RIVAL HEADLINE: Bills and Cowboys have plenty to prove


Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has a 43-26 career record, but just one playoff victory.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has a 43-26 career record, but just one playoff victory.

Photo courtesy: Associated Press

It’s moment of truth time for both the Bills and Dallas Cowboys as they gather at the halfway point of the NFL schedule today. The Bills are shaken from their second-half collapse against the Jets in The Ralph. The Boys are full of themselves again, having quarterback Tony Romo healthy once more.

The boys from Buffalo are concerned about three straight road games, Dallas, the Jets again and now with even Miami actually stirring.

There is actual talk in Dallas about a possible Super Bowl ending in Indianapolis in February. But that’s what it’s been for the last decade, talk. The Boys from Dallas have been all hat and no cattle. They lost three of their last four games in ’10 and missed the playoffs.

But enough about them. The Bills have to prove they are playoff ready and not nose-dive ready. This team has been promising, but promising only wins a good seat in front of your own TV when the playoffs begin.

The Bills’ brass has to be thinking upon two levels if their first-half-of-the-season record turns from 5-3 to 6-5 or, horrors!, 5-6. That would put the 2012 draft on a higher level than any playoff gab.

There has to be clear thinking about how far they can go in ’12 with the existing talent. Two of the team’s cornerbacks, Leodis McKelvin and Drayton Florence, are among the candidates for new addresses. McKelvin makes far too many mistakes while Florence soon hits that undesirable 10th year as a pro.

The Bills also have to improve at offensive tackle. It doesn’t require an NFL scout to figure out that weakness. A few are good enough to be backups but the Bills meet the Jets twice a year and a lot of other pass-rushing talent. They need to get better.

Even some of their stars need to be challenged. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson is a sometime game-breaker but he drops too many catchable balls. The Bills have to find a couple of top-of-the line receivers to challenge Johnson.

We saw some of the changing of the guard at linebacker with Kelvin Sheppard making his first start. If the Bills can’t find a consistent pass rush among all the new guys maybe they better use more of their old stuff from the 4-3 defense. Successfully nagging Romo today would clarify the defensive coaches’ thinking.

Courtesy: Larry Felser | The Buffalo News


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