys tickets are going to sell out to the home opener at Cowboys Stadium, but Jason Garrett and Tony Romo could easily be playing this game under duress, with Jerry Jones stalking the sidelines demanding a win.

Sadly, this is not the first season Garrett and Romo have been under pressure from the very first snap of the regular season schedule. The pressure has been on since the Jones fired Wade Phillips in the middle of the 2010 season and promoted Garrett from offensive coordinator to head coach. It is difficult to find any blame with Garrett in his first half season. Dallas went 5-3 under his leadership but missed the playoffs thanks to a 1-7 start. The 8-8 journey to mediocrity in 2011 attributed to injury.

Injury has often been cited as an excuse and really is allowed just once or twice in a head coach’s stay in any particular city (unless the city is Tennessee and the team is the Titans). Thus Garrett has to make the postseason, crippled starting running back or quarterback or no.

Romo was not crippled last season. He played all 16 games, posted a career-best 102.5 QB Rating, completed a very good 66.3 percent of his passes, and enjoyed an excellent touchdown-interception ratio of 3.1 to 1. He proved to be a Top-5 quarterback but the offense only scored a middle-of-the-road 23.1 points a game. The failure lay with the running game and not the passing game in this case.

Despite these underlying statistical facts, the record is going to be interpreted as a true representation of a quarterback’s worth. Thus, Romo enters the season with some suggesting Garrett draft a quarterback to infuse some competition at the position. Garrett has famously insisted he prefer to have competition at major positions to push the starters to play their best. However, competition at the quarterback position is not seen this way by either the player or the fans. The term “quarterback controversy”, or even any hint of one, is one that elicits fear amongst the fan base, doubt among the experts, and civil war in the locker room.

These first four games on the schedule must go well, perhaps with Dallas winning 3 of the first 4, to ward off a coaching change or another season of calling Romo ‘s performance into question.

Dallas Cowboys Tickets May Come Down to the Slot Receiver

Last season the Dallas Cowboys finished sixth in the NFL in passing yards, even with Romo under center for just six games. Well, if the fans want Dallas Cowboys tickets to extend beyond the 2011 regular season into the NFL playoffs, this team is going to have to figure out just how to put together as prolific an air attack with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant in his first healthy year in the league, and a collection of unproven wide receivers.

Yes, there has been some sentiment that the Cowboys need to be more concerned with Felix Jones’ health and the offensive line’s ability to open holes for the running game and close them for the passing game. Certainly this is true. Even in this pass happy age of the NFL, teams need to have some sort of a balance on offense to advance very far in the playoffs.

However, the Cowboys still need a solid third receiver to take the field 47 percent of the time. That is the percentage of plays Jason Garrett used a three-man set as offensive coordinator. I would imagine he do much the same as the head coach. If your third option is Kevin Ogletree, a man with 10 career receptions in his three years on the Cowboys roster, you may have some issues.

There are some interesting names still available on the free agent list. T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Santana Moss, and Terrell Owens are some intriguing big names on the list. They may be a little too expensive though, and that is the reason Dallas released Roy Williams. Some of the cheaper options could be Bryant Johnson, Brandon Stokely, Laurent Robinson, and Greg Lewis would be economical additions.

This addition could be the biggest factor in the Dallas Cowboys mission for redemption. Sure, Tony Romo essentially uses Jason Whitten as a wide receiver, but by stretching the secondary with three solid options the Cowboys could keep the defense well rested and could light up the score board as in seasons’ past. Watch for a move in the next few days, unless Jerry Jones is overly optimistic about Dwayne Harris’s 5-reception, 127 yard, and 2-touchdown performance against the Broncos practice squad Thursday night.

If anything, the first preseason game demonstrated to fans that Rob Ryan has not quite turned this defensive unit around and created a punishing, unstoppable force. So, I would presume the Cowboys are going to need to be able to put up points in a hurry, and Tony Romo is going to need a decent third option in the slot if he is going to play gunslinger.

Inside Football: The Shelf Life of NFL Quarterbacks

Great running backs and playmaking receivers have been a rare find in the NFL, championships teams have always been able to get by with simply very good backs and wide outs. At the turn of the century this could be said about quarterbacks as well. Just look at a list of Super Bowl champions. The Tampa Bay Bucs won the big game in 2003 with Brad Johnson behind center and Trent Dilfer managed the Baltimore Ravens offense in 2001 as they won the Super Bowl. Now the league is more pass happy than ever and a simple game manager will not be enough, making a quarterback the most precious commodity on a football team once again.

