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aliens vs cowboys seeds

Cowboys Come Up Short Against 49ers Long Before Clunky Finish

The No. 6-seeded 49ers upset the No. 3-seeded Cowboys after a chaotic final drive that will prolong Dallas’s disappointment.

ARLINGTON, Texas — There are certain expectations, vast as the horizon, for the local professional football team, and when those expectations go unmet and unfulfilled — as they have for almost three decades and counting — another disappointing Dallas Cowboys season begets an eventful Dallas Cowboys off-season.

That is the only other phase on the sporting calendar that matters around these parts, where the team owner Jerry Jones and the thousands of fans who trudged out of AT&T Stadium on Sunday evening will, again, lament how one of the N.F.L.’s supposed injustices will go unpunished.

Asked when he had been so disappointed after a loss, Jones said, “I can’t remember.”

The Earth somehow will continue to orbit the sun as another postseason proceeds without the Cowboys, the third seed, whose cavalcade of clumsiness reached its apex as time expired in their 23-17 loss to the sixth-seeded San Francisco 49ers. In a microcosm of its performance, Dallas — after quarterback Dak Prescott dashed 17 yards to the San Francisco 24-yard line — could not run a final play before triple zeroes flashed on the clock.

Chaos abounded. The 49ers danced and whooped. The Cowboys sought an explanation that, they said, never came. Members of the crowd, enraged at the ending, lobbed debris onto the field. Prescott, after condemning the behavior, was then told it was intended for the officiating crew.

“A credit to them then,” Prescott said.

By the time Prescott approached the lectern Sunday evening, about an hour and 15 minutes had elapsed since his season reached its inglorious conclusion, and the emotions were still fresh, sore and visceral. The Cowboys underachieved, he said, and no reasonable person could disagree.

Despite winning the N.F.C. East, sweeping their division rivals and scoring the most points in franchise history (albeit in 17 games), the Cowboys had an unsettling penchant for wilting against decent competition.

San Francisco — even after losing the star defenders Nick Bosa (concussion) and Fred Warner (ankle) to injuries during the game — qualified as better than that. Dallas beat only one team with a winning record — the Philadelphia Eagles, who last week fielded their 11th-stringers — in the last three-and-a-half months.

“We had a team that all year would basically disappoint to some degree and then turn around and show,” Jones said. “This was a game we needed to show.”

As the 49ers advance to the divisional round next weekend at top-seeded Green Bay, which beat San Francisco on a last-second field goal in Week 3, the Cowboys will sift through the detritus of Prescott’s third loss in five career playoff games and determine just what was missing.

On Sunday, it was not one thing that doomed the Cowboys but a flurry of fiascoes, of critical penalties (14 in all) and ill-advised laterals, of coaching oddities and passes lost in the sun. In one sequence, the Cowboys ran a successful fake punt — and then were flagged for delay of game before the next play. Another punt, in the third quarter, hit the scoreboard. Citing how “very unusual” that was, the referee Alex Kemp called for a do-over.

If only, the Cowboys might have thought, that reprieve could have applied to the entire game. They did not convert their initial first down until they trailed, 10-0. They had 110 yards at halftime. They allowed five sacks.

When they regained possession late in the fourth quarter, with a chance to take the lead, a promising drive stalled in San Francisco territory on a sack and three incompletions, the third evading the hands of a diving Cedrick Wilson by mere inches.

That pass encapsulated Prescott’s game. Last week, with Prescott coming off a five-touchdown game at Philadelphia that buttressed the Cowboys’ confidence heading into Sunday, he asked Coach Mike McCarthy what was needed.

“I need you to keep being exactly how you are,” McCarthy replied.

Even if Prescott’s personality didn’t change, his passes did. They zipped high, far and wide — and, in the third quarter, into the hands of a diving K’Wuan Williams, who picked off Prescott at the Dallas 26-yard line.

Before the next play, 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel mouthed to Coach Kyle Shanahan that he wanted the ball. Taking a handoff, Samuel cut right and darted back inside, racing through a crease to score a touchdown that extended San Francisco’s lead to 23-7 with 5 minutes 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

“People have been trying to find the next Deebo,” Mike McDaniel, the San Francisco offensive coordinator, said last week. “The problem is there’s one Deebo.”

The Cowboys do not have him. But they did have Prescott, a set of tremendous receivers, a strong running game and an opportunistic defense that led the N.F.L. in takeaways. The Cowboys were not a complete team, but a complete team did not exist in these playoffs, and perhaps for that reason Jones reiterated in a radio interview last week that their objective “unquestionably” was to win a championship.

