By TJ Troup
Well, here we are; basically, the mid-point of the season and the most important question to answer is simple...what have we learned? Past history has told us that being at home is an advantage, right? Oh, not so far in 2021 as road teams are leaving stadiums with a "W". While the Patriots & Rams are both 4-0 on the road, the Cardinals with five road triumphs lead the list.
The standings tell us that the AFC North and West should be dog fights into January. Have read a couple very boring articles on who is going to be the MVP this year.
How about we all settle down, and just enjoy the games, and performances. Last week the main focus of my article was the battle for Ohio, and when Chubb broke loose for 70 yards to score at the 8:00 minute mark of the 3rd quarter no doubt all of you thought back to November 23rd, 1975 when Greg Pruitt gained 121 yards rushing, and veteran safety Jim Hill dashed down the right sideline on a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The Chubb touchdown "gave" the Browns a 91% chance of winning! How do I know this? Well, youngsters, it is called research. The term that I coined with the help of Steve Sabol is "Apocalyptic Horsemen". The team has a 100-yard rusher, and an interception returned for six, and that team wins 91% of the time.
When Tennessee took advantage of Stafford's errant throws the Titans moved to the head of the class in the AFC, though is it possible a rematch could be in the SB just like 1999?
The history lesson for today takes us back to November 7th, 1971, and the division clash between the Cardinals and Cowboys. During the second half of the '65 season Tom Landry's Cowboys finally learned how to win, and as such became a contender each subsequent year before the merger.
Though Dallas played strong winning football they always fell short, and left their fans wondering when do we hoist the Silver Trophy? The merger brought a fresh new look to the play-offs with the "wild card" and the Cowboys earned two hard-fought victories in the play-offs before the strange "blunder bowl" against the Colts.
Seven weeks into the '71 campaign and though Dallas has a winning record at 4-3, they just are not accomplishing what many believed they should-----dominant football. St.Louis had beaten Dallas badly in 1970 and on a cold windy afternoon lead the Cowboys 10-3 at the half. Dallas has outgained St. Louis yet cannot get into the end zone? Tom Landry has changed strategy with a much more conservative offensive game plan starting with Roger Staubach at quarterback.
When outside linebacker Chuck Howley recovered a fumble on the Dallas fourteen-yard line the offense began to bring Landry's strategy to life. A punishing 86 yard drive with the excellent o-line opening holes for Garrison and Thomas, while Staubach ran three times for 23 yards to keep the chains moving. Dallas takes the lead 13-10, but the Cardinals respond with a field goal and we are tied. The Cowboys with Staubach's inspired leadership marches 54 yards and Tony Fritsch delivers a 26-yard field goal for the victory 16-13.
Watching the final drive noticed that Dallas would align in slot right formations with Lance Alworth in the slot and making two key receptions. Though Bambi does not have much speed left after 10 grueling seasons, he is a proven winner and can be trusted to deliver on his well-run routes. The victory over St.Louis is the first of ten straight as the Doomsday Defense, and Staubach-led offense will finally reach the pinnacle and the Cowboy Star finally shines.