As I See It.
That phrase coming from slick Jimmy Johnson after the Cowboys destroyed the Bills 52-17 in SBXXVII in Pasadena, should be required for Bills players to view a couple times before taking the field against the 2023 Cowboys Sunday afternoon in Orchard Park.
Only we “mature” Bills fans can relate, but it still rankles me no end. There’s some history here, guys!
This isn’t the Super Bowl, but it could have a bearing on that game – SBLVII in Las Vegas Feb 11th 2024 – down the road. For the Bills, it’s must win. At 7-6, they’re out of mulligans. A loss doesn’t kill their playoff hopes, but it means some help might be needed. But a win? The Bills then have an excellent chance to win the AFC East and do some damage in the playoffs. The Cowboys at 10-3 can afford a loss and still be a favorite – along with the 49ers – to represent the NFC in Vegas.
The Bills just need to do what they know they need to do. They’re 2 1/2 point favorites in Highmark Stadium, where the weather is expected to be cold, windy and rainy. Perfect Josh Allen weather. Despite heaps of criticism from some media and fans for his 14 interceptions, Allen is squarely in the hunt for MVP honors IF he can outgun Dak Prescott in this must watch collision. Right now Prescott is the MVP favorite, especially following the Cowboys impressive 33-13 home win over the Eagles.
Quick plug here for sponsors, Atwal Eye Care. They gave me perfect vision after cataract surgery last summer.
BluTusk Tech in OP, which specializes in restoring computers.
And GlobalVendingGroup of Buffalo, now placing book vending machines around the world to enhance child literacy.
Here’s a quick aside to those who obsess about Josh Allen’s interceptions.
You can’t produce touchdowns without taking some risks. Tyrod Taylor never turned it over in Buffalo. How’d that work out? It’s about production, and Allen is again playing without training wheels with Joe Brady taking over as OC. Don’t put this all on the departed Ken Dorsey, who was given strict guidelines to help keep Josh from being Josh. Now 27, Allen is learning to avoid head on hits, while still using his legs when needed.
Just staying in the pocket doesn’t really change the injury risk for QBs. Several starters are now sidelined from injuries not related to running into people. Aaron Rodgers was sacked. Joe Burrow had two injuries not caused by head on hits. Allen’s stability is actually starting to become a story in itself.
The restricted style was omitting one of Allen’s best qualities: his legs and mobility. He has passed for 25 TD’s this season, which is three behind leader Prescott with 28. Prescott, impressively, has only six INTs. He’s also completing 69.3% of his passes, while Allen sits at 66.9%.
But why do so many comparisons fail to include Allen’s rushing stats? Or sacks? Allen has been sacked 18 times, while Prescott has been sacked 29 times. Rushing? Prescott is pretty mobile, with 44 attempts for 185 yds and 2 TD’s. Allen, on the other hand, has 72 attempts for 374 yards and TEN TD’s. That’s 35 total TD’s from Allen and 30 for Dak.
While Dallas has played more than half its games in a dome, the Bills have yet to play even one game under perfect conditions. The Bills aren’t phased by weather, and Allen especially has had some great performances in the elements. While the Cowboys are almost unbeatable at home, they’ve been inconsistent away from big D. An inexplicable loss at Arizona. A pounding at SF and an earlier loss to the Eagles in Philly.
Yes, Dallas is the NFL’s scoring leader at 32.4 ppg, but the number isn’t reflective of the difference playing home and away.
Dallas certainly has the reputation on D, with Micah Parsons leading the way with 12.5 sacks. Know where #11 is at all times, because they move him around looking for matchups. However, the Bills actually have more sacks with 42 – three more than the Cowboys.
The pressure is obviously, as always, on Allen. He must keep the turnovers in check and still make plays. The D has to move Prescott off his spot, and keep him from getting time to spot some great receivers.
Although the Bills and Cowboys don’t meet often, they do have some history going back to SB’s XXVII and XXVIII. The Bills most embarrassing SB was easily #27 in Pasadena, when Jim Kelly was hurt early and Frank Reich became a turnover machine. 52-17 final. Next year in Atlanta for SB 28, Bills had 13-6 halftime lead and received the ball to start second half. Thurman fumbled, the Boys ran it back 40 yards for a TD, and the Bills never recovered in a 31-13 loss.
One bright spot came the season after the blowout in Pasadena. The Bills stopped the Boys 13-10 in Dallas with an end zone INT on the game’s final play. I was on the sidelines, with owner Jerry Jones 10 feet away, ready to run on the field for the celebration. But LB Matt Darby, a rookie, picked off a Troy Aikman pass to preserve the win. Jones sprinted for the tunnel. See ya, Jer…
Jones got the last laugh though, as Dallas beat the Bills again in SB 28 in Atlanta.
Despite the Cowboys glitter and appeal, especially now on a five game win streak, I’m going with the Bills to prevail. How’s 30-27?
Again thanks to Atwal Eye Care, for their incredible job restoring my perfect vision with cataract surgery last summer, BluTusk Tech in OP for their great work with computer restorations, and GlobalVendingGroup of Buffalo, for placing book vending machines around the world to help increase child literacy.
See ya next week.
Editor’s babble: It would be OK if we never heard the phrase “How ’bout them Cowboys?” by Jerry Jones ever again, lol. We are grateful for Ed Kilgore’s terrific contributions to our blog. You can also find Ed on Xwitter @Kilgore2Ed and catch his “Ed Kilgore Show” wherever you get your podcasts.