A look at the shelf life of the current starters will give an idea of how close some of these teams are to actually winning a championship. Some NFL teams have game managers, some have veterans on their last legs needing to win it all right now, some clubs have a young gun who needs a few years to develop, and some teams have that franchise quarterback set for the next five seasons. Let’s look at the league by division and see how long each team has with its current starter in place, beginning with the NFC.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Current Starter: Tony Romo

Age: 29

Career: 990/1571, 12,777 Yards, 94 TD/51 INT, 94.9 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, Pro Bowl Caliber

Fans may complain when he throws a pick to kill a two minute drill or shows up as a postseason dud, but he is a risk taker with a big arm that has led the Dallas Cowboys to a 46-26 regular season record. He has yet to play in a losing season, but also has yet to win a playoff game. Still, he is a rare frustrating breed of quarterback that cannot be counted out of any fight with any defense.

New York Giants

Current Starter: Eli Manning

Age: 28

Career: 1442/2559, 16,693 Yards, 113 TD/82 INT, 77.6 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, Pro Bro Caliber

I was shocked when I looked at his numbers, but then realized that the New York Giants have tied their future to a balanced offense that favors a bruising run game. His completion percentage is not impressive at just 60 percent in the last two seasons when he has set himself apart from the rest of the field. Still, few quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl ring and fewer still have won a Super Bowl MVP (Super Bowl XLII). His ability to show up for the big games makes him a true gem behind center that Giants fans should try and keep until the bitter end of his career.

Philadelphia Eagles

Current Starter: Donovan McNabb

Age: 32

Career: 2630/4466, 30,555 Yards, 204 TD/93 INT, 86.2 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years as an NFL hired gun

Philadelphia Eagles fans have been on the fence on this guy for years, wondering if he is done or not. He achieved star status as a breed of quarterback that could run and throw, struggled with injury thanks to his early playing style, and adjusted to the new NFL and shined. He also has been to the Super Bowl, in a 21-24 losing effort in which he was Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns as well as three picks. The fans are right though, now. He has a few years left where he can have a punchers chance before he simply becomes a veteran band aid for teams struggling to find a quarterback.

Washington Redskins

Current Starter: Jason Campbell

Age: 27

Career: 811/1336, 8,723 Yards, 43 TD/30 INT, 81.2 Rating

Shelf Life: Backup Quarterback Extraordinaire until he earns enough money to retire comfortably.

Jason Campbell has a big arm but no touch. He is proof that Joe Montana is not overrated. He is playing his way out of the Redskins organization as they eventually have to come to terms with his failure as a first round draft pick.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Current Starter: Jay Cutler

Age: 26

Career: 944/1506, 11,070 Yards, 68 TD/ 49 INT, 86.4 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, a few Pro Bowl Seasons with a stunning late career

The Denver Broncos were hoping that he would be the next John Elway, a maverick quarterback with a cannon for an arm and the guts to take that extra hit on a scramble on Third and Five. His numbers are actually pretty similar to the early Elway, but a management fiasco gave him to the Chicago Bears. Now, the Bears get to enjoy the spoils of a quarterback that will frustrate them a few more seasons before his mental growth and physical ability are at optimal levels.

Detroit Lions

Current Starters: Matthew Stafford

Age: 21

Career: 115/214, 1265 Yards, 5 TD/ 12 INT 55.9 Rating

Shelf Life: Not Available

If people made decisions binding quarterbacks to their rookie season then legends like Troy Aikman, John Elway, and many more would have never of had those amazing careers. I have seen him play and he has moments where he looks like a star, zipping passes in between defenders through a tight window. Everyone needs to keep an eye on him and see if he is for real or simply another Joey Harrington.

Green Bay Packers

Current Starter: Aaron Rodgers

Age: 25

Career: 540/855, 6622 Yards, 45 TD/19 INT, 95.3 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, a few Pro Bowl Caliber seasons

Rodgers was forced to sit on the bench for three seasons while Favre played out his time as the Green Bay Packers starter. Then, suddenly, thanks to Matt Ryan, he is expected to immediately put up big numbers and lead the team to the playoffs. He put up big numbers but the team (a flawed team) only won six games. He has the arm, the ability to deliver in a two-minute drill, and the legs to keep defenses honest. Once he develops a little better pocket timing (get rid of the damn ball!) then he will be a stud.

