Monday, September 18, 2006
Read the stories in the newspapers and watch the game elsewhere. But, only here do you get the Bob’s Blog Random Notes from Cowboys Week 2:
• This win is big for many reasons. The bye week. The Rivalry. The division game at home. I am not a fan of using the term “must win” in September, but the fact is this: The Cowboys demonstrated that they can make a number of mistakes, look sloppy, and leave the door open all night, and yet they can still limit the Redskins (of the 2005 playoffs) to one offensive score, which was a Field Goal. That Field Goal was a result of a 1st half drive in which the Cowboys made two personal foul mistakes with Ware and Aydele both giving the Redskins 15 yards and a first down. That means the dominating defense that we thought we would see this season brought their work boots last night and got it done.
• In this space, I have been quick to point out the negatives of Roy Williams that the local homers had ignored for his first many years. Well, the tide turned so much the other way that now I am starting to wonder if Roy’s overall game has improved yet again. Let’s look at last night: 3rd and 1 from the Washington 20, The Redskins run off right tackle with Ledell Betts. Betts looks like he has an easy first down until the missle that wears #31 dropped him short, forcing one of the many Redskins punts. Then, the play of the game. After Julius Jones’ fumble in the 3rd quarter, The Redskins took over in Dallas territory with a short field and a chance to tie the game at 17-17. Mark Brunell looked to the goal line with a pass down the left sideline when Roy stepped in the way with a great interception that reversed the momentum back to Dallas. I guess my point is that when we demand Roy to be a difference maker, and more and more he is doing it. Two games, two interceptions and several big hits. The one dumb penalty last week on the helmet hit on Leftwich, but he has been very solid.
• While we are giving out high marks, we need to make sure we congratulate the job of the offensive line. Drew Bledsoe was nearly untouched, and even more impressively was the encouraging job of the running game. If this team can run the football, they have enough tools elsewhere that they can go all the way to Miami. Julius Jones ran with great conviction and had 20 carries for 94 yards, and Marion Barber had 8 carries for 39 yards and the gritty 4th down and goal from the 1. He had to give a spirited 2nd effort and keep his legs driving to squeeze between the linebacker and Sean Taylor.
• Sean Taylor is a dangerous man. Like Williams, he has his warts, but it is tough to not be somewhat impressed with his assassin ways.
• In the effort of keeping our heads, let’s not forget that Clinton Portis did not play. When an offense based on a franchise RB comes to town without the services of that RB, you should destroy them. The Cowboys did just that, but the Redskins cannot be this bad. I am guessing they think the preseason is unnecessary given that Portis has been screwed up since he tackled a Bengals DB in the first week of the preseason. The Al Saunders offense has to be better than that.
• So, does anyone have theories on the drops? I thought Bledsoe was dead-on nearly all night; except for the pass that hit Carlos Rogers right in the chest in the play prior to the Julius fumble. Jason Witten, who may have dropped more balls last night then he had in his entire Cowboys career, and Terrell Owens were looking like amateurs. I guess Owens has the broken finger excuse, although his alligator arms at midfield made us all remember Todd Pinkston. Regardless, The job done by the QB should be mentioned because he took a lot of garbage last week and now he can at least enjoy the next 13 days as Cowboys fans can stall the Romo-wagon until Tennessee.
• And now, Bob’s weekly gushing on Demarcus Ware. He is an animal. He is unstoppable. He is the most exciting Cowboys defender in years. The Cowboys finally have a game-breaker in the front 7. This is a very rare treat, and Pro-Bowler Chris Samuels, who abused Ware last year in week 2, was begging for mercy last night.
• It has been 839 kickoffs since Dallas has surrendered a kickoff return for a Touchdown (Robert Brooks, 1993 – Well!!!!). Rock Cartwright, who owns one of the real cool names in football, showed how gutting a kickoff return can be to a team. If you are going to give up a return like that, you would surely wish it occur in a 27-10 win.
• Greg Ellis was good last night, too. And Newman, too – his job against Santana Moss was wonderful. Let’s just say that defense was dominating.
• Mike Vanderjagt and Matt McBriar – quality in special teams. But, I do have this question about the amazing punter from a foreign land: At what point does he out-kick his coverage? Surely, when you continue to punt it 60 yards at some point a punt return is going to be taken all the way back. But, he was the key to owning field position.
• Now, 13 days to prepare for the bad Titans. This win should not be understated. Cowboys fans can take a deep breath.