Heroes & Zeroes
Heroes & Zeroes
Dallas Cowboys 31 New York Giants 33
Ugh, what a terrible loss. I would love to give credit to the New York Giants for their win, but instead I feel that this was a game the Cowboys gave away. There were some good things that came out of this, however. For one thing, even though Tony Romo had one of his worst games of his career, the team still put up 31 points on the vaunted NY Giant defense.
But there was a lot to not like as well. So let's get to the heroes and zeroes for week 2.
Marion Barber, Running Back - Until a strained quad muscle ended his night early, Barber rushed for 124 yards on 18 carries, had a 35 yard run and scored a touchdown. Unfortunately, instead of riding the running game until the Giants were forced to stop them, Dallas inexplicably went back to the air and threw the game away.
Jay Ratliff, Nose Tackle - A nose tackle is not supposed to be able to make the plays that Ratliff made last night. In one play specifically, the 6-4 303 pound tackle ran across the field following a screen pass and brought the Giants receiver down behind the line of scrimmage. Ratliff is a real find in the middle.
Kyle Kosier, Offensive Guard - Injured for much of last season, Kosier showed last night how much the Cowboy offensive line missed him. The team ran for 251 yards, for an 8.9 yards per carry average against one of the most stout defensive lines in football. On both Barber's 35 yard run, as well as Felix Jones' 56 yard scamper, it was Kosier who threw the critical blocks to open the holes.
Tony Romo, Quarterback - Sometimes it just isn't fun. When you have a QB like Romo, you are going to have games like this. He was off most of the day ad while you shouldn't blame him for the fluke interception on the pass that bounced of Jason Witten's foot, the truth is that pass was very poorly thrown. But regardless of what the blogs are all saying today, Romo is not a loser. Nor is he a below-average quarterback. For proof, take a look at how the team played last year when Romo was out for 3 weeks.
Terence Newman, Cornerback - No, Newman was not the worst defensive back out there last night and didn't have the worst game. But as the team's supposed "shut-down" corner, he looked rather pedestrian. Quarterbacks are no longer afraid to throw it his way and his lack of ability in intercepting passes (an ability he was known for in college) makes him among the most overrated players on the team. Unfortunately, he is still the most talented DB they have.
Jason Garrett, Offensive Coordinator - This moniker goes to Garrett for only one reason. While he called a relatively good game, his decision to throw the bomb in the fourth quarter, when the Giants showed no life and no ability to stop the run, and to have Romo - who was off-target all night - made absolutely no sense. On the previous three plays, Dallas had runs of 56, 10 and 15 yards. The Giants trailed 24-20 with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. A long, sustained running drive would have completely gassed the Giants D and probably would have been too much for them to overcome.
Regardless, this is just one of 16 games and even with all the good fortune the Giants had, they barely won. For those who are screaming for Dallas to bench Romo for Jon Kitna, remember two things; number one, Kitna not only hasn't won anything, but also he led his team last year to an 0-16 record. I read one comment that Romo is a loser because he never won a Super Bowl. Well, last year, when Romo got hurt, Brad Johnson (winning QB in Super Bowl 37) proved that just because you were a winning SB quarterback, that doesn't mean you're any good.
The schedule favors the Cowboys over the next month and I have no concern they won't bounce back from this loss. How many times over the years have we seen the 'Boys lose a game they clearly should have won? How many times have we seen them win when they should have lost?
My prediction was pretty spot-on, as well. I picked Dallas to win 38-34. If Romo doesn't throw that interception, or if Wade used his timeouts wisely (which he clearly did not), the final could have been 34 (or 38) - 33. Pretty close. For this Monday night's matchup against Carolina, I don't think it will be close.