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Kaz's Korner

Cowboys upset by 49ers; Division Playoffs move on without them

On Friday I peered at the six "Wild Card" playoff games that were set for last weekend and tried to figure out which home team would be upset. After some research and calculations my answer kept coming up the Dallas Cowboys and perhaps the Los Angeles Rams, too.

After all, it was apparent that the Buffalo Bills shouldn't have much trouble subduing the Cinderella New England Patriots, defending world champion Tampa Bay should waltz past the Philadelphia Eagles and their worst record in the playoffs, Kansas City should roll over the Pittsburgh Steelers (who shouldn't have even made the playoffs) and the up-and-coming Cincinnati Bengals will outlast the scrappy Las Vegas Raiders.

That just left the Cowboys and the Rams as big question marks. Dallas had the reputation during the regular season like the nursery rhyme says, "when they were good, they were very, very good, but when they were bad, they were horrid".

Sunday was one of those horrid games against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, whose starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was playing with a damaged thumb on this throwing hand.

However, that didn't matter. On Sunday, Venus de Milo could have quarterbacked the 49ers and watched the Cowboys lose the game 23-17.

It wasn't like this was the first time the Dallas Cowboys faltered in the NFL playoffs. It's been 27 years since they were in the Super Bowl. One of the main reasons for their inability to win playoff games has been their undisciplined approach and poor clock management over the years.

The Cowboys committed 14 accepted penalties for only 89 yards which means a majority of them were pre-snap infractions like off-sides, illegal procedure and illegal shift, all of which occur before the football is even snapped.

They are careless mistakes that should never happen in the 18th game of the season. Those 14 penalties are tied for the second most infractions in NFL history during a playoff game.

Sunday's game alone should make Head Coach Mike McCarthy wonder if he will still have a job under Idiot Owner Jerry Jones, who said after the game he didn't want to talk about McCarthy's job security.

McCarthy had a history during his 13 years at Green Bay of having poor clock management. That was apparent when he sanctioned the final play before time ran out, preventing the Cowboys from throwing a "Hail Mary" pass into the end zone as Dallas' last desperation try at pulling out the victory.

"Dak (Prescott) would have had a better chance at a completion from the 25-yard line than from mid-field," McCarthy said during the post-game press conference. "I thought 14 seconds was plenty of time for the quarterback draw and then have Dak spike the ball to stop the clock."

However, Dak forgot somehow the rules clearly state that the field umpire MUST put the ball in play before the next snap. He should have handed the football to the umpire as soon as he finished his slide which ended the play instead of putting it in play himself.

It's amazing that Jerry Jones spent tons of money to build an offensive line which is rated as one of the best in the NFL and then doled out another fortune for such offensive stars as Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, all of whom under-performed to the max on Sunday.

But if anyone thinks the 49ers will pull off another upset Saturday when they pack their snowshoes and head for Green Bay to be entertained by the Packers, they have another think coming. Several of their players got bunged up or worse against the Cowboys while the Packers had two weeks to get healthy and ready when San Francisco arrives for this divisional game.

The Cincinnati Bengals finally got that monkey off their back by winning their first playoff game since 1991, 26-19 over the LA Raiders. They travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in a meeting I believe they can win, even though the home team has had two weeks to rest and recuperate from the 17-game schedule.

Kansas City will host the Buffalo Bills who beat the Chiefs 38-20 in Week 5. It could very well be the best game of the four being played this weekend. The Chiefs should win, but it should be far from easy.

Tampa Bay should march on to the conference championship game after breezing past the LA Rams.

KWICKIES...ESPN's First Take host Stephen A Smith has finally returned to his show after being stricken with COVID-19 in mid-December. He had double pneumonia along with it and was told by the doctors that he wouldn't have made it if he had not been vaccinated earlier.

Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts, a Channelview native, was only three years old when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl. Tampa Bay manhandled the Eagles handily, jumping out to a 31-0 lead before Hurts put a couple of touchdowns on the scoreboard but still lost 31-15.

Many of the "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" believe that the days for Bill Belichick coaching in the Super Bowl are long gone. That may be true, but he did a magnificent job getting to the playoffs this season without Tom Brady at quarterback. All he said about his Patriots being routed 47-17 by the Buffalo Bills Saturday night was "It was a very competitive game we played."

JUST BETWEEN US...It's amazing how the Houston Texans director of operations Jack Easterby and general manager Nick Caserio used David Culley as their sounding board during the 2021 NFL season. They gave him players over the hill and no talented running backs and told him to emphasize the running game, fully aware the Texans would be so far behind before the half that they would have to resort to the pass for the rest of the game. I think Culley did a great job with the lack of talent he was handed to "go out and win." Easterby and Caserio want to create the New England Patriots of the South out of the Houston Texans and you can bet your bottom dollar the next coach they hire will be a Bill Belichick alumnus that they planned to bring on board before Culley was even interviewed at this time last year!!!


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