To our faithful readers:
We apologize for our lack of enthusiasm in the past few months. Unfortunately, as all you know, we live in New York City. To be honest, it was been extremely difficult to write about sports in New York with out getting totally fucking sick to our stomachs. Sometimes at night, as I lay down and close my eyes, I am still haunted by visions of the Sanchez ass fumble on Thanksgiving. New York sports is entering a recession and we are fairly god damn close to a depression. With that said, Sports Debaters knows it’s our duty to entertain regardless and we are fully committed to picking up the slack because somebody has got to win around here.
Let’s paint a quick picture of the sports scene in New York. The Jets are a fucking joke. They are the laughing stock of the god damn NFL. As currently constituted, I would rather the Jets not show up next year and forfeit all 16 games. The Jets are so bad that they can’t even find a QB who is better than Mark Sanchez. Today the Jets lost their best offensive weapon (Dustin Keller) to division rival Miami, but replaced him by signing three guys that I could have sworn has retired already. There is not much more to say about this team…just that I fucking hate that fact that I fucking love them.
The Giants are in much better shape than the Jets, but are still on the decline. They are currently in danger of losing their best WR in Victor Cruz because of a salary cap situation in which they can’t afford to pay him the premium price needed. The Giants have let go of way more players this offseason then they have signed, including players like Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Canty and Michael Boley who were key contributers during their Super Bowl teams. The Giants are not among the top NFC teams anymore, which is clear by their playoff miss and failure to improve. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be where the Giants are than where the Jets are. With that said, there are about 10-15 teams that are in better shape than the G-men, who are only one year removed from being champions.
For the past 15 years, baseball has always brought the New York city area hope and encouragement this time of year. I can’t waste much time on the Mets. 70 wins for the Mets will be a success this year and as of today they might be opening up the season without their best player as David Wright as suffered a rib injury. However, as a Yankee fan, we might be entering a period in which we haven’t experienced since the early 1990’s. All of a sudden, the Yankees don’t spend money. This offseason, they watched all of their free agents leave, didn’t sign any of their own and were actually outbid by the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player that they could actually use, Russell Martin. When was the last time the Pirates offered more money than the Yankees were willing to. Tie in the Yankees stinginess to the fact that the are dropping like flies with injuries to A-Roid, Granderson and Teixeria, and it’s safe to say that the Yankees are in trouble heading into the 2013 campaign.
After an 18-5 start to the season, the New York Knicks are 20-20 in their last 40. Amare Stoudemire is out for the remained of the regular season with a knee injury that he suffered as he was starting to look like the player the Knicks paid a max contract to 2 and a half years ago. A week later, Carmelo Anthony has been hobbling around the west coast and just had his knee drained in an attempt to get healthy. Throw in a knee injury to Tyson Chandler, suffered in Carmelo’s homecoming game in which the Knicks got laced by their 2010 first half team, and the past few games have been simply awful for the Knickerbockers. The only silver-lining is that I’m a Brooklyn Nets fan, and although the Nets are playing mediocre, the Knicks are playing bad enough to allow the Nets to inch closer to the division lead. The Knicks age was always a concern and it appears that as this season has dragged on, the injury bug is slamming this team upside the head.
Last but not least, we have my New York Rangers. I know most people don’t care about hockey and may not even be aware that there is a hockey season going on right now. Well, the NHL season has been in action for about 2 months now, but I’m not even sure the Rangers are aware of this fact the way they have been playing. The Rangers were 2 games away from the finals last year and ended up bringing in one of the best players in the sport in Rick Nash. They have a star laden team and should be one of the best in the league. After their latest loss to the Winnipeg Jets (yup, that’s really a team), the Rangers find themselves in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and out of the playoff picture. There is still time left in the season for a turn-around, but to say that they have been disappointing doesn’t even begin to explain my feelings on this team.
