OCTOBER 5, 2008
The task for the Bengals is as mountainous as the Cowboys offensive line and that's where the Bengals.com roundtable says Cincinnati has to start if it is going to pull off the biggest upset of the NFL season.
Be prepared, the scouts are saying, because here come the Cowboys and that smashmouth running game a week after losing a division game and their identity to the Redskins in a 26-24 loss in which they only ran the ball 11 times.
"They're going to be mad; they just didn't play like Dallas," says The Guru, a former top football exec in the NFL. "They panicked and threw it around and I doubt that's going to happen again. The Bengals are going to have to keep the ball on offense if they're going to win. They can't go down there and throw it 30 times and play seven-on-seven and expect to win."
"The Cowboys aren't going to let that happen again," says The Scout, who breaks down players in a couple of pro leagues. "Not at home against a smaller defense. If Carson Palmer was healthier and they didn't have so many questions, it would be better for them. They're just going to have to have that same effort they had against the Giants."
The Bengals are severe underdogs against the NFL's top team of the opening month with 13 Pro Bowlers that has rolled up the second-best offensive numbers and the 13th-best defensive effort.
Throw in the last season of Texas Stadium, the celebrity status of Jerry Jones, Tony Romo and Terrell Owens, and the lure of The Star, and the Bengals are wrapped up in a big game.
Palmer and Chad Ocho Cinco set the tone early in the week. It's a big enough stage that got The Ocho talking again and kissing The Star and a big enough game that turned the usually reserved Palmer poetic.
"A lot of guys won't admit it, but everybody wants to play for the Cowboys," he said. "Everyone wants to get drafted by the Cowboys, the way the organization is set up and the way they treat their players. Everybody in the NFL looks forward to this game. The fan base, it seems so large, that they have fans all over the country. It just seems like it's the big show, the Lakers of the NBA. It's an exciting game for our team. A lot of guys on our team have talked about the Cowboys and what it would be like to play there. It will be a big game for us because of all the attention they probably get and just who the Cowboys are."