When Bad Teams Play

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The 5-6 Dallas Cowboys are hosting the 5-6 Washington Redskins in prime time. So why bother? 

The fans on each side are saying that this is a “must win” game for each team. Oh brother. Again I ask, “Why bother watching?”  It’s been called the best rivalry in sports. Normally, at least Yankees/Red Sox fans and Michigan/Ohio State fans would beg to differ, but the entire sports world is begging to differ tonight. Tonight when they play on Thursday Night Football, each team will be a shell of their old selves. Dak Prescott is not the Dak Prescott of last year; not by far. And Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, well, let’s just say that they always think they’re in contention.  Poor things.

You know what happens when bad teams play? You get poor play because of poor performers which leads to a poor performance. Essentially, it’s garbage in and garbage out. And who wants to waste precious time watching two lame ducks duke it out to the death?

Dallas has its share of problems: “Now in the middle of what will ultimately be a six-game suspension on their star RB, Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboys’ offense is in shambles. After averaging a stout 28.25 points per game over the first eight contests, they’ve now failed to score 10 points in three consecutive games — the worse stretch in franchise history. That precipitous nose dive also includes a ‘frustrated’ Prescott admittedly playing some of his worst football, delivering only 500 total passing yards and no touchdowns, but five interceptions. He had only four all of last season.

It’s a long fall from the MVP-caliber numbers Dak Prescott was delivering only one month ago, and the correlation to the absence of Elliott can no longer be denied even if it’s not the sole reason for the downturn. Play calling certainly hasn’t helped his cause, as the Cowboys have also been attempting to overcompensate for the loss of Elliott versus riding impressive outings from Alfred Morris.” https://247sports.com/nfl/dallas-cowboys/Bolt/Dallas-Cowboys-coaches-weigh-in-on-if-absence-of-Ezekiel-Elliott-is-reason-for-poor-Dak-Prescott-play-111288651

And the Redskins have had their share of woes this season too.  So what’s one to do?  Can either team pull out a winning season and make the playoffs?  It’s doubtful, but then again that’s where it all starts. Doubt is the devil that destroys destiny. So since one team has to win (barring a tie, which would be laughable), one team has an outside chance at righting the ship and saving the season.

And therein lies the lesson: there’s always hope. You have to believe that there’s always a chance, a likelihood, a probability and a possibility that things can and will turn around. But first you have to believe that there’s hope, and that there’s hope for you, and that hope will help you too.  

Stop Dancing With Your Demons: Aaron Rodgers Shows Us The Way

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Aaron Rodgers doesn’t think he can win, he knows he can win. And I dare say he knows he WILL WIN, especially late in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line against the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas.

Aaron Rodgers is 6-2 lifetime against the Dallas Cowboys.  But more importantly, he’s undefeated in late game heroics against the Boys in Big “D”. For the second time in nine months, the Cowboys scored 31 points against the Packers … and lost. And for the second time in less than a year, Aaron led a last-minute, last gasp, last chance, game winning drive, and led the Green Bay Packers to victory in fantastic fashion.

Rodgers ruined what could have been one of Dak Prescott’s best moments — a 17-play drive that covered 79 yards and lasted 8:43. Dallas led 31-28 with 1:13 left in the game after the last Dallas score. And Dallas was in complete control of the game at the start when Prescott threw three touchdown passes on the Cowboys’ first three drives.

But once again, Aaron Rodgers has buoyed us and begged us to turn our bogeys into birdies (How’s that for a mixed sports metaphor?) Once again, Aaron Rodgers has shown us that we can bounce back from our blunders and come back and perform wonders.

Yes Rodgers did it again.  And the lesson is clear: you can win with little or next to no time left on the clock. You can beat back the bastions you’re battling and the strongholds you’re struggling to defeat. You can.

So stop it; just stop it.

Stop dancing with your demons. Stop saying what you can’t do. Stop whining and start worshiping. Stop pouting and start praising. Stop complaining and start clapping your hands and leaping for joy.  Stop the mindless madness of missing miserably and start the anticipatory gladness that leads to triumphing gloriously. Just say it and believe and achieve it. Just do it. 

You can make, if you just believe.

Note To Ezekiel Elliott: Don’t Dig Your Own Grave  

 

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The Dallas Cowboys in general, and Ezekiel Elliott in specific, are digging their own grave. Elliot was just suspended for six – count ‘em – SIX games. That’s over a third of the season. Sheesh. That’s like a 60-year-old missing twenty years of life. It’s like not living for the first four months of the year.  It’s like not showing up for work on a 9-5 job until well after 11 every day.  That’s a formula for losing, and losing at the game of life is not something that any of us should want to do.

So is this suspension a big deal?  I’ll say.