Minnesota Vikings

Current Starter: Brett Favre

Age: 40

Career: 5894/9536, 67,052 Yards, 480 TD/313 INT, 86.0 Rating


Shelf Life: Expiring soon, but will keep ruining his legend like Michael Jordan

Favre only has a few more seasons left. He is still among the better quarterbacks in the NFL, but his football days should be numbered soon as he struggles to keep that arm rested as the season wears on. The Minnesota Vikings are a great situation for him since he has the best running back in the league to keep defenses honest, but after a couple of years he is going to have to leave. Then the Minnesota Vikings will have to start over, so they better draft a quarterback now and prime him for lofty expectations.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Current Starter: Matt Ryan

Age: 24

Career: 404/667, 5089 Yards, 28 TD/20 INT, 85.8 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, not sure of what caliber play

Matt Ryan was the Atlanta Falcons savior in 2008, making the big throws and helping fans forget about Michael Vick sooner than the front office expected. Ryan led the team to a 11-5 record and exited in the first round of the playoffs in a hotly contested 30-24 loss to the NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals. This season he has regressed a little bit, but how telling can that be in a quarterbacks second season? I need another year to see if his first season was a mirage thanks to the NFL-ready Boston College system that he came from or if he is the real thing.

Carolina Panthers

Current Starter: Jake Delhomme

Age: 34

Career: 1582/2655, 19,340 Yards, 120 TD/89 INT, 83.2 Rating

Shelf Life: 1-2 Years Left as Starter

That shelf life is mostly due to Coach John Fox’s allegiance to Delhomme. Delhomme has had a stellar career as a glorified game manager. Sure he could make a few bog throws, but he was never asked to single-handedly take the team over for more than a few fourth quarters. The Panthers have been a team that has relied on its defense more than its offense and Delhomme was great for that while that was in vogue in the NFL, but the game of football has changed and he is just too old to change with it. The Panthers would be wise to find a replacement now and I do not think Matt Moore is the answer.

New Orleans Saints

Current Starter: Drew Brees

Age: 30

Career: 2515/3915, 28,594 Yards, 185 TD/106 INT, 90.5 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ All Pro Status for the next few seasons and Pro Bowl Caliber long after that

Drew Brees is entering the prime of his career with a team that seems to have the coaching staff that appreciates his talents and the cast of playmakers to inflate his numbers beyond compare. The Saints could begin a dynasty with this quarterback and could erase the more than four decades of disappointment. Brees is staying here (or at lest should be) until his arm falls off.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Current Starter: Josh Freeman

Age: 21

Career: 16/35, 221 Yards, 3 TD/1 INT, 83.2 Rating

Shelf Life: Not Available

Josh Freeman may have been a first round draft pick (No. 17 pick) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was hardly a lauded player. He had a nice debut that is typical for a rookie in terms of yards, but exceptional in terms of touchdowns (even against the Packers defense). For my money, Freeman’s scouting report from Mocking the Draft makes him sound a little too much like Jason Campbell.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Current Starter: Kurt Warner

Age: 38

Career: 2534/3872, 30,766 Yards, 198 TD/125 INT, 93.3 Rating

Shelf Life: 1-3 Years, as long the Cardinals can avoid handing the reins over to Matt Leinart

Kurt Warner looks like an old embittered warrior more than a quarterback in his Arizona Cardinals uniform, but I think that epitomizes his career at this point. He is fighting off old age and is not going to let this role as starter go no matter what lingo he uses about being a teacher for Leinart. Unfortunately, like an old warrior he is going to keep fighting well beyond his years and the Cardinals management will likely let him since Leinart just lacks the awareness to be an NFL quarterback. The only way Warner is forced is if the Cards seasons go south and he becomes too expensive to keep.

San Francisco 49ers

Current Starter: Alex Smith

Age: 25

Career: 498/899, 5,369 Yards, 25 TD/36 INT, 65.7 Rating

Shelf Life: 5+ Years, starter until his contract is up after the 2010 season, at which point he becomes a third string back up.

Alex Smith, the first pick of the 2005 draft, is back in the starting role because Shaun Hill was simply ineffectual at quarterback. Smith never lived up to his billing and should consider leaving the NFL once his contract is up to become a star in one of the lesser football leagues.

