The Dallas Cowboys entered this game with no Dez Bryant, no Randy Gregory, no Rolando McClain, no Greg Hardy and no Orlando Scandrick. At the end, they came out with a 20-10 win and no Tony Romo. The injury problem became even worse on Sunday when Tony Romo was sacked and was down on the ground. Romo was then taken to the locker room and was diagnosed with a fractured left collarbone. He’s said to be out 6-8 weeks. The Cowboys are now going to be without two key players for a long time. But despite all that, the Cowboys refused to go away as they still showed heart and guts and came out on top and are now 2-0, and undefeated in the NFC East. I can honestly say that this was a hard fought, but costly win as well.
Offense: Just like last week, the offense was shooting themselves in the foot again with a penalties that were pushing them back after getting good field position. In the first half, the Cowboys offense had 23:09 of ball possession, failed to reach the end zone and were only able to put up two field goals. Tony Romo’s day ended in a nightmare after being taken down and suffering a broken collarbone. Romo finished his day going 18 for 27 throwing for only 195 yards, and being sacked three times. Brandon Weeden came in the game, and actually had a good performance, finishing 7 for 7 throwing for 73 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. The running game was very limited. Randle, McFadden, and Dunbar all finished with a combined 90 total yards of rushing. The Cowboys finished with a total of 359 yards of offense, but there was a big problem with penalties that must be solved. The biggest question for the Cowboys is if Brandon Weeden can lead the Cowboys to wins while Romo is out. One thing is for sure, and that is that the offense will be facing big challenges that have gotten bigger now that Romo is out for a while.
Defense: Another excellent day for the Cowboys defense. Even when Romo was out, they did not let that destroy their focus and confidence. The defense seemed to be very happy to be playing against former Cowboy DeMarco Murray as they were all over him, and Murray just could not fight through it. The Cowboys defense kept Murray at only two yards of rushing, and allowed a total of just seven rushing yards. The defense forced three turnovers, one of which was a Sean Lee interception in the end zone. Eagles QB Sam Bradford did give the Cowboys defense a bit of a challenge as he threw for 224 yards and one touchdown. One of the problems the Cowboys defense had was getting to Bradford. Although they did have one sack, there were times where the D-line could have sacked Bradford, but couldn’t get it done. Overall, I think this defense is very exciting. So far this season, the Cowboys defense has only allowed one touchdown pass.
Special teams: Punting was great as usual, but the punt returning was a disaster again as there was only one yard total. Cowboys Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia should consider putting Lucky Whitehead in for punt returns. Dan Bailey went 2 for 2 in field goals, and he’s yet to miss one this season, so there’s no negativity there. The best thing we saw on special teams was the blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. That was the first block punt return for a touchdown for the Cowboys since 1992.
The Cowboys will face the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday at AT&T stadium. This will be Brandon Weeden’s second start as a Dallas Cowboy. Weeden and the offense have a lot of preparations to do for this game. If the defense plays like they did against Philadelphia, or better, and the offense pulls through, Dallas can come out and win it, and be 3-0 for the first time since 2008. Critics say the season is over, but the Cowboys can prove otherwise.