What’s a Super Bowl favorite to do without the heart and soul of their team?  Lose.  And lose they will.  The Cowboys are implicated as much as Elliott in this me because they defended him and covered for him and basically acted like the investigation was no big deal.  Wrong answer.

When you dig your own grave you’re way behind before you even start and you’re just about out before you even get to the plate. You don’t want to give your enemies and adversaries and opponents and rivals a head start in a short race, and that’s exactly what Ezekiel Elliott did to his team and his teammates by making bad decisions.  Now, the Eagles, Giants, and yes, even the lowly Redskins have more of a chance at winning the NFC East without Elliott in the lineup for a third of the season. 

Oh well. People make their own choices, and sometimes people in general, and athletes in specific, dig their own grave through addictions to drugs or drinking or sexual activities or senseless behavior.   “Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g., gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continuation of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, or health. People who have developed an addiction may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction

And that’s the bottom line. Does Ezekiel Elliot realize how he has affected his life, much less his team?  The problem, or problems, Ezekiel Elliot has caused for himself are bad enough, but the injuries to his former girlfriend and the suspension from the team hurts people way beyond his personal space.  Maybe the suspension, if it is upheld, will give Zeke time to think and reflect and get help and mend his ways.

They say that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  And in Zeke’s life, there’s a smoldering bonfire ready to explode if he doesn’t put it out.

Dubious Dudes: Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliot Under Investigation

Here is yet another edition of “guys gone wild.”  Ezekiel Elliott, the 2016 Rushing Champion and the Dallas Cowboys rookie sensation, is under investigation by the NFL for “conduct unbecoming.”  Really? I mean, really? Don’t these rich, raucous, unrestricted and unconstrained athletes get it?  Apparently not.

The following is From Jason Keidel, CBS DFW

In perhaps the least surprising news of the summer, there are reports that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott got into an altercation at a Dallas nightclub Sunday night.

This, along with other incidents, both at Ohio State and during his brief career with the Cowboys, keep with Elliott’s Wild West persona. At best, Elliott has an affinity for nightlife and the trappings of fame. At worst, he’s a headache to borderline-felon who can’t keep his hands where they belong.

We already know Elliott was facing discipline from the NFL over domestic violence accusations back in Ohio. Then we have the repugnant video of Elliott lifting a woman’s shirt during St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Now this.

Is Elliott a victim of his own talent and stardom? Or is he inexorably drawn to danger?

Surely Elliott did not need to see his name in bold ink this morning, especially days — if not hours — before the NFL was to rule on his status entering the 2017 season. And while it’s self-evident that the Cowboys don’t want their star RB perilously close to missing games, doesn’t a part of you wonder if Dallas enjoys the attention to a point?

 If Dallas did any due diligence on Elliott before drafting him, they surely knew he was not the strong, silent type. Even if the domestic violence charges didn’t make it to a courtroom, there’s enough behavioral smoke around Elliott to suggest he loves to live on the edge.

 And the Cowboys are renowned for investing in great talents who are also questionable characters. Going back to Hollywood Henderson, the Cowboys have always been equal parts football club and traveling circus. And while it’s silly to assert they condone Henderson stuffing narcotics in his thigh pads, or Elliott perpetrating violence upon a woman, there’s enough history of them rolling the dice on dubious dudes to suggest they at least like the aroma of trouble.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as the axiom goes. And clearly the Cowboys agree. But what happens if or when Elliott starts to miss games because of his malfeasance? Though we can’t say with certainty, there’s enough of a pattern here to suggest that Elliott will keep pushing the legal envelope until something, or someone, stops him.

At what point is it up to owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett to pull the young man aside and jar some sense into him? By the time a player’s fate hits Roger Goodell’s desk, it’s too late. Football teams love to profess the family ethic, live in the bunker of the locker room, with each man having the other’s back.

To use a military metaphor, where’s the commanding officer? Who’s the captain or major who reels in his wayward troops? Perhaps part of the problem is that the team’s two best players — Elliott and QB Dak Prescott — were rookies last year. If you’re looking for Dez Bryant to lecture the young man on poor aesthetics, well…

The Dallas Cowboys have often lost the line between fun and foible. Part of Jerry Jones’s business genius is seeing his franchise as a hybrid brand of athletics and entertainment. And he also understands our lust for the front and back pages, and thus if he can accommodate both, he will. But it seems his keen handle on human nature doesn’t extend to his own backyard. This is hardly the first time Jones has seen one of his players color outside the lines.

Ezekiel Elliott has the chance to join the orbit of Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith as the preeminent player on perhaps the NFL’s preeminent — or at least most popular — franchise. If his rookie year is any indication, he could even fit himself for one of those mustard-colored jackets they hand out five years after a transcendent career.