An organization that identifies itself by championships, the Cowboys have won as many playoff games at AT&T Stadium (three) since it opened in 2009 as the Alabama Crimson Tide. A deep red flecked the stands Sunday, with throngs of 49ers fans descending on Texas for the revival of a fierce playoff rivalry gone dormant. For so long, San Francisco and Dallas engaged in what seemed near-annual tussles for conference supremacy, though they had not convened in the postseason since January 1995.

The following season, the Cowboys beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl, but they haven’t reached even the conference championship game since. The 49ers have been to five over that span — and two Super Bowls, losing both, including two years ago against Kansas City, when Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew Emmanuel Sanders on a deep pass over the middle.

On Sunday, Garoppolo’s precision through three quarters enabled the 49ers to reap yardage after the catch, but his overthrow in the fourth, grabbed by Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown, led to a Cowboys touchdown that would position them for one final comeback. Their decision to call a running play, with 14 seconds left and no timeouts, reflected equal parts hubris and audacity.

The dozens of occasions they practiced it, Prescott said, endowed him with the certainty that it was both the right call — they liked the pass plays available from the 24-yard line — and they had the requisite time for it. But those occasions did not account for variables, such as Prescott getting bumped by the umpire, who could not set the ball in time for a last snap. Instead of handing the ball directly to the umpire, he gave it to the center, Tyler Biadasz — as Prescott said he was told to do. McCarthy indicated that Prescott erred.

Still, McCarthy said: “We shouldn’t have had any problem getting the ball spotted there.”

But they did. They had problems, multiple. Jones, who declined to discuss the possibility of any staff changes or the team’s preparation, will now set about assessing why Dallas, through five of the league’s six wild-card games, was the only higher-seeded team to lose. Once a dynasty, now an outlier, never the champion.

Aliens vs cowboys seeds

This adventure/supplement does take a step back in time, and gives a set of rules and ambience to recreate the �Old West� and as the name implies the antagonists are aliens. Now, there was a horrible movie with Harrison Ford & Daniel Craig � let us be clear the writing and the mood this supplement/adventure creates is 1000x superior � as it nicely blends in elements of the Weird West along with classic motifs of isolation and alienation. And, that means that this adventure/supplement can be ported into any setting but stripping the players down where Colt Rifles replace Fusion guns, horses for speeders.

So, in a mere 48 pages, there are extraordinary simple rules to transform your Traveller Space Opera milieu into an Old West setting, there is an adventure with a number of xenomorphs of varying difficulties liberally lifted from different tropes each with their own set of motivations. Interesting and well fleshed out NPCs � including interestingly enough � prostitutes. Interesting, as I thought the OGL explicitly stated that Traveller will stay away from the racier and salacious aspects 1970s Science Fiction and keep it within the Golden Age. But, because, they have existed in every Traveller adventure that I have run and been a part in their inclusion is done intelligently and with dignity and with respect to any female players. So, kudos, to finally a more mature approach to role playing that has always been present.

There are rules that are missing (presumably, because the Old West is going to get a Traveller setting onto itself) � such as chase scenes with horses � however � any good Gamemaster can improvise upon the missing rules in the meantime. There is also a definite feel of one-shot here � it would have been nice � if by way of a conclusion � that Gamemaster was issued with a small piece of purple prose that could be used to kickstart a campaign. That said, there is plenty of Deadlands, Boot Hill, Aces are Eights adventures kicking around that a Gamemaster can adapt.

I was deeply impressed by the quality of the writing in this adventure/supplement. It perfectly evokes a mood through its description and atmosphere � for a genre that I am not particularly keen on. Thus, it is a credit to the writer � which it actually makes me want to try this scenario based upon the images he has implanted in my head. The artwork is extraordinary and wish that this was the new standard for Mongoose. However, as we have seen too many times, with Mongoose and other publishers � art is something that outside the cover gets very short thrift. Which I think does always explain the popularity of D&D � yes � the rules might be shite (sorry, I refuse to engage in edition wars when describing a Traveller book) but the pictures still compel me to add this my collection. As it seems to be a lost art (pardon the pun), that art is getting less and less, thrift which is ironic � for this day and age � we are far more visually oriented than we have been in any other times outside of the Renaissance. Thus, I think, it incumbent upon RPG publishers to attempt to make a book � beautiful as well as practical � if our hobby is going to be passed down to the next generation. Hasbro gets this. Pelegrane Press gets this. Chaosium has lately gotten this. Why not Traveller/Mongoose? For Traveller rode in the fiery chariot of the Keith brothers who combined artistic sensibility with great rules.

Overall, it takes a fair bit to surprise me � this supplement/adventure did and in a very positive way. Aside from the above, nitpicks � my major criticism is that it is too short but reading the State of the Mongoose � a full setting book seems to be in the works. I only hope they can maintain the quality of the writing and imagination stay consistent.