Well, it is always nice to put one in the win column without being really tested. The Cardinals appear to have a long ways to go, and the Cowboys followed their every-other-week routine of playing well and then playing poorly. That pattern does not bode well for the Colts game.
• Before we go further, Greg Ellis is lost for the season with a blown Achilles tendon. You certainly hate to see this, but herein lies the first significant injury of the season. I really like Greg, and I find him to be as classy as they come, but these are the breaks of the NFL. Now, you just thank the football gods that you have to options in Al Singleton the veteran, and Bobby Carpenter the rookie to try and replace him. How ironic is it that the season my sit in the hands of Bobby Carpenter. You cannot write this stuff.
• I was wrong about Tony Romo. But there is no way even the most optimistic Romo fan saw this coming. A third straight nearly flawless performance on the road. His poise, composure, confidence, and decision making makes me wonder if the Cowboys have found the guy who will be their QB in 2010. He had some throws sail on him yesterday, and did throw it into coverage, but once again, his numbers tell the story of a guy who rates 2nd in the NFL in QB Rating behind only Peyton Manning. Isn’t that convenient? Seems to me that Manning is bringing that Colts 9-0 record to Texas Stadium this Sunday. I believe I have plans to attend.
• Speaking of Romo, that fake spike before halftime made Parcells mad. He doesn’t like a QB ignoring his orders. Sorry, but I do. This is classic Holmgren-Favre, circa 1993. The coach puts as much strategy, caution, and practice in your head all week. But on Sunday, for 3 hours, Parcells has very little direct control of his field general. That is why I always thought Favre would have driven Parcells nuts. But, Bill has no choice. Romo is playing so good. Just remember, when that play gets picked off and run back for a touchdown, it goes with the territory. When you have a gun slinger, and I believe the Cowboys now do, you take the highs with the lows. You don’t make these great plays without taking chances. And taking chances in the NFL ultimately gets you burned from time to time. So far, so good. But remember: Favre is about to become the all-time touchdown leader (409), but he also is closing in on the all-time interception lead (262). I won’t suggest that Romo is Favre, but my point is that sometimes he has to listen to his gut over his coach, and sometimes that will have horrible results. But you try to live with it, because at the end of the season, there will be more good than bad.
• If you Tivo’d the game, go back to the play where Greg Ellis is lost for the season, with about 2:30 left in the 3rd Quarter. Notice #57, Kevin Burnett. It appears when he is blocked that his mouth guard goes flying for about 10 yards. Don’t know what that means, but it is fun to watch.
• Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd both demonstrated that they can play in this league. Crayton has been doing it for a while now, but I thought he was really good yesterday. Hurd also helps give the appearance that the Cowboys may actually have some depth at WR for a change.
• Of course, that pass interference on Crayton that nullified the TD by Hurd was quite obvious and very much the proper call.
• There is no way the Cardinals can assemble all of that talent at their skill positions on offense and still stink for long, right? If I am Arizona, I would take 5 OL in the draft and free agency and get ready to win for a decade.
• Ellis leaving means DeMarcus Ware should expect a double-team every down. This could have disastrous results for the Cowboys pass rush unless Carpenter can
step it up. Perhaps Ayodele to the outside where he played in Jacksonville, and Carpenter to the middle makes sense, too. I am not sure, but obviously, losing one of the two guys who have demonstrated an ability to rush the passer is big.
• Terrell Owens is frustrating like Roy Williams is frustrating. I am not saying I want either of them gone, but they can make you happy and crazy.
• Is it just me, or are teams locating and throwing deep on Anthony Henry more and more?
• The Carolina and Arizona games demonstrate how easy football is when your defense can generate a few takeaways once in a while.
• One more thing about Romo: He may not have ideal height, but his arm seems plenty strong to hit a streaking receiver in stride down the sideline. That takes some considerable arm strength, as does a 20 yarder down the seam to hit Witten between 2 DB’s. I think his arm is solid.
• Never thought I would say this, but Oliver Hoyte is fun to watch. He seems like a genuine trouble maker at FB and special teams, and that is what you want.
• Denny Green: proof that white guys are not the only people that become retread coaches. Please form the line to the left if you would like to be the next Cardinals coach.
• After 9 games, The Cowboys have played 6 games on the road and only 3 at Texas Stadium. During the stretch, they have emerged with a 5-4 record. Not great, but when you play two road games for every home game over 2+ months, you have to be pleased to still be squarely in the mix for the playoffs. Look at it this way, who’s schedule would you rather have the rest of the way? 5 of the final 7 at home? C’mon. Talk about controlling your own destiny. If you want to feel better, take a look at the final 6 for the Eagles. At Indy. At Dallas. At NY Giants. At Washington. Carolina and Atlanta at home. They may have trouble getting to 9 wins. Just take care of your own business, and the Cowboys will play in the playoffs.