By Will Martin
It’s a safe bet that the collective blood pressure of fans of the Dallas Cowboys is very high on the diastolic and systolic side. Reduced to a 4-4 record after another one point loss on the road and three of four losses by a total of five points. I wasn’t joking when stating back in August that an 8-8 record could and would win the NFC East. Of course Sunday’s matchup was made relatively easy when making the following declarations.
1. The Team in Silver And Blue Shall Prevail In The End
Sure enough another case of Deja Vu from the game played in Arlington back on October 2nd of 2011 when Tron (Calvin Johnson) made only a few receptions for 96 yards.
The Cowboys had leads of 20-3 and 30-17 before the Cowboys defense allowed a 30-17 lead to disappear into a 34-30 loss. That, and two interceptions by Tony Romo which were run back for touchdowns by Rob Carpenter and Chris Houston.
Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday’s 31-30 loss. Another 10 point lead was lost late in the game as the Cowboys offensive game calling looked to get a little conservative. Matt Stafford going crazy for 488 yards and finding Calvin Johnson for 329 yards-seven short of the record 336 set by Flipper Anderson back in 1989 as an L.A. Ram-and no answers from Team Kiffin.
2.The QB that wears #9 will make the difference in This Game
It was noted by this writer that back in July the defense of this Dallas Cowboys team, although currently decimated by injuries, shows an ability to bend but not break. No one has to wonder. Matt Stafford cranked out a shadow short of 500 yards passing. Eli Manning was good for 450 yards back on Opening Night in a loss. Philip Rivers torched Dallas for 20 unanswered points in a 31-20 loss one month ago. Peyton Manning in that 51-48 AFL style shootout was able to pass for 414 yards. That is also an NFL first by a team since the merger.
That alone is a source for frustration. The Detroit Lions set the new all time record for total offensive yards in a game with 623. Most yards in 54 years! That’s a little hard to take.
3.The Team With The Fewer Penalties Should Prevail in This Game
Kudos to the Dallas Cowboys only getting penalized twice in a game. Unfortunately Tyron Smith picked the worst possible time to get flagged for a holding call. In getting the flag you stopped the clock, denied Tony Romo a chance to run up to 40 seconds off the play clock and perhaps not let Matt Stafford do what he did with a little over a minute left in the game.
I had a bigger beef with why Monte Kiffin was content to go into a soft man coverage at game’s end. You do not allow 24 points on the road and expect to win after the fact. No way, no how, no instance whatsoever.
4.If You Can’t Get To Dez Bryant Go To The Rookie
For the fourth game in a row Baylor rookie Terrence Williams got himself a touchdown catch or kept a drive alive with a key play. It’s very apparent that Tony Romo has a lot of faith in what Terrence can do. The looks and the checking off at the line reminds me of those days when this was in effect with Romo and Miles Austin. Granted not getting a pass completed until well past the 23 minute mark of the first half to Dez Bryant is a sure sign that he was getting double teamed or not getting that open.
5.A Little Leadership In The Defensive Huddle Please?
The one constant on the defensive side of the ball for the Silver and Blue has been, will be, and continue to be Sean Lee. Two more interceptions in this heartbreaking 31-30 loss tells you just how much of an impact player the Nittany Lion happens to be.
To all the naysayers who pooh-poohed the contract given Sean Lee how you like that now? Sean Lee has been the one stop gap on the Dallas Cowboys team ready for a collective floodgate of free falling.
6.Dez Bryant Is A Cancer On The Cowboys!
Ever see what you or I look like or act like when we don’t win or don’t get our way? Sure it looks petty, childish and even a little like Terrell Owens sans the sharpie and the violin when you see those outbursts on the television. However, what you are seeing is a man who wants the ball. Not in a diva sort of way, but a manner in which Dez wants to be the guy.
Who didn’t ooh and aah when making that one handed grab? It’s also equally frustrating when Bryant misses an easy throw like he did on Kansas City and again with Giants?
I have no issue with being emotional on the sidelines with Tony Romo or Coach Jason Garrett. Getting into it with DeMarcus Ware or Jason Witten could be disastrous. Many friends said, ‘Look how quiet Calvin Johnson is on the sidlelines win or lose!’ Touche. If it were any team except for the Dallas Cowboys these stories would get little if any print or media coverage. Dez has come a long way in the last 36 months.
7. .500 Is The New Successful!
Sadly since 1997 the Dallas Cowboys are merely a .500 team. Old timers are sick of hearing about and reading about this. Since 2010, 11 games in which Dallas led in the 4th period were somehow given away or just lost. That is inexcusable if you want to get to the playoffs. Now 4-4 at the halfway point is it time to settle in for another 8-8 season? I will hold out hope and say 9-7 along with Hell No!
8.Turnovers Will Determine The Outcome Of A Game
Incredibly the Cowboys were content to merely match up Brandon Carr with Calvin Johnson in 1-on-1 coverage most of the afternoon. Finding a defender able to leap on a pass when the throw is at its highest when Tron goes airborne. It would prove to be one difficult task. Calvin Johnson came so close to setting a new record for yardage in a game. The Cowboys created four turnovers and still were unable to hang on for the win.
9.Fans Who Leave A Football Game Early Are Morally Bankrupt
With apologies to the people of Detroit economically speaking, a ten point deficit is not something that can’t be overcome. Did all of you forget the way Tony Romo lost a 17 point lead back on 10/2/11 in JerryWorld? Much like all of those Dodger fans who dared to leave the ballpark early to ‘beat the traffic’ Lions fans missed a historic moment as Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson were confident they would find a way to win…and they did.
10.When The Clock Winds Down The Quarterback Will Kneel Down
I remember that game in 1993 or 1994 when Dan Marino lulled the New York Jets into thinking that a spike to stop the clock was about to happen when Marino ended up throwing a touchdown into the end zone on a napping New York team.
Apparently the Cowboys and Lions were also caught napping when Matt Stafford did all the body language of a spike…only to sneak the ball across with 12 seconds left stunning everyone inside Ford Field and enabling Dez Bryant to get into it with Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware. It looked ugly as frustration set in. When losing, its the last thing fans want to see.
Tony Romo was a paltry 14 for 30 for 209 yards without a pick and three scores. Terrence Williams set a rookie record for TD catches as he crossed the goal line for a 4th straight game. If Dez isn’t more careful Williams could become THE GUY!
10A. The Guy With The #9 On His Back Will Be The Victor!
Have you ever wondered what the Cowboys might be like if Highland Park prodigy Matt Stafford played for the Cowboys? Ponder that for a moment as the Silver and Blue can now ponder an easy (we think) win over the 1-6 Vikings before heading to the Big Easy on Veterans Day Weekend.
In that frustrating 31-30 defeat Dez Bryant caught all of three passes for 72 yards. His demonstrations of frustration as the game wound down was the source of not getting the ball. The video and the audio release will show a ballplayer who wants to win. That’s perfectly fine, however…
There’s a time and there’s a place. Sunday was neither before a national audience. We’ll see how Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett spin this whole episode of acting DEZpicably.