2014 Dallas Cowboys Season Preview and Schedule

The Dallas Cowboys have been the NFL’s most average team over the last decade, and as they come of yet another 8-8 season the team is looking for a new identity. The 2013 Cowboys had one of the worst defenses in NFL history, giving up an obscene amount of passing yards including allowing Calvin Johnson to break the NFL record for receiving yards in a game. Even with the defensive woes, the season came down to Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles. QB Tony Romo was lost for the game after an injury the previous Sunday, and a Kyle Orton interception with two minutes left in the 4th quarter ended the Cowboys season.

This year the Cowboys go into the season without All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware for the first time in nine seasons, releasing the pass rusher before the cap hit. Ware joined the AFC champion Broncos and the Cowboys brougth in Henry Melton to help out in his absence. Miles Austin was also let go after a productive career thus far, though he might still be brought back with a smaller deal if the Cowboys decide not to pick up a wide receiver in the first couple rounds of the upcoming draft.

Will this ever be a winning combination? (USA Today)

Many of the fans complaints through the 2013 season came about the coaching staff, with Monte Kiffin’s defense playing a new system that did not work in any facet of the game. The blitzing that we saw in 2013 behind Rob Ryan was gone, with a more conservative approach being taken. On offense, Bill Callahan took over play calling duties from head coach Jason Garrett to middling success. The season began well, including a huge game passing from Romo against the Broncos in Week 5 that included 5 TDs and over 500 yards. As the season went on the offense declined, and the choice to call passing plays even with the run working baffled pundits and fans around the league.

The 2014 schedule is challenging, with home games against the 49ers, Saints, Colts and Cardinals. Those teams had a combined record of 44-20 in 2013, and the 49ers were one play away from a second consecutive berth in the Super Bowl. The Saints returned from suspension hell after the ‘Bountygate’ scandal, and were once again a force to be reckoned with — including their 32-point beat down of Dallas in Week 10.
On the road the Cowboys will see Chicago, Tennessee, and the defending-champion Seattle Seahawks. There’s no stadium in the NFL louder than Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, and the last time the Cowboys were at Soldier Field it didn’t work out too well for them. The Cowboys will also play the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on November 9, with the Jags losing the home game from their schedule.

The NFC East is always a wide-open race, and this year expect the Redskins to once again challenge the Cowboys and Eagles. The Cowboys went 1-1 against the Eagles in 2013, and will need to get through divisional play with a winning record if they want another shot at the NFL playoffs in 2014.

The Week in TicketCity Search – The Cowboys Ride On

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Nov. 4t
h
Previous
Week
Event
Searched
1 1 Drake
2 - Luke Bryan
3 7 Maimi Heat
4 3 George Strait
5 2 Dallas Cowboys
6 - Pink
7 - Justin Timberlake
8 6 SF 49ers
9 - NY Knicks
10 - WWE

Some shuffling in the top 5, but Drake holds on to #1 this week. Luke Bryan, one of a few performers who have been bouncing on and off the countdown for the past few month, bounced back to #2. He is followed by the Heat, who make a nice jump up from #7 as we’re moving deeper into the regular NBA season. The 2 time defending champs have racked up a 4-2 record so far.

George Strait and the Dallas Cowboys have to settle for slightly lower positions in the top five. George may not have kept the #1 spot, but he’s been a solid top five performer so far. So have the Cowboys for that matter, something new for them.

Returning much like Mr. Bryan, both Pink and Justin Timberlake re-re-re-re-enter the countdown at #6 and #7. Pink’s Truth About Love Tour is back on track after a little vocal rest and recuperation. The 20/20 Experience World Tour hasn’t slowed down at all; the next stop at the Izod Center.

The Knicks join the Heat this week, though not quite so high, and the WWE returns. Their bigger PPVs land earlier in the year, so fans may be grabbing tickets early for Survivor Series and Wrestlemania.

The Week in TicketCity Search – Aubrey Ascendant

TicketCity Week in Search

Week of
Oct. 28t
h
Previous
Week
Event
Searched
1 2 Drake
2 - Dallas Cowboys
3 1 George Strait
4 7 Pearl Jam
5 - Kanye West
6 4 SF 49ers
7 - Maimi Heat
8 - NFR
9 6 Jason Aldean
10 - Denver Broncos

More survivors this week, and a small shuffle at the top. George Strait’s dream of a long stay in first place ended a bit early. He does end up at a very respectable #3, giving up the top spot to Drake, who returned only last week. The Cowboys also return. Their choppy run this year on the countdown is certainly different from previous years, though overall I believe they’ve been on the countdown more thanks to it.

Pearl Jam climbs to #4 and Kanye returns to the #5 spot. Bad news for Kanye fans, though, as he’s had to postpone some tour dates as the 60-foot circular LED screen used in the show was damaged in a highway accident while on the way to the Vancouver show. Anyone who thinks you can perform without a custom-made 60-foot circular LED screen simply doesn’t have the music in their, like, soul, man.

The 49ers’ solid run continues. While they’ve not really reached the top, they’ve been on the countdown for weeks now. The Heat return to remind us the NBA’s 2013-14 season is officially underway.

The National Finals Rodeo enters at #8 this week. The ten-day extravaganza of the best rodeo has to offer starts up December 5th at its usual home, The Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. I probably made the “When you think Las Vegas, rodeo is the first thing that comes to mind” joke every year at this point, so I’ll skip it this year.

