Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Cowboys, Stars, and Mavericks...let's all give a collective sigh.
The Mavericks are off to a rough start, as well as their arena-sharing Stars. The Mavs are only 3 games in, but things are looking as if it could be a long season. The Allas Stars (because there is no 'd' in Dallas) have played in 4 times more games, and the defense and goaltending is looking dreadful. Could we be in for a depressing season from both franchises that call AAC home?

As for those Dallas Cowboys, never has there been more hatred for a player by Cowboys fans than the lynching demanded for Brad Johnson. It has gotten so bad that DallasDedicated has done research to see what Quincy Carter and Chad Hutchinson have been doing lately.

And let's not even discuss the Texas Rangers and FC Dallas, who are both on long vacations without even a chance for playoff runs. It seems as if everything we root for here at DallasDedicated ends up losing (which is not good news for John McCain, who just-so-happens to call himself a Maverick). Get into some comfortable attire, make some tea, and sit back as we all do some constructive criticism of all things sports around this cursed city they call Dallas, Texas...

The Cowboys were almost a unanimous favorite by everyone in America to be the team to come out of the NFC as a Super Bowl candidate. Dallas came out strong and dominate early on this season, and they became admittedly overconfident. Then...Romo, Felix, T-New, Roy 31, and others went down with injuries, Backup Brad entered the game, and now the Cowboys stand last in the NFC East with a must-win on their hands coming against Washington in 2 weeks. While the Cowboys have been pretty bad before Tony Romo and T.O. entered our lives, this would be by far the most disappointing season if the 'Boys come out against Washington looking like the same, lackluster, defenseless team we saw even before Romo's pinkie-ache.

Wade Phillips and the rest of the Dallas coaching staff seem to not be as worried as they should be. There is a "flip the switch" attitude that the team seem to have. The Cowboys organization seem to think that once the team becomes healthy again everything will be just fine, and that the dominance they had early this season will return. This kind of attitude scares me. You would think that after all the humiliation America's Team has gone through, that they would not take any game or upcoming opponent for granted. Dallas MUST win the next game against Washington, or else the Cowboys will sit at .500 with just 6 games ahead of them. 10-6 is the worst possible record they can get to recieve a wild card playoff spot, and this team must buckle down, get focused, and begin to play to their potential. Romo, Terence Newman, and Felix Jones will all be back in the lineup, but will the team respond positively to adversity?

The Stars, after a suprisingly nice playoff run last season, decided to add some young prospects in Fabian Brunnstrom and Krys Barch. Both scored in their NHL debutes (Brunnstrom scored 3 times that night) to show promise for this season. While the offense has been strong in most games, the other team's offense has been better.
For Turco's career (even at the University of Michigan), Turco's Goals-Against-Average has been no worse than 2.6 goals per game. Marty this season currently sits at 4.34 for his GAA and a save percentage of just .837. Those numbers are dreadful, and not even Marty seems to have an answer as to why. The defense hasn't helped Turco out at all during this slump, as they have also made many mistakes. The penalty kill has been subpar, and countless turnovers in their own zone have caused Turco to face more scoring oppurtunities than ever before. The Stars currently sit at 4-6-2; they must turn this around before the season gets any older. Seven times in 12 games this season Dallas has given up five or more goals, one shy of the number of five-goal games the Stars allowed in the entire 2007-08 season. Will having nearly a week off before the game Friday against the first-place Ducks help mentally prepare the Stars to become more focused on the defensive end?

On to the team that is the biggest mystery thus far, the Mavericks. We've all heard what the critics have to say, and the Mavs are ignoring that. What the Mavs are also ignoring is getting to the basket in crunch time. A very scary trend is going on with this Mavericks team, and Rick Carlisle must address this now. The fast break is working very well, but when the game slows down in the 4th quarter and half-court sets become the only offensive action, the Mavericks completely avoid getting to the basket and shoot jumper after jumper. It's shocking that this continue to happens. If the entire crowd at the AAC can see the problem, why can't the coaching staff?

Rick Carlisle continues to tinker with the lineups, which is understandable, considering he is a new coach. However, the West is better than ever, and there is no window to be experimenting. Inconsistency within the lineup has us at DallasDedicated scratching our heads. Antoine Wright starts Game 1, yet gets a DNP the next game in Minnesota. Wright is then placed back in the starting lineup last night versus Cleveland, yet Stackhouse gets 0 minutes after getting the start the previous game. JJ Barea and Gerald Green see no action in the home opener against Houston, yet twice last night Rick Carlisle went with a lineup of Barea, Terry, Green, Bass, and Diop. Jason Terry hasn't found his shooting, Stackhouse has lost his since last season, and Bass has only been solid during short spurts. Jason Terry put it best when he said last night, "I’ll tell you which lineup I like. I like the winning lineup." Hopefully Carlilsle finds the right mix of players fast. Like I said last week, even the year that the Mavs had 67 wins they began 0-4, but last night's effort really made me less confident in this Mavs team. Tonight should be no easier, where the Mavs are on the road against the desperate 0-2 Spurs (who haven't started 0-3 since they were an ABA team).

It is surely no time for panic yet here in Dallas, as things can quickly turn positive. The Cowboys are just one winning streak away from becoming the favorites again, and the Mavs and Stars are just getting started in their long seasons. However, we here at DallasDedicated are hoping we won't have to change our site name to how we are feeling at the moment...DallasDisappointed.


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