Sunday, January 2, 2011

Got a Question; Actually, a Question and Then a Little PS Question

OK, Cowboy season over.

At the beginning of this season, the national consensus was that the Cowboys had top talent, some depth, and were favored to make a strong run to a championship of one sort or another.  Although blown out in their final game in last season's playoffs, they finished strong during the regular season (especially the defense) and won a playoff game, yay.

Turns out, they sucked.

They sucked for a variety of reasons.  Phillips sucked.  Players with strong 2009s sucked in 2010.  There was a dinstinctive lack of on- and off-field nonsucking leadership among the elite players.  Coaches, oh yeah, they sucked too. 

Now that the whole season has sucked, however, I'm hearing things like "the talent was overrated" and "we've got to draft at [name any one of a half-dozen positions] because we have no depth and our starters suck."

In other words, the pre-season expert conseusus has completely turned around, and those same experts (and Cowboy fans who agreed with them) are now saying exactly the opposite.   Now mark:    They're not saying that the players just sucked in the course of playing their 2010 games -- they're saying that the talent level sucked from the outset.  

I don't propose to argue this one way or the other.  Here's my Tickety question:  Did anyone at The Ticket predict anything like this?

This is a sincere question, and not one intended to be critical.  There's no reason for the Ticket experts to have had any insights that the national experts didn't have.  I'm only curious as to whether anyone at The Ticket -- anyone, hosts, producers, weekend guys, Alexis, board ops, the Ticket Mouse -- saw this coming.  I'm not sure whether to count guys like Mike R who seem simply to dislike the Cowboys.  (Or am I wrong about that?  I may be.)  Yeah, I think we can count Mike R -- what was his pre-season outlook?  Was there a discouraging word from anyone up or down the broadcast day?

I don't get to hear Norm or BaD very often, so don't know their pre-season views on the Cowboys.  I have a dim memory that maybe Dan McDowell was skeptical. 

I recall an interview with a pre-season analyst who puts out a detailed mathematical analysis of the teams in some kind of a magazine or yearbook or something.  I think the interview was on BaD Radio.  The analyst thought that the Cowboys would be last in the division.  (I recall that among the reasons he gave was the age of the offensive line.)  I don't recall BaD's reaction.

As I say -- I'm not saying that the Ticket guys are bad analysts -- I'm just wondering if someone at the station deserves a pat on the back as having seen things more clearly than the rest of us way back when.  Maybe the Sports Humorist?


PS:  Isn't Greg Williams usually on the Cowboys post-game show?  He doesn't seem to be on this evening.  Anyone know if he's on vacation for the holidays?  Has he been on RaGE?

Have a fine 2011, all.


Anonymous said...

I believe every single host thought that the Cowboys had what it took to go all the way--at least on paper (which obviously includes Rhynes). There were several analysts and magazines that predicted bad things for the Cowboys; and I do recall both the Musers and BAD Radio having different analysts on that said to the effect that the Cowboys are due injury-wise, and that their talent in both the secondary and the offensive line is not as good as advertised.

On another note: Is it just me, or does anyone else also believe that not having a Cowboy post-game show due to Stars hockey is not a good thing for the station? This is the second time this has occurred this season. I wonder if they will try to make an adjustment next year (assuming they'll still have the Stars)? For goodness sakes, it's the last game of the season; fans want to hear about and sound off on their team. To not have some sort of post-game show... well, it seems ill-thought out. Just think if the Cowboys would have had the season they were supposed to have had--the audience would have been pissed off beyond belief! I love the Stars and I'm glad the Ticket has them. But let's be serious here... The Cowboys are king and they're what earns ratings.

JamesW said...

Your memory of pre-season predictions is only partially correct. As I recall, most said that the Boys could have a championship year, but most were also concerned about the offensive line. Nobody predicted the defense would be as bad as it was, but the O-line has played a huge part in the suckiness of this team, and many in the media, including the little Ticket, said it was a possibility.

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous, I do agree that the Stars bumping the post-game show is tragic.

At a minimum, The Ticket should have bumped the Stars post-game and slipped Norm and Donovan in there.

I listened to the Greg-less Fan post-game coverage. You know . . . it wasn't bad. In fact, it was good.

JamesW: You're absolutely right that there were frequently-mentioned misgivings about the offensive line, but I don't remember anyone thinking that it was a serious impediment to them winning the division.

Now that I think about it, though, there was also some concern about the Cowboys' schedule. Again, I don't recall anyone not expecting them to make the playoffs, if only as a wild card owing to the tough schedule.