Process of elimination suggests we’re going with Pearl Jam today. Their latest video and single is “Sirens.” The song holds up, but the video has a whiff of “not-trying” about it.

The Other Lead – Your Sports Weekend in GIFs, Pics and Video

This week we’ll start with the most talked-about play of the weekend. Game 3 of the World Series ended on an obstruction call at third base. Was third baseman Will Middlebrooks even in the base path to home plate? Did he lift his leg on purpose? According to the rule as it stands, none of those questions matter. Sounds like Major League Baseball will be revisiting the rule in the offseason. The Cardinals won the game on the play to go up 2-1, but lose the next two games and now face elimination on Wednesday in Boston. Here it is:

It was a fun night in Norman if you are a Sooner fan, as Oklahoma took down #10 Texas Tech 38-30, thanks in part to this amazing double reverse for a TD:

 

#7 Miami escaped a wild one against 4-4 Wake Forest, but the win has given us more questions than answers about the Canes. Here’s the play of game… call it luck, call it skill or something in between, i’ll just call it ridiculous.

 

The Lions came back to win the game against the Cowboys on a last-second QB sneak by Matt Stafford, but its Calvin Johnson that was the star once again. Johnson caught 14 passes for 329 YARDS and a touchdown in, which was good enough for 2nd in NFL history for receiving yards in a single game. Whether it’s a slant or Stafford just throwing it up there, Megatron is just that good:

The biggest hit of the World Series this far, and likely to remain as such if the Red Sox clinch, is Johnny Gomes’ home run in Game 4 at Busch Stadium. He was hitless for the series up to them, and it was exactly what the Sox needed to get out of the rut they were in after the crazy end to Game 3. Here’s Johnny!:

AT&T Stadium Event Guide – Cowboys Game Day

This stadium uses more electricity on Sundays than a small country and you’ll feel it when you’re there on game day to see the Cowboys.

My most recent NFL venture this season took me to the one and only Cowboys Stadi.… scratch that, AT&T Stadium. There was no surprise to hear that Jerry sold out the naming rights, it was bound to happen eventually, but I was surprised at just how extravagant AT&T Stadium was. I had heard countless descriptions of how jaw-dropping and amazing this stadium was but never gave them much attention until I experienced a Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium first hand. It really is one of the most monumental stadiums I have ever been in.

For starters, the stadium looks like it should be called the AT&T Spaceship as I was anxiously awaiting its departure the entire time I was there. But besides looking like a futuristic aircraft out of Star Wars, AT&T Stadium definitely puts the “luxury” in NFL. Upon entering the stadium, after making your way through a pre-game outdoor courtyard complete with stand up tables, walk-up bars, and a very large screen showing both teams warming up, the colossal size of AT&T Stadium begins to set in. I can’t even begin to describe how tiny I felt walking into the stadium because I have never been inside something that massive.

My view from Section 413, Row 29

My view from Section 413, Row 29

After taking in the scenery of AT&T Stadium’s extravagant entrance the hike began. Fore Warning: if you are sitting in the upper concourse wear easy walking shoes. I was headed to section 413 row 29, which I learned after getting to my seat is the second to last row from the top of the stadium. In the midst of catching my breath and wiping the sweat from my face I was greeted with one of the most amazing video screens I have ever seen. If you haven’t seen 23,040 square feet of video board than the only thing I can tell you is to go see it because it’s awesome. Back to my seats though, which were surprisingly great. Before I start ranting about how much I enjoyed my seats, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Yes they were in the “nose-bleed” section and yes almost every seat in the stadium was closer to the field, but they were far from bad seats. Having played football the better part of half of my life, I enjoy having a wide view of the game and for even the slightest football savvy fan this view allows you to actually witness the plays develop. When I saw the Texans play at Reliant Stadium earlier this season, the seats were great but every snap was somewhat of a blur because you couldn’t see anything develop. The playing speed actually appears to slow down the further away you get and at the top of the stadium I was able to see blocking schemes, routes open up and holes for the running back to maneuver through. Despite my wife not having a clue as to what I was saying, I thoroughly enjoyed the “nose-bleed” section and have recommended it to tons of people. Besides it’s hard to miss anything when the video screen in front of you spans the 20 yard lines, and it’s not like watching the game from home.

There is one pet peeve that is capable of detouring people from live events, including myself, and that’s the horrific traffic that precedes the game. While I can’t speak for Dallas as a whole (because the traffic is horrible) leaving the Cowboy’s game was pretty painless. What’s even more amazing is if you’re the type who would rather not risk getting caught in the traffic there is no need to leave at the beginning of the 4th quarter (like many Cowboy’s fans were doing even though we were beating the Rams) to avoid it. As the saying goes, “There is no party like the after party,” and it  holds true at AT&T Stadium. Instead of submerging into the stampede headed towards the parking lot, hit up the Cowboys after party in the stadium and enjoy a live band, TVs displaying the remaining games, and more beverages. Pretty solid idea if you ask me.

So to recap, if you haven’t been to AT&T Stadium to catch a game you need to. Whether it’s a Dallas Cowboys game, college football game, or college basketball game you’re in for a treat, I can promise you that. The Cowboys have yet to host Minnesota, Oakland, Green Bay and Philadelphia on their 2013 schedule and the Big 12 showdown between Texas Tech and Baylor is headed to AT&T Stadium on November 16. With the AT&T Cotton Bowl and the Final Four making their way in the AT&T Stadium in 2014 there is plenty of time to get tickets to some of the biggest college sporting events in the country.