I recently had a sit down with the Blog Father of SB Nation football, Dom Grizz Romolioni, the head writer for Blogging The Boys.
I have always been a big fan of Grizz. He's built up a very fun and informative community of Cowboys fans at his site. Many of those Cowboys fans find their way here to discuss a few things (we love ya Terry). All us SB Nation football writers try to copy Grizz's model, in some way or form. He and WCG are the big guns behind SB Nation NFL football blogging.
This week, the Colts venture into Cowboy Country, and I got to ask Grizz a few questions about the state of his Boys, and their rejuvenated offense. Here's the interview:
Big Blue Shoe: Terrell Owens has run his mouth off like no tomorrow this season. However, he hasn't really backed up his mouth with his game. He's dropped several big plays, and then criticized others for the team's failures. Knowing this, and knowing Owens' tendency to blame others when the chips are down, do you want to see Owens in a Dallas uniform next season?
Grizz: He's a distraction sometimes, and a lot of things he says or does rub me the wrong way, but it's really become sort of a non-story recently. The Cowboys just seem to let him talk and secretly say to themselves "That's just T.O. being an idiot." Even Parcells publicly just blows it off when asked about him; they treat him like the family member that kind of embarrasses you. What gets us mad is the drops, but this is nothing new for T.O., his mini-scouting report is that he's a physically gifted receiver with average hands. I would say that he has backed up his mouth this year, he has 7 TD's, tied for 1st in the league, and he's averaging 93 yards a game since Romo took over. Plus, he draws double-teams consistently, opening up the field for other receivers. So if he doesn't do or say anything stupid or detrimental over the rest of the season and over the offseason, I would have no problem brining him back for next year.
To view the rest of the interview, click Read More below.
Interview with Grizz continued:
Grizz: Everybody's got their own opinion on this one, here's how it played out in my mind. We got Romo as an undrafted free-agent, from a small school, and no one knew a whole lot about him. It was the kind of move you see all the time on teams in the 'transactions' section of the sports page; it was thought he was a training camp body. Parcells says when Romo got here he was green and not very good, but they saw something in him that made them think someday he might be good. He was behind Drew Henson, a player the Cowboys wanted to succeed, so he, not Romo, was the prime candidate for the "next Franchise QB." Romo was still just hanging around. Then during last year's preseason all the work with him started paying off, in the preseason games he looked really good and he became the #2 QB, but still wasn't ready yet, at least in Parcells' mind. So Bledsoe was the starter, Parcells loves his own players - sometimes to a fault - and he wanted to win now, so he wanted a veteran. I was at Cowboys camp for two weeks this year, and Romo did outplay Bledsoe in camp, but I, like some others, thought that Bledsoe gave us the best shot to win now. The moral of the story is I was wrong; we should've started Romo at the beginning of the year. It's rare to see a QB start his first three games ever on the road, in midseason, and show the poise that Romo has shown.
Shorter version: A green rookie gets a few years of grooming and he's ready to play.
Big Blue Shoe: You stated, before the season started, that the Cowboys needed to win a Super Bowl now, as in this season. Do you think this team, as it is now, is a Super Bowl team? If so, why?
Grizz: This team has the talent to be a Super Bowl team, no question. Just look at where they stand in a lot of the major categories statistically. But it's not just talent alone that wins Super Bowl's, and Dallas had - and still has - some problems. We solved one issue when we went to Romo, Bledsoe was killing us with sacks taken and interceptions at critical moments in a game. Romo has shown none of that, and he has the offense clicking with his mobility and high QB rating. We still have the problems of penalties, we make them at the worst times, and we have a hole at FS that has been exploited, and our offensive line can be shaky against the blitz. So we still have issues, but we have the talent, it's a matter of the team getting better in a few areas and more mentally disciplined, then they can compete with anybody.
Big Blue Shoe: If the Cowboys do not make the playoffs this season, do you want to see Bill Parcells come back as the head coach?
Grizz: I always want to see Bill Parcells back as the head coach. I am a Parcells' supporter and unabashedly so. Some fans are frustrated because Parcells hasn't taken us to the Promised Land, or even for a look at the Promised Land from outside the gate. You have to remember, when Parcells got here our roster was a mess (see Jerry Jones question below) and Parcells had to fix that, fix what had been a losing culture, and he had to install a brand-new defense, one our defensive coordinator had never coached before. That's a lot to get done, but we've got a stocked roster now with a very young and talented defense and what appears to be our future franchise QB - although let's let him play a full season before we crown him. You could do a lot worse than having Bill Parcells as your coach.
Big Blue Shoe: I've never hid my feelings about Jerry Jones from you. I think he is an incompetent, meddling owner who knows nothing about modern football. He is not qualified to run the day-to-day operations of an NFL team. This is why the Cowboys have been so bad in the modern salary cap era. I say this not to disrespect Cowboys fans. It's just what I see. I think the best move he made was bringing in Parcells, but he seems to be under-minding even him. Jones reportedly signed Mike Vanderjagt and Owens without consulting Parcells. I know the Boys won 3 rings under Jones' ownership, but that was 11 years ago. Based upon what Jones has done these past 11 years, do you think he knows what he is doing as a GM? Would you prefer he hand the GM reigns to someone else, take a step back, and just sign the checks, or are you happy with Jones running things?
Grizz: Jerry Jones is one of the best owners in the league, if - and this is a big if - he cedes the GM duties to his coach and just handles the rest of the organization. He did that with Jimmy Johnson and he's doing it with Bill Parcells. Parcells was consulted on every signing, and had the power to stop any of them had he chosen to do so, he didn't. When Jerry thinks he's actually the GM and hires puppet coaches - I like to call it the Dark Ages II, the Dark Ages I were the end of the 80's - then he is exactly how you describe him, a huge detriment to the team. But he's never afraid to spend the money to upgrade the roster, he tirelessly promotes the team, and he's very passionate about the Cowboys, they are his life, whereas some other owners seem to care little about their team. It's Jekyll and Hyde with Jerry, when he's the GM in name only; he's a fantastic owner, when he thinks he really is the GM, he stinks.
Big Blue Shoe: Last one here; you were one of the first to start blogging NFL football for SB Nation. In many ways, you are the SB Nation NFL Blogfather. You have built up a very vibrant community of fans on your site (over 3,000 hits a day). What are your impressions with how SB Nation has grown? What do you hope to see in the future?
Grizz: First of all, thanks for the kind words, I truly appreciate them. The growth in SB Nation blogs has been phenomenal, and we're adding new blogs all the time. I've been working to get more football bloggers in hopes of getting the entire NFL covered. That is really what I want to happen in the near future, a SB Nation blog for every NFL team. I think one of the great things about our blogs is the ability of the readers to create their own posts in the Diary section, along with commenting on the main page. It makes the blog a community for the fan base, it gets everyone involved. In the future, I'm looking forward to a site re-design and creating a fresh look with added features.
And to all the readers of Stampede Blue, you're lucky to have BigBlueShoe running the site. I find Stampede Blue to be very informative and often very funny. That's a great combination, cheers to BigBlueShoe.
We'll have some more cross-blogging goodies tomorrow leading up to the Colts at Cowboys game.