(Editor's Note: Cowboys quarterback Drew Henson is spending the off-season playing for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe. Henson will be writing a season-long diary for NFLEurope.com and DallasCowboys.com, keeping fans up to date with what happens on and off the field in Europe. Rhein (4-2) has lost back to back game to Amsterdam, and will be trying to break a two-game losing streak when it meets Berlin on Saturday.
DUSSELDORF, Germany - How is everybody once again? This past weekend, as most of you all know, we played Amsterdam for the second straight week, and again lost, but this time it was at home. This happened to be our first home loss this year and disappointing because we had the chance to come right back after a loss and play them again. But we just did not get the job done.
In games like the one we just played, there aren't going to be many surprises. It comes down to executing and playing smart. I think that both teams are pretty evenly matched, and in cases like that, little things end up making the difference.
The mistakes that we made allowed Amsterdam to capitalize and jump out to a lead that we couldn't overcome. Good teams take advantage, and they did. The turnover battle is the biggest determining factor in a game. Coach Parcells in Dallas always makes the point repeatedly that the team that wins the turnover margin wins nearly 80% of time. Those are odds that you would take every time. That is why taking care of the football is so important because if you can do that, you are giving the team a chance to win.
This week our team needs to refocus on the things we have to do to beat Berlin. We shut them out in Berlin four weeks ago, so you know that we will get their best shot. It's a game that we must have in order to start building momentum again and working towards the World Bowl. Our margin for error is less than it was before, and as a team we must continue to improve as the season goes on because our opponents will be as well.
Off the field, I decided to finally challenge the vaunted Autobahn, renting a car a couple days ago now that I know my way around Dusseldorf. All of the freeways here are technically the Autobahn and in many spots there is no speed limit.
I take plenty of taxi rides, which are nearly all Mercedes, and the drivers had to have been breaking 100 mph. I heard that the Germans felt it was taking their rights away to enforce a speed limit, and they love their right to drive fast. You learn very quickly that the left lane is for passing and you had better not pull the "I'm gonna drive 55 in the fast lane" move that we all get mad at, at home. Try that here and you'll have a sports car up your tail so fast.
My taxi driver told me one time that their freeways are safer here because the drivers pay much more attention when they are driving faster. I'd give him a maybe on that statement. I will say that buying a sports car in the U.S. doesn't do the car justice because I've been passed by a few Porsches and Ferraris and those cars were built to be driven on these highways.
Here are some other random thoughts that are worth noting that I've had lately:
- The two Rhein Fire fans who have been hanging a state of Texas flag over the end zone wall at our home games.
- The barbeque sauce that came on my chicken quesadillas instead of salsa when I tried to eat Mexican.
- Me buying a German Xbox 360 from Wal-Mart for the power cord since I blew mine out in the hotel room. I won't make it very long without my Halo fix.
- Making friends with a few guys stationed at one of our Army bases in Holland and letting us come use their commissary. You wouldn't believe how exciting finding Ranch dressing, Jiffy peanut butter and Wheat Thins could be.
Those are my thoughts for this week, and as always I hope to see everyone out as we face the Berlin Thunder this week at home.