Does anyone remember if Dan M had a more realistic view of things? (One that wasn't a contrarian pose, that is.)

Anonymous said...


While you are right about the offensive-line vis-a-vis some of the Ticket hosts' predictions, I was speaking in the more general sense. I cannot recall one host who believed that the Cowboys would not only make the postseason, but also *could* go all the way to the Super Bowl. If I'm wrong here, then my apologies.


I, too, listened a bit to the Greggo-less post-game show on The Fan. And I noticed that all of the usual hosts were present. I wonder if Greggo is on vacation? And if so, why only him? When it comes to the Greggo subject, I honestly don't know what to think. I could drone on ad infinitum about the man. He's an interesting "case-study" to say the very least.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: Does anyone know when regular programming commences? I would think tomorrow a.m. with the Musers, but there does seem to be a precedence set where shows (or some shows) return the Tuesday after vacation.

cancer monkey said...

BaD talked to NFL Outsiders (or whatever they're called now) before the season about their 7-9 prediction. Bob and Dan both were dubious the Cowboys would go 7-9 because of problems with age, depth and the fact that they Cowboys have been extremely lucky injury-wise, but didn't think it was out of the realm of possibility. I had a pretty good feeling about the season until I heard that. Turns out they nailed it.

cancer monkey said...

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe they predicted 9-7. I remember there was a 9 in there and a 7. Maybe it was 7.9 or 97.1 The Eagle. I get confused easily.

ap said...

@Cancer Monkey - I think you're correct about the folks from Football Prospectus predicting that the Cowboys' offensive line would undergo a precipitous drop-off and that would contribute to a dismal 7-9 season. They also predicted that the streak of freakish health that the 'Boys had enjoyed for the last few years would come to a screeching halt as well. BaD Radio had the Football prospectus dude on mid-season to discuss how even he was surprised that the Cowboys had flopped so badly.

Dan McDowell was the only one during training camp to voice his concern about their 'feet-up, mission-accomplished' attitude going into this season, and asked what exactly they'd done to deserve the hype. I think he even went so far as to say that the Cowboys were setting themselves up for the same failure they'd experienced after Wade's inaugural 13-3 season.

Norm did harp on the fact that the Cowboys basically passed on free-agency, but I don't recall him going into anything deeper than that. He did mention though that the Cowboys had to get off to a good start and build up enough 'W's to survive the second-half gauntlet.

Newbury might have voiced his concerns as well -- he actually has some fairly decent Cowboy HSO's that don't fall in line with the rest of the weekday hosts.

Anonymous said...

Greggo was on RAGE today. He still sounds pretty bad. Just how long does it take to get over laryngitis? I try to listen in each day, but with every listen, my tolerance dwindles. It's not a good program. Whitt is a twit. And to be honest, Greggo doesn't have much to offer, either. They seem to think that they can conjure up the Hardline circa 1998-2004 (replete with Zepplin return music) and *bingo* they'll have that sort of success. It's an odd thing to listen to.

Shaggy said...

I believe Greggo was at the Rose Bowl to watch TCU play. That's why he wasn't doing the Cowboys' postgame.

The Plainsman said...

So it sounds like maybe The Sports Humorist, one Dan McDowell, wins the award for declining to drink the Kowboy Kool-Aid.

This is consistent with an emerging theory I have about Dan -- a positive one -- that I fervently hope will please Confessor Christy if I ever decide to loose it upon the Confessor Nation.

Christy said...

This stayed with me because I don't like it when Mommy and Daddy fight, but it goes along with the post: After the opening Cowboys game loss to Washington, BaD Radio argued over the primary reason for the loss. Dan pointed to the foot up mentality of the team while Bob wanted more tangible reasons. Midway through the season, however, Bob admitted there was something to Dan's point of view.

The Plainsman said...

Re: Greggo the Hammer.

He sounds much better than when he was in the depths of his illness, but his voice is still pretty rough.

I tend to hold with those who don't think the RaGE is very good. I thought the softball analogy was apt.

But I also hold with those who think it's getting better, esp. Whitt.

I'm not a radio expert, but I would think it would take a good six months before we know whether there will be a permanent ratings impact. Some folks (me, a lot of you) check in to the new Fan offerings out of curiosity and fly by from time to time. So I would expect to see some early impact. But if the product isn't good people won't hang.

I should probably start a new article on this one, but I'm wondering if anyone has had a chance to listen much to Lewin and Elfenbein. How is it?