New York is the best city in the world. There are other amazing, beautiful cities out there, but New Yorkers are the brashest, proudest and hold the highest expectations for all aspects of their lives. We are passionate about our sports and incredibly supporting of our teams. We pay outrageous ticket prices to watch them live. Madison Square Garden just raised their ticket prices a couple days ago for next year, which oddly enough was about the same time the Rangers and Knicks have collectively taken nose dives. New Yorkers are resilient and we will continue to support our mediocre (and in some cases terrible) teams, and unfortunately for New York fans and sports debaters, I fear there will be a whole lot more complaining than celebrating in the near future. Hoping I’m wrong, but as the faithful SD readers are aware, I’m much more often right.
There was once a time when there was no question who would win the NFC East. In the 90’s, Dallas won not only the NFC East 6 times, but they won a remarkable 3 out of 4 Super Bowls. Who could forget that glorious 52-17 blowout in Super Bowl XXVII followed by the 30-13 beat down in Super Bowl XXVIII, both against the lowly Buffalo Bills? With players like Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Darren Woodson, Deion Sanders, the Cowboy’s roster was the best in the league . The roster was so good that in 1993 the Cowboys sent 11 players to the Pro Bowl. The dominance that the Cowboys portrayed throughout the 90’s reminded us all why they were dubbed “America’s Team” in 1978.
Even though Dallas is not a bottom of the barrel team, they have only made the playoffs 4 times and won only two NFC East titles since 1999. There was a lot of hype going into last season for Dallas and the expectations were set high. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, Dallas pretty much tanked last year and finished with a disappointing 8-8 record. Their rival, the New York Giants, won the division and eventually the Super Bowl, salting their wounds. There are a lot of people that are saying the Cowboys are going to have the same hardships and issues that troubled them last year, but I say that’s all hogwash. In fact, I feel the Cowboys are going to win the NFC East this season and possibly even make a run for the Super Bowl. Here’s why:
Firstly, I feel that Tony Romo is going to have his best season yet. I would even go as far as to say that he will be ranked in the top three best QBs in the NFC behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Since Romo was inserted at halftime against the New York Giants in a 2006 regular season game, he hasn’t looked back. His career stats have been exceptional and I feel that his time is now. He has two of the most talented receivers in the NFL with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Romo also has one of the NFL’s best Tight Ends in Jason Witten. Tony had a lot of pressure on him him last year because of how god awful his offensive line was. The Cowboys addressed that issue by bringing in 6 rookies to fight for their spots on the line.
With all of the help from an improved offense, Romo should out shine all other QB’s in his division. I know I’ll hear flack from Giants fans, but don’t worry guys, even one of your all-time greats agrees that Tony is better than Eli. “Tony Romo is probably, if you look at it, statistically, he’s probably the best quarterback in the NFC East,” Armani Toomer said on the “Movin’ the Chains” show on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “You look at Eli Manning and what he does in the fourth quarter, but you talk about consistency, talking about 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, that guy (Romo) can play.” “I’m talking about for me, if I wanted a guy that is going to throw less interceptions and be more productive, higher completion percentage, I’m going to go with Tony Romo.”
Secondly, I feel that what was just merely an average defense last year, will be a top-5 defense in the NFL this season. As Rob Ryan, brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan, heads into his second full season as the Cowboys Defensive Coordinator, I can assure you that he will have a successful game plan this time around. Dallas acquired Carolina middle linebacker Dan Conner and paired him with the young and charismatic Sean Lee. The two middle linebackers will have assistance on the outside from veterans DaMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Together they will form arguably one of the best line-backing cores in the NFL. The biggest weakness Dallas’ defense faces is with their sub-par secondary, but with the signing of Kansas City Chiefs star, Brandon Carr, they shouldn’t be as bad as you might think.
Finally, I feel that the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East with the help of their sophomore phenom running back, DeMarco Murray. I feel Murray’s stats for the 2012-13 season will earn him a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. He ran for an incredible average of 5.5 yards per carry in his rookie season and took the NFL by storm. With a full off-season to prepare and a preseason to get comfortable as the star back, look for him to break 1,500 yards this season. Murray also proved to have good hands out of the backfield and this season he will become a huge screen option for Romo to dump to. If Murray can stay healthy than you can expect his speed, power and intensity to help carry the Cowboys back to the promised land.
With a newly revamped defense and Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray poised to have career defining years, the 2012-13 Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East and dethrone the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.