On Wednesday Night, you either saw the magnificence of Bill Clinton, or the promise of the Dallas Cowboys. Whichever way you feel about these two polarizing entities, you had to give props to their performances on such big stages. I’m going to touch on the Cowboys briefly. In the offseason, owner Jerry Jones said that the Cowboys window to win was closing. This intrigued me since the Cowboys are .500 and have only won one playoff game since 1997. Now Jones ended the window talk just before training camp and instead opened up a glory hole (pause). After this game, I’m sure Cowboys fans are saying that now is the time for the Cowboys to return to prominence, to take advantage of their talent now to win big. But I want to explore this concept; what is a window to win?
If you think about it, every season, right before that Star-Spangled Banner and the coin toss and pageantry, all NFL teams should have their window to win open. That’s the nature of parity. But is this talk of windows dangerous for franchises? As a Redskins fan, I swear Dan Snyder has believed that Redskins window to win was WIDE OPEN between 2000 and 2010. The Skins were one quarterback, coach, or defensive end (Jason Taylor smh) from returning to glory. If Snyder could have seen that the Skins needed to close their window and build their house, instead of propping it open with the likes of Spurrier, Archuleta, and McNabb, then…we wouldn’t have RGIII. But I think this franchise would be more relevant than it is now. You can change the names of the owners and players and substitute the Redskins for Raiders and it’s the same
Other franchises like the Cardinals,Falcons, and Ravens are fooled when looking at their windows. They have refused in the past to get that piece to push them over the top. The Cardinals have no QB right now, wasting their receiver talent and solid defense in a winnable NFC West. The situation is worse for the Falcons, who thought they were one receiver away from the Super Bowl, so they traded away their draft for one. Turns out they need a better offensive line and secondary. Whoops. The Ravens searched the entire last decade for a QB while their defense destroyed opposing offenses. Now they have a competent signal caller but their defense is hanging by a string now.
Other franchises recognize that the window has slammed shut and there is no use fooling themselves or their fans. The Colts are a perfect example. They bombed last season and showed Peyton Manning to the door. Now they have a quarterback for the next 15 years. Their window isn’t open just yet, but when the team is ready, they’ll be there for a long time.
So who is the window really open for this year? I have the Patriots, Bengals, Texans, Broncos, Ravens, and Chiefs in the playoffs in the AFC. In the NFC, it’s the Giants, Bears, Saints, 49ers, Packers, Lions. I have a Ravens-Packers Super Bowl with the Ravens pulling it out. So no window or hole for the Cowboys. And the Redskins are still paying for propping up their window with twigs for so long. It’s a funny thing about windows; anyone can enjoy looking at the view when it is wide open. But will your front office see the reflection of the team when it starts to close? As always games are below, bold for the best and so on. Song of the weekend after the list of games. Peace.
Saturday, September 8
EARLY AFTERNOON: Auburn vs Mississippi State (12pm, ESPN)/Penn State vs Virginia (12pm, ABC)/Miami vs 21 Kansas State (12pm, FX)
LATE AFTERNOON: 24 Florida vs Texas A&M (3:30, ESPN)/Purdue vs 22 Notre Dame (3:30pm, NBC)/2 USC vs Syracuse (3:30pm, ABC/ESPN2)
NIGHT: 7 Georgia vs Missouri (7:45pm, ESPN2)/Washington vs 3 LSU (7pm, ESPN)/16 Nebraska vs UCLA (7:30pm, FOX)
Sunday, September 9
EARLY AFTERNOON: Washington vs New Orleans/Indianapolis vs Chicago/Buffalo vs New York Jets
LATE AFTERNOON: San Francisco vs Green Bay/Carolina vs Tampa Bay/US Open Men’s Championship