By Chas Kurtz
Despite its 3-0 start and all of the early Super Bowl hype, the Dallas Cowboys will not make the playoffs in 2008. Tony Romo and Felix Jones are hurt, Pacman Jones is suspended, Roy Williams (the safety) is out for the season, and Roy Williams (the receiver) failed to catch a pass for the first time in his career in his Dallas debut. The Cowboys play in the best division in football and have one of the most difficult second half schedules, as they will be forced to play all three of their remaining division games on the road in addition to a December trip to Pittsburgh. Over the last month they have just one win: a 31-22 victory over the winless Bengals. Dallas is a team in disarray, not a Super Bowl contender;.Expect an 8-8 record and the seventh seed in the NFC. The problem for Dallas is that only six NFC teams make the playoffs.
By Garrett Ley
With Brad Johnson running the offense at age 40, the Cowboys have little chance to reach the playoffs, especially in a division that features the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. If Terrell Owens complained about Pro Bowlers Jeff Garcia in San Francisco and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, it’s hard to wonder how he’ll react when the grizzled Johnson fails to get him the ball. In last week’s 34-14 loss to bottow-dweller St. Louis, Johnson completed more passes to the Rams defense (3) than he did to Owens (2). It will only be a matter of days before Owens lashes out at a teammate for the team’s struggles. The short-term future doesn’t look promising: even if Romo returns for the Cowboys’ Nov. 23 bout with the 49ers, Dallas will have missed him for three consecutive games against the Tampa Bay Bucanneers (5-2), Giants (5-1) and Redskins (5-2).
By Stephen Guss
The Dallas Cowboys will not make the playoffs this year. The centerpiece of the Dallas offense, Tony Romo, is out of commission until mid-November. By that time, the Cowboys will have been swept away by the other NFC East heavy hitters that include the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. Tony Romo is the guy who has ignited their offense and who rejuvenated Terrell Owens’ career. Owens, who has had tumultuous relationships with his former quarterbacks, has found a friend in Tony Romo. Romo has developed a healthy football relationship with Owens so that when Romo goes back in the pocket, he throws the ball to Owens very frequently. When Owens gets the ball, he is happy, but when he does not get the ball, he causes conflict that pervades the entire Cowboys team. So far, Romo’s replacement, Brad Johnson, hasn’t gotten T.O. the ball. Dallas’ success depends on T.O. This team should also start playing some defense if they plan to win another game this season.
By Chris Dell’Amore
After last season, one would think that the Chargers would be a favorite to take the AFC by storm. However, despite Shawne Merriman’s courageous effort to try and play the season with one leg, the Chargers dropped their first game to the Panthers and lost Merriman in the process. Ever since, the Chargers haven’t been able to bounce back, sputtering to a 3-4 record. The Chargers have yet to face the Steelers or the Colts and are facing gritty non-conference teams in the Saints, Bucs and Falcons. With teams like the Patriots, Jets and Jaguars all vying for Wild Card spots should they not win their divisions, the best chance that the Chargers would have of getting into the postseason would come from beating out the Broncos for the AFC West. The Chargers rank twenty-ninth in rushing yards with the league’s premier running back, LaDainian Tomlinson. If the Chargers don’t fix that issue, the odds that they make it to the postseason are slim to none.