Well THAT was bad. I certainly expected a better game from the Cowboys and wasn't all that surprised that Drew Bledsoe was pulled at halftime.
Over the past few weeks, the talk around town was that Parcells was getting ready to go with Tony Rome sooner or later. Considering how he dealt with Drew Henson a few years back, I was pretty sure it would be later.
But Romo didn't have much a chance either. Although the 'Boys were only down 12-7 at the half, three things happened earlier that convinced me this would not be the Cowboy's night:
1. Eli Manning's 50-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive. As has historically been the case watching all of these years, when the opponent strikes that easily and that early, it has always set a negative tone for the game. But on this particular play, if not for the back judge running into Roy Williams as he was about to jump for the ball, it could have had a very different opening. Odd happenstances like that seem to always be a bad omen for the Cowboys.
2. If you know that your quarterback is as slow as dirt and you know you are going to pass from your own 1-foot-line, will someone please tell me why the hell the play didn't call for a 'max-protect'? You have a statue back there and no one covers the blitzer??? Easy two points for the Jints.
3. Alright, you finally found the end-zone (and T.O.), the crowd is back into it and the defense causes Tiki (I used to always fumble but I don't anymore) Barber coughs up the ball (and for some reason, faints) at the Giant 15. So, Drew, whatcha gonna do?
I remember my brother telling me about something someone in Buffalo said to him about Mr. Bledsoe - "He'll throw a lot of completions, but sooner or later, he'll make you cry." That pass to Glenn didn't make me cry, although it did make me ill. After the game, Big Bill Parcells even asked why he threw it there. He had 3 other guys open on the other side and the play was designed to go to the other side - where his $200 billion receiver was standing.
Okay, so there were other ominous signs. T.O.
dropping an unforgivable 4th-down-pass from Tony Romo to kill another drive. Then, Romo's pass to Witten, in which witten turned one way, and Romo through a bullet to Kevin Dockery, running 96 yards in the other direction, killed another.
And yet, Romo didn't fold. He drove them down again for another touchdown. But after not recovering the onside kick, and then not forcing the Giants 3-and-out, the 'Boys gave up. I still thought they could have taken their time-out and attempted to get the ball back. But this isn't the magical Cowboys from the past, and Tony Romo isn't Roger Staubach.
Don't get me wrong. I have been impressed with young Mr. Romo (I can call him that because I'm now 44 years old) for a few years now. But one half doesn't not a season make and one season does not a QB make (or something like that).
So, yes. It was ugly. However, not as ugly as this: