Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Beat Patriots in Super Bowl XLI

SI’s Peter King has picked the Dallas Cowboys to win the 2007 Super Bowl over the New England Patriots. Although he’s gotten it wrong just about every year–and acknowledges such–I’ll take anything as a Dallas and NFL fan at this dreary time of the pre-pre-season.

The envelope, please. The combatants in Super Bowl XLI, on Feb. 4, 2007, at Dolphins Stadium? The New England Patriots vs. the Dallas Cowboys. You heard it here first.

All kinds of great angles. Belichick-Parcells. Bledsoe-Belichick. Kraft-Parcells. Brady-Bledsoe. Parcells and his son-in-law, Pats VP of player personnel Scott Pioli, on opposite sides. Maybe we’d call it the Dallas Pioli Bowl. There are two weeks between the conference championships and the Super Bowl this season. We’d need two months to cover all the angles. That’s how many good stories would be connected to this game.

And we haven’t even mentioned Terrell Owens yet. Or Jerry Jones.

So many good stories that Terry Glenn might make the 17th paragraph of the Associated Press’ Super Bowl preview. Might.


I like Dallas because it has answered every question I have for them but two: Is the offensive line good enough and will the secondary have any more meltdowns like the one it had in the last two minutes of the Washington game last year? We’ll see. And I like the Cowboys even though they may have to win a road game or two in the playoffs to get to Miami because they just might go 3-3 in the toughest division in football right now.

There’s some risk, to be sure, because Owens is a living, breathing incendiary device. But all kinds of silly chemistry things can happen once the year begins. What I like about this team is it addressed almost every one of its major needs entering the off-season. The Cowboys got a kicker with some clutch misses on his resume, Mike Vanderjagt, but he’s better than any guy they’ve had in years. They got the best player in free-agency in Owens, who’s also one of the five best offensive forces in football when he’s mentally right.

They got a second blocking/catching tight end in the second round in Notre Dame’s Anthony Fasano. They got the kind of stonewallish strongside linebacker in the draft — Bobby Carpenter — Parcells must have to play the 3-4 the way he wants. That’s a really good 3-4 right now, and it could be superb if DeMarcus Ware provides the kind of pass-rush his potential says he can.

Agreed all around. If they stay healthy, this could be a truly special defensive team this year. They have incredible depth at D-line and linebacker and are solid at strong safety and cornerback. The only real questionmark is the other safety to go along with Roy Williams.

The O-line is indeed the biggest issue. They were below par last year once Flozell Adams went down and they decided not to bring back perennial Pro Bowler Larry Allen this year. Still, they’ve brought in some young talent in free agency and Rob Petiti should be much better with a year under his belt. And a healthy Adams will help immensely.

Enought to hoist the Lombardi Trophy? I have my doubts. But there’s at least legitimate hope this year for the first time in a while.

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