But long before he can even think about Canton, Zeke Elliott has to keep himself on the Cowboys, and spend more time on the back page then Page Six.”

 http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/07/17/ezekiel-elliott-cowboys-nightclub-fight/

Aaron Rodgers Does Dallas!

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Rodgers does it again!  And the 13-3 Cowboys will have to wait until next year.

The Dallas Cowboys will not win Super Bowl LI. They won’t even go to the NFC Championship Game. Not this year. Why? Because of Aaron Rodgers.  That’s it and that’s all. Case closed. Rodgers basically beat Dallas all by himself, with an award for best supporting actor to Jared Cook.

Rodgers threw for 356 total yards, but none bigger than a 36-yard pass to a toe-dragging Cook down the sideline just after he had been sacked. Talk about being stagy and cagy. Then, field goal kicker Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Packers to the NFC championship game with their eighth straight win. In so doing, the suddenly resurgent Rodgers thwarted a huge Dallas rally in a 34-31 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.

Cook, who led Green Bay with 104 yards receiving, kept both feet inbounds with a knee just above the ground out of bounds. And it came after the Cowboys tied the game TWICE in the final 5 minutes behind rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in their playoff debut.

Dak Prescott has nothing to be ashamed of. And Ezekiel Elliot did the best he could. But Dallas started slow and spotted Rodgers an 18 point lead. Yes they finished strong but they also came up short. That’s it and that’s all.

So what can we learn?

Wisdom and prudence beats hubris and ego every time.  Aaron Rodgers may be old and aging but he’s also senior and shrewd.  Yes he’s elderly in football years, but he’s also wily and savvy. And the veteran QB outlasted and out-dueled his rookie counterpart Prescott on the opposite sideline in a playoff game for the ages.

Wisdom and the spirit of wisdom are more to be desired than gold, yea even much fine gold. The Bible says that wisdom is the principal thing.  Remember that wisdom personified is Sofia, a delicate, dainty dame that is to be procured and protected. So get wisdom. Ask for her. Treasure her. She will never let you down.

And while Dak and Zeke are no dummies, I offer this scripture to emphasize how important wisdom is, and how dangerous it is to be stupid:

If you crush a stubborn fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, even then his stupidity will not leave him.

Proverbs 27:22, GOD’S WORD Translation

Can Dallas Do It? They Think They Can!

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If Dallas can beat the Vikings tonight (and then most importantly, the Giants), then they should continue winning right on into the playoffs. Some say that the Dallas “D” is weak and that they can’t stop the long ball, and that they went 10-1  before with Romo but lost to the Giants in the 1st Round of the playoffs,  . . .  blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But they’re still 10-1  and are the odds on favorite to go all the way.

We’ll see.

“The Dallas Cowboys are accomplishing things in Dak Prescott’s rookie season that never happened under Hall of Fame quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.  Dallas, which got its five Super Bowl championships under Staubach and Aikman, had never won 10 consecutive regular-season games in the same season until now.

Only once before in franchise history had the Cowboys started 10-1, in Tony Romo’s first full season as the starter in 2007. That was also the only other time since 1995, their last Super Bowl season, that they already had 10 wins on Thanksgiving Day.

‘I have tons of confidence in myself, this team, and the coaching staff,’ Prescott said. ‘I never go in to the game thinking we are going to lose, it is always what do we have to do to win? I feel like that is how this team thinks.’ ” By Stephen Hawkins – AP Sports Writer

And so the question is this: can YOU “do it;” whatever your “it” is? Publish a book? Start and grow a successful business? Be a blessing to everyone you meet? Can you do it? First, you must think you can, and then you must believe you can, and then you must be determined that you can. Then you’ll have a fighting chance.

The Boys Are Back!  a.k.a., The Dallas Cowboys Will Win The Super Bowl (This Year!)

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Yes they will. There. I said it. Yes I’m a Dallas hater, but I’m also a sports lover. And Dallas looks really, really good right about now. The Boys are 9-1, and have just completed impressive wins against the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I don’t want to get carried away, I don’t see why we can’t face facts either. I call it like I see it.  And the way I see it, if this team stays healthy and hungry and fixated and focused, there’s no reason they can’t go all the way.

This resurgent, rookie lead, runaway train of a team has all of the pieces and the parts and the elements and the ingredients of a  championship team.  They have chemistry and comrade and weapons and they’re on a warpath. So who’s going to beat ‘em? Who’s going to stop ’em? Who’s better than Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescot and Dez Bryant right now? Anybody?  Right now, the only team that can beat Dallas is Dallas. That’s it. And that “right now” may well hold true right through the Super Bowl.

The same goes for you too. You and I have all of the same stuff that Dallas has. Maybe not right now, but somewhere along the way, you and I will reach a point where you know that the only thing that can stop you is you. 

So, mark my words: in late January, and early in February, you’ll be saying that Dave got it right.