Seattle Seahawks

Current Starter: Matt Hasselbeck

Age: 34

Career: 2137/3550, 24,856 Yards, 157 TD/98 INT, 84.7 Rating

Shelf Life: 3 to 5 Years, will remain a starter throughout the rest of his career

Matt Hasselbeck’s Pro Bowl days are behind him as injuries continue to rob him of playing time and he is unable to develop new receivers. This makes him a great fit for a team that needs a seasoned quarterback. His contract is up in 2011 with the Seahawks, but they do not have a real protégé in place. If this was a couple of years ago I would say that Seattle would resign him for two- to three-years and teach a new draft pick how to play the position, but this is a new age when general managers want immediate results (or do not want to pay two quarterbacks big bucks as Len Pasquarelli argues). I expect to be seeing Hasselbeck in a Raiders uniform in the near future.

St. Louis Rams

Current Starter: Marc Bulger

Age: 32

Career: 1924/3094, 22,301 Yards, 120 TD/91 INT

Shelf Life: Five Years, his contract runs out in 2013 and expect him to have taken enough punishment to happily retire

Marc Bulger put up great numbers when the Rams system was working, but has found that as the talent level and blocking has diminished he is unable to put up even decent numbers. In the last two seasons he has failed to play a full season and eclipse 11 touchdowns. It is hard to say how much of this is his fault since he is constantly being barraged by defensive lineman and has old or inept receivers dropping passes. The Rams need to draft a line before getting another young quarterback so St. Louis has basically set Bulger up to be gluten for punishment.

NFL Tickets

Are Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler a Hot New Item?

This is a very gossipy story and I feel bad even talking about it because I really like this actress but here is the scoop.  Star Magazine is reporting that former Charlie’s Angel, Kate Jackson, maybe be suffering from an old drug habit again. In a very odd story the Star has witnesses reporting that they went into to professionally clean Kate’s $2 million home which was totally trashed on the inside and out.  Neighbors have complained about all the clutter in the backyard and it took a cleaning crew two days to haul out and clean up all the garbage. Some of the cleaners didn’t even want to return for the second day. They complained of the smell since there was so much trash around, and old moldy food and even rat droppings. In addition to the wreck that the house was in the cleaners said that Jackson was no better. They said she was talking extremely fast, stuttering and even repeating things over. Someone even called her a “crazy recluse” The famous actress is now 60 and that just seems like a bizarre and sad story.

Does Jennifer Aniston have another new man in her life? The rumors are swirling that she has moved onto to her next co-star, Gerard Butler. The two are currently filming their new movie together called, “The Bounty”. Witnesses say that the two have been lunching together in their adjoining trailers, practicing their kissing scenes even after they have stopped being filmed, and that the two are hanging out together even after they are done shooting for the day. It seems that Butler has been interested in dating Aniston since he met her back in 2008 at the Toronto Film Festival but she has kept her distance. Now that they are working together and making all this buzz together we will just have to wait and see.
A publicity stunt or real? Paula Abdul’s manager is threatening that Paula may not be back to “American Idol” this season if she doesn’t get a new deal. Even though Paula is getting $2 ½ million a year to be on Idol, she is probably a bit miffed upon learning that  Ryan Seacrest is now getting $15 million a year. Her manager is saying that if Paula doesn’t get a new deal she may go off on her own and start her own reality competition show. Hey I love Paula and I can see where she might be bugged by the Ryan Seacrest million dollar deal but wow these stars can sure be greedy. I have to say the show just wouldn’t be the same without Paula, I don’t see them letting her go.

The media continues to talk about the surprise break up of Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson and have now started talking about the timing of newly single Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson getting back together. Lachey has officially come out and said that is not going to happen. He wishes is ex wife happiness and all the best but that is all that is between them and nothing more. So all you die hard romantics (and I admit I am one of them) Nick and Jessica will not be getting back together. Right now Nick is getting ready for his new album to drop sometime in October. The album is called “Coming Up For Air” and you can look for the first single to come out sometime next month.
Madonna after losing two crew members after that terrible stage collapse spent some time with the family of one of the deceased, 53 year old Charles Criscenzo. Madonna brought along her two youngest children David and Mercy. Tonight’s show in Marseilles has been cancelled and a criminal investigation is ongoing to check out the cause of the collapse. Madonna will go directly to her next show in Barcelona which is scheduled for July 21.        

