Monday, September 10, 2007
The Following are my notes, observations, complaints, and other thoughts from the first Cowboys game of the season, the explosive 45-35 win over the Giants at an electric Texas Stadium.
• It certainly does not go without saying that a Win is a Win. Even bigger, a divisional win is a divisional win, and after what the Giants did at Texas Stadium last year the Cