The Dallas area has been not-so-surprisingly depressing this last week. The Dallas Cowboys are the main reason for such a downtrodden feeling. After another terrible (and i mean terrible) loss on Sunday, the Cowboys are in complete disarray. All the talent amassed is going to waste, which means the fingers are being pointed at Wade Phillips. My co-blogger Nate will give you more on the Phillips' situation and the action Jerry Jones may be taking very soon. On top of that, new reports have indicated that Tony Romo will be out the next two games, and return after the bye week to play Washington. But cheer up, Dallas fans, it isn't as bad as you may think. Football isn't the only sport with promise in this city.
As you may know (most of you probably don't), the Dallas Stars made it to the Western Conference Finals last season, and are gunning for a return to the Stanley Cup this year, the tenth anniversary since Stanley was here. However, the season has started out a bit rocky. Never fear, though, as they still have second in the division and are improving every game. Perhaps best of all, the team has many budding young stars. Fabian Brunnstrom is the most notable, scoring a hat trick in his first ever game. Other youngsters such as James Neal and B.J. Crombeen have bright futures and will undoubtedly take Dallas to the next level. Besides, what is a better way to learn than under the tutelage of Mike Modano?
The Stars are in action Thursday night against a struggling New York Islanders team. A victory would be pivotal at this early season juncture and could propel the squad back to its winning ways. Watch for Marty Turco to get back into form and drop his 4 goals against per game average back down to his "normal" level.
With all the hype of the Stars returning to glory this season, don't expect this trend of poor play to continue. Once the many talented, young players adjust to the NHL life and game, the results will come.
The Dallas Mavericks wrap up preseason play this Thursday (tonight) against the Indiana Pacers and open up the regular season a week from now on October 30 against Ron Artest, the oft-injured stars McGrady and Yao, and the rest of the Houston Rockets. To prepare for this cross-state date, the Mavs had some cutting to do:
Say goodbye to Charles Rhodes (why? why?), JaJuan Smith, Reyshawn Terry and Cheyne Gadson. This means Keith McLeod will in fact make the roster. Many thought Terry and Rhodes were worthy of spots, and we wish the best of luck to these guys.
As well, the rotation is beginning to take form. Antoine Wright is going to nab the surprise starting spot at the 2. I can't say he hasn't earned it, either. Good for the Aggie, and good for the fast break offense. Terry will be the official sixth man, and Bass, Diop and Stackhouse will be major contributors off the bench. In fact, Bass has been seeing time and the 3, 4 and 5 spots of late. Rounding out the rotation is Gerald Green, who will fit in great to the fast break lead by Jason Kidd.
Those who were so quick to denounce the Jason Kidd trade, listen up. The new offense instituted by Rick Carlisle is going to be more than accommodating to Kidd's skill set. At the very least, the entertainment value to such a run-and-dunk system will be very high--and the results should be nice, as well. New, athletic players such as Wright and Green will get to shine, and big finishers around the basket like Brandon Bass will get more opportunities on offense than previously under Avery Johnson.
Many analysts have been quick to write off the Mavericks: most say Dallas is either a 7 or 8 seed, and others believe the Mavs are no longer a playoff team. Without knowing how to combat these charges, i thought it would be best to let ESPN.com's Marc Stein share exactly why Dallas will be back in the hunt this year:
"Just a thought: If they won 51 games last season when everyone in Mavsland was so unhappy, should we hold off on all those obituaries until we see how the Mavs look (and feel) under Carlisle?"
Brilliantly spoken, Marc. I applaud the lone journalist in the sport's world who is willing to buck the trend and make the simple realization that Dallas is still a good team. An elite team at that matter.
So, Dallas fans, keep your heads up and smile. The best is yet to come. And if that isn't enough to make you a little bit happier, recall this: the New York Giants hit a very rough patch last season after a 6-2 start and finished 4-4 in their last 8. Yet, as you know, they won the Super Bowl. The regular season is a long, extended battle that cannot be won or lost in the first 7 weeks of a season. The Cowboys have 9 games to get it together and return to the Super Bowl glory of the 1990s. Do not give up faith quite yet.