It’s Over for Tony and Jessica

Big break up news today. Not exactly the birthday gift she was hoping for …Tony Romo broke up with Jessica Simpson the night before her 29th birthday. It seems that the happy couple has not been happy for awhile. The two have very busy schedules; Tony busy with quarterbacking for the Dallas Cowboys and Jessica working on her new reality show, “The Price of Beauty”. Jessica still loves Tony and is brokenhearted but it just wasn’t meant to be. Jessica sent out a tweet to her fans to let them know she is doing ok and still hopeful about finding love again. She says, “Everyone needs to know that hope floats…grab the strings and pull it back to you.”

In addition to break up news there was also big baby news to share. Molly Ringwald, 41, delivered twins on Friday morning in Los Angeles. A girl named Adele Georgiana and a boy Roman Stylianos. The babies have a big sister Mathilda, 5 ½ waiting at home and ready to help. Ringwald is also playing a mom on TV these days. She is the mother on the ABC Family show, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”. Its weird Molly still looks like she should be the one playing the teenager and not the mom.  Another 41 year old actress who gave birth recently was Mira Sorvino. She gave birth to a baby boy on June 22 also in Los Angeles after a difficult and life threatening pregnancy. Mira spent 9 weeks in the hospital on complete bed rest. She had several complications caused by the pregnancy including placenta previa and she developed a blood clot because she was so inactive while on the complete bed rest. This was not only difficult on her, but Mira and husband Christopher Backus have a 4 year old daughter Mattea and a 3 year old son Johnny, who as you can imagine had never been without their mother for so long. Luckily even after a difficult birth, mother and baby are home and doing fine. New baby boy is named Holden.

Yesterday I shared with you that the new TV show “Parenthood” had been delayed due to undisclosed medical issues for one of its stars, Maura Tierney. Today it was announced that a tumor has been discovered in one of her breasts and she will need to have surgery. Maura says, “I will not know either my exact diagnosis or course of treatment until that surgery is performed. My doctors have all assured me this is a very treatable condition. I’m very optimistic as to the outcome and want to thank everyone who has sent positive thoughts and support. I look forward to getting back to work soon.”  Good luck Maura, we are some of those well wishers.

Here is some hosting news to share. First off, Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this year’s Emmy Awards on September 20th. The “How I Met Your Mother Star” says, “I was thrilled to get the call about the Primetime Emmy’s”. My, little “Doogie Howser” has come a long way. Our second host of the hour is Mr. Ryan Seacrest who is going to be the highest paid reality TV host. Seacrest has just made a 3 year deal for “American Idol” which is going to earn him $45 million. That does not even include what he gets for his “E! News” anchor job or his reality TV producer earnings. Not bad for the 34 year old bachelor.

For your musical enjoyment the latest band to pay tribute to Michael Jackson during their concert is Coldplay. They did a rock inspired “Billie Jean”.        

Valentine?s Day Couples

How sweet are the President and First Lady who headed back to Chicago for Valentine’s Day? The two dined at Chicago’s TABLE Fifty – Two where dinner was prepared by Chef, Art Smith. The couple dined on crispy catfish and pistachio chicken, and they may have even snuck in a piece of gooey crunchy pecan pie. It seems that in order to stay in touch with friends and keep the family grounded the First Family plans to fly home about every 6 weeks to Chicago. Hmmm… I wonder who pays for those trips home on Air Force One. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the love birds to have a romantic dinner together in their home town, and I love the Obama’s, I was just curious.

So did cupid’s arrow hit Katy Perry and Benji Madden this past Valentine’s Day? IT seems that the couple was spotted getting pretty cozy after Katy’s show at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Wasted Space. Hmmm…I wonder what Paris Hilton was up to last night? Stay tuned to see if there might be more to this budding romance.

 Although he wasn’t sharing the specifics, Tom Cruise was feeling the love while he shared that he had something very special planned for his wife this Valentine’s Day. In fact he shared that news 3 weeks ago at his premier for his new movie, Valkyire. I just can’t wait to hear what he did for Katie. As soon as I hear anything I will be sure to share. And then Jessica Simpson was finally all smiles after a difficult few weeks. She had her #1 man, Tony Romo, in the audience at her Valentine’s Day show in Rochester, NY, and on several occasions she gave him a few, I Love You shout outs. Good for you Jess!