Monday, November 20, 2006

Cowboys 21, Colts 14 (6-4)

I have no desire to shock you with a statement that might be difficult to take this early in the morning, but it is my job – so here I go: That was a BIG win.

That win changes everything. That win shows what this team is capable of. That win shows what your QB is capable of. You just wish that you could enjoy this win for a full week, right.

• I want you to know that this point would have been written whether the Cowboys won or lost; Peyton Manning is a beating. Before the snap his non-sense is just flat out goofy. It can only be likened to the pre-swing routine that Sergio Garcia used to have when he would re-grip his club for 10-15 seconds before every shot. It is just physically draining to even watch it. I can’t imagine standing opposite Manning on defense and having to wait through his “look at me – I understand football better than anyone and watch me gesture over here and there to prove it” routine. He is prolific and perfect and all of that, but what an absolute beating to watch. Maybe this is why I enjoy his losses so very much.

• Incidentally, I would love to blame Peyton on this one, but it is clearly all the NFL’s fault that they throw a flag on that “roughing the passer” penalty on Marcus Spears. As a Favre fan, I have enjoyed the bogus call on this play because a DL player breathed wrong on a marquee QB, but that was insane. Peyton Manning is as protected a QB as there is.

• Tony Romo’s poise, composure, and execution continues to boggle the mind. In the 4th Quarter, his use of Terry Glenn was phenomenal. The best example was the job with the slant play over and over, and then the pump fake to the slant and finding Glenn down the sideline for 33 yards. In the first half, he got together with Terrell Owens plenty, and then in the 2nd half it was pretty much all Glenn.

• The defense got it done yesterday. The takeaways were great, and that stand at the end against Manning and his boys was a thing of beauty. That is what we were talking about in Oxnard.

• Mike Vanderjagt reminds me of something Jim Cramer tells me during his show “Mad Money”. “We aren’t worried about where a stock has been, we are only worried about where it is going”. Well, I don’t care if this guy is the most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL. The fact is that right now he sucks. You can make the case that his missed kick in the playoffs last year against Pittsburgh screwed up his head and he has no way out of the mess. But, the Cowboys don’t have to roll with this any longer. I would start searching the waiver wire for a kicker because my kicker has used 2 strikes already.

• There was a moment during a TV commercial when Emmitt Smith was introduced on the jumbo-tron. The place went nuts when he was introduced as the Champion of Dancing with Stars. And then he started dancing in his seat. It was really sad.

• Julius Jones just about cost the Cowboys this win. On the drive when the Cowboys tied the score at 14-14, Julius had a nice run around the right corner which went for 6 yards with :37 left in the 3rd Quarter. But for some reason, unknown to anyone watching, Julius ran out of bounds and was marked short of the first down. The Cowboys had to run two more plays, including a 4th down QB sneak just to get the First Down. Why didn’t Julius make sure he had the first down? If he would have lowered his shoulder, he could have run for another 4 yards. But the Cowboys got away with this one. Jim Brown would not have been proud of Julius on this play.

• Kevin Burnett finally made a play! And what a play it was when he returned his interception for a Touchdown. I had high hopes for this kid after watching his domination at Tennessee. Let’s hope he continues to grow into his role here in Dallas.

• And speaking of that play, Why didn’t Jason Hatcher take his opportunity to steamroll Peyton Manning? An interception return is your one chance to get a lick in on a QB within the rules, and Hatcher treated him delicately. I guess the rookie didn’t want to risk penalty, but I would have liked a bit more violence.

• On the Cowboys 4th drive of the game, the one that ended with Vanderjagt hitting the upright from 43 yards, the Cowboys Wide Outs were Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd. Owens and Glenn were standing on the sideline. Found that odd to say the least.

• Terrence Newman left the game with that punt return collision. I am concerned about his health and Anthony Henry’s health with a short week upcoming. Also, when Newman was out and Aaron Glenn was in, did you see the Colts run right at him on consecutive plays? I think we under-rate how good the corners are here sometimes.

• A day in the life of Roy Williams: Look great all day, cause big plays, get an interception, and decapitate an opponent. Then, get picked on by Peyton for a TD since you cannot cover Dallas Clark at all. Much more good than bad, though.

• Jason Witten’s ability to commit penalties is unmatched.

• Big props to the pass rush for getting pressure on Peyton. And despite Freeney killing Flozell early on, I thought the OL did decent work in protecting Romo and trying to open holes for MB3 and Jones. It was a real struggle yesterday as both teams were playing some physical football.

• I think the Cowboys need to consider more screen plays now that Romo is here.

• I think the Cowboys are much better now that Romo is here, and I think it is time I stop waiting for him to come back to earth. This kid is special. You can just feel it.

• According to Elias: Tony Romo, making the fourth start of his NFL career, led the Cowboys to a 21-14 win over the previously undefeated Colts (9-1). Romo was the first QB to defeat a team with a record of 7-0 or better with as few as three prior starts in the NFL. Two QBs defeated teams with a 6-0 record in their fourth NFL start: Mark Malone of the Steelers over the 49ers in 1984 and Doug Flutie of the Patriots over the Bengals in 1988. It was only the second time in Bill Parcells' NFL head-coaching career that he faced an undefeated team with more than three wins. The other was a 31-10 Giants loss to the 49ers (5-0) 22 years ago, in Parcells' second season.

• A few other stats: QB Peyton Manning entered today's game with three interceptions on the year. Today's two interception game was his first multiple-interception game of the season.

• And this: RB Marion Barber recorded his second multi-touchdown game of the season with two rushing touchdowns today. He is now tied for third in the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns. (Tomlinson - 16, Johnson - 12, Parker - 9).

• Finally, consecutive wins. Now, let’s make it 3 wins in 11 days. If they do, the Cowboys are going to be in the playoffs.

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