IT’S (FINALLY) 1 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE
After playing three primetime home games in September, the Ravens finally host a 1 o’clock start at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys (2-2) who are coming off their bye week. . The Cowboys dropped a 34-18 decision vs. Chicago on Monday, Oct. 1, in their last game. Included in Dallas’ two victories is the season opening 24-17 win at the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. The Cowboys also have a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the credit in the 2012 campaign.
GAME’S BROADCAST CREWS
TV: FOX / WBFF (Ch. 45)
– Sam Rosen (play-by-play)
– Brian Billick (analyst)
– Laura Okmin (sideline)
THOSE COWBOYS (and the media that covers them) ARE JUST SO SENSITIVE
This Thursday the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson joined Richie & Greggo on Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan to engage in what he thought would be your typical pre-game bantering about the teams who square off tomorrow. Little did Aaron know that he was being set up to for an ambush.
Richie from the R&G tag team took exception to a tweet by Wilson (since taken down) that read: “Tony Romo hung up on us during a conference call, apparently didn’t like the questioning – sensitive.”
The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec tweeted something similar and later apologized for jumping the gun on the Romo disconnect. The real culprit was simply a lost connection, not Romo running for cover.
Aaron refused to apologize. With both sides digging in their heels a reality-TV-like spat ensued. You can check it out here.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Ravens have been dominant at home during the John Harbaugh Era (2008-12), winning 13-straight contests and 21 of their last 22 at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore’s 13-game winning streak at home currently ranks as the NFL’s longest.
Including the playoffs, the Ravens have won 14-straight games in B’more. During their 13-game home winning streak, the Ravens have…
• Outscored opponents 360-209
• Averaged 27.7 points per game, allowing just 16.1
• Posted a +13 turnover ratio (28 take-aways to 15 give-aways)
• Produced 357.9 total yards per game (127.5 rush & 230.5 pass)
• Allowed just 290.5 yards per game (79.4 rush & 211.1 pass)
• Sacked opposing QBs 43 times & forced 16 INTs
• QB Joe Flacco has thrown 18 TDs & posted a 91.1 passer rating
• RB Ray Rice has averaged 130.9 scrim. ypg & posted 16 total TDs
AND THIS BIRD CAN SING ~ Q&A WITH JUSTIN TUCKER
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“It was from my grandfather: ‘Just kick the damn ball.’”
What was your major in college?
“Recording technology in the music school. I do sing a little bit, and that’s actually how I had to audition to get into the music school. Everybody has to have a principal instrument. I can kind of play a few instruments, but not any of them particularly well; I can just carry a tune. I sang a Vaughan Williams piece; it was ‘The Vagabond.’”
What genre do you enjoy singing?
“Really everything, but while I was in school, part of my degree requirement was that I took voice lessons. My voice instructor is a Russian ex-pro hockey player. We studied the bel canto style of singing, which is what you would associate with Pavarotti and those types of guys. He was hard on me and pushed me to be a better singer. I never thought I would take it seriously, but I took a liking to it. And now, every morning when I drive to the facility and every evening when I drive back, I’m listening to something on my iPod, whether it’s classical style opera or some other form of vocal music.”
What is a place you’d like to go that you haven’t been?
“The Holy Land. Israel, Jerusalem, that whole region. The Middle East would be a fascinating place to go visit.”
The Cowboys have had several 1,000-yard rushers. Who was the first?
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Patrick Willis, my college teammate, is a monster and a real beast at linebacker for the 49ers. He’s usually the one running over people. But Vonta ran up to that man and just leveled him [in 2011’s Ravens-49ers game]. After we watched the film the next day, I had to give Patrick a call. I think Patrick and I both agreed that Vonta is definitely the best fullback in the league, without a doubt.” ~ T Michael Oher
“[Ngata] is a load. He’s an All-Pro for a reason, year-in and year out. He’s one of the better, if not the best, [defensive] tackles in the game. He’s a big, strong, powerful guy, but he can play quick and athletically, which makes him two-dimensional. There are a lot of big, strong, powerful guys but they can’t move like he does. So he’s a guy you’ve got to address.” ~ Chiefs G/C Ryan Lilja on Haloti Ngata
DID YOU KNOW?
If the Ravens win on Sunday and advance to 5-1 it would be the first time Baltimore has accomplished the feat under John Harbaugh and for just the second time in franchise history (2000).
The Ravens’ are 8-0 at home vs. the NFC under John Harbaugh. Baltimore has won 11-consecutive home games against the NFC dating back to 2006.
KNOWING THE ENEMY
Coming off its bye week, Dallas is currently in third place (2-2) in the NFC East. In their last contest (10/1), the Cowboys fell at home, 34-18, to the visiting Bears on Monday Night Football. Dallas, who has never won a regular season contest against the Ravens (0-3), travels to Baltimore for the first time since 2004.
Offense: Dallas ranks 16th in total offense (364.0 ypg), including fourth in passing (296.3 ypg). QB Tony Romo has completed 101 of 151 passes for 1,148 yards and 5 TDs, but also has an NFC-high 8 INTs. WR Miles Austin has a team-best 300 receiving yards and 3 TDs, while RB DeMarco Murray has rushed 61 times for 237 yards.
Defense: The Cowboys’ unit ranks fourth (277.5 ypg), also boasting the league’s top-ranked pass defense (169.5 ypg). Pro Bowl OLB DeMarcus Ware, who has led the team in sacks in each season since 2005, has a team-high 5 QB drops.
FROM THE LONE STAR STATE TO THE LAND OF PLEASANT LIVING
Cowboys C Phil Costa played (2005-09) at the University of Maryland, where he was a two-year starter who saw action at mostly guard until his senior season when he switched to center. Costa played three seasons with fellow Terps and current Ravens WR Torrey Smith (2007-11) and WR LaQuan Williams (2007-11).
Ravens team president Dick Cass represented Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the acquisition of the team and Texas Stadium in 1989 when Cass was a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering. Cass also advised Jones on a variety of matters, including sponsorship contracts, the Collective Bargaining Agreement and salary cap, NFL broadcast arrangements, NFL Internet policies, stadium financing, estate planning, local broadcast partnerships and the NFL substance abuse programs.
Calvin Hill in 1972 had 1,036 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns.
Ravens 23, Cowboys 20
Player of the Game: Ray Rice
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT THE EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT
Q: What is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ biggest concern?
A: If bail money counts against the team’s salary cap.
Lastly, the only redeeming quality of these snooty Cowboys and their Ivy League head coach who thankfully left the Ravens at the altar back in 2008 is their cheerleading squad that unfortunately won’t be making the trip to Baltimore. Here’s a look behind the scenes of their most recent calendar shoot.