Heading to Big D

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bella, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. Bella

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    HEADING TO BIG D
    By John Oehser - Colts.com

    Colts to Visit Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, Sunday :cheer

    INDIANAPOLIS - These are the ones that keep things interesting.

    Not that Dwight Freeney is bored with the other games on the schedule. Far from it. But the Colts' fifth-year defensive end said there's something about the new.

    A new challenge.

    A new venue.

    A new opponent.

    And make no mistake:

    To the Colts, their opponent this week - the tradition-rich, much-discussed Dallas Cowboys – are very, very new. And the venue is, too.
    “That’s the reason why you play the game,” Freeney said as the AFC South-leading Colts (9-0), the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten team, prepared to play the Dallas Cowboys (5-4) in Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
    “That’s one of the reasons why – you like to compete, you like a new challenge, you like a new twist somebody’s going to throw at you.”
    Freeney, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, never has played in Dallas.
    And he’s far from alone.
    How long has it been since the Colts played in Texas Stadium, one of the NFL’s most recognizable venues?
    Of the Colts’ players, only wide receiver Marvin Harrison has played there as a member of the Colts, and he played there in his rookie season, 1996.
    The Colts haven’t played the Cowboys since 2002, Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy’s first season with the team. Indianapolis won that game, 20-3.
    “It’s one of four places I haven’t played,” Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. “You figure if you play long enough, you get to check each of them off. You’re always very aware of the history and legacy of the Dallas Cowboys, and all of the great players who have played in that stadium.”
    But Sunday’s game, Manning said, isn’t about history, or tradition. Rather, it’s about continuing what the Colts have accomplished this season, and focusing on this season’s goals.
    “This is the 2006 team,” Manning said of Dallas. “They’re an excellent team. That’s what we have to contend with this week and it will be an excellent challenge for us.”
    The Colts, winners of 31 of their last 34 regular season games, lead the AFC South by four games over second-place Jacksonville, and they have a two-game lead on the three teams closest to them in the AFC – Baltimore (7-2), San Diego (7-2) and Denver (7-2).
    Last week, the Colts became the first team in NFL history to start consecutive seasons 9-0, and they haven’t lost a regular-season game with their playoff position not decided since October of 2004.
    “It’s very difficult to do, but they’re been able to do it,” Cowboys Head Coach Bill Parcells said. “So, that’s a tribute to them and their organization and what they’re doing. Enjoy it while you have it.”
    The Cowboys this season have been something of a mystery at times. They are ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL in total offense and defense – the only team in the NFL other than San Diego in the Top 10 in both categories – yet they haven’t won back-to-back games since victories over Washington and Tennessee in September and October.
    One factor working against Dallas has been a difficult schedule. The Cowboys played six of their first nine games on the road, including a recent three-game road swing at Carolina, Washington and Arizona during which they went 2-1.
    Those three games were the first three career starts for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, a fourth-year veteran who replaced veteran Drew Bledsoe at halftime of a 36-22 loss at home to the New York Giants.
    Romo threw three interceptions in the second half of that game, but in his three starts, he has completed 68 of 101 passes for 862 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. His passer rating during that span is 106.1.
    “They’re a very talented team, and when they’re playing well, they’re going to be tough to beat,” Dungy said.
    And while the venue may be new, playing away from the RCA Dome not only isn’t new, it’s something at which the Colts continue to excel.
    The Colts, since Dungy’s 2002 arrival, have been among the NFL’s best road teams. They have a 28-8 regular-season record on the road under Dungy, and this season, they have been particularly impressive against one of the NFL’s toughest road schedules.
    “We just go out and play them each kind of the same,” Colts center Jeff Saturday said. “We understand they (opposing fans) are going to be loud, but the reality is the crowd doesn’t play in the game. It’s going to be who executes the best football.
    “They (the Cowboys) are a good football team. We have to go out and out-execute them.”
    Including Dallas, the Colts have yet to play a team on the road this season with a losing record, having played the New York Giants (6-3), the New York Jets (5-4), the Denver Broncos (7-2) and the New England Patriots (6-3). Three of those games – Giants, Broncos and Patriots – were among the league’s most high-profile games this season, and the Colts won all three.
    “It’s hard to pinpoint a reason,” Manning said. “I think when we play well, it’s just because we do, because we execute, whether it’s home or away. You can make the same mistakes at home that you can on the road.
    “I think sometimes it’s really more about how you play that particular Sunday, but there’s no question we do spend a lot of time preparing for playing on the road, whether it’s dealing with crowd noise and working on our communication skills and hand signals and whatever that may be.
    “So a place like Dallas, which you hear is one of the louder places, it will be a challenge and the crowd is very much going to be a factor in the game.”
    The venue won’t be a factor, exactly, Freeney said, but there will be something special about playing in Texas Stadium for the first time.
    “It’s going to be a fun game, historic,” Freeney said. “All the history that goes with the Cowboys, I guess there’s going to be a little hype to that. But at the end of the day, all that stuff gets put aside and you just go out there and play ball.
    “I actually grew up hating Dallas because I was a Giants fan. As a Giants fan, you never liked anyone else in the NFC East, but they definitely have a lot of tradition there.
    “It’s going to be a fun game.”


    Go BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whooooooooo Hoooooooooooo!!!!
    ~Bella
     
  2. Bella

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    TD!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Whooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

    Way to go into half time boys!!!

    :cheer :cheer :cheer :cheer

    ~Bella
     
  3. Bella

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    Booo Hooo!!:( :cry
    Somebody get me another beer please!!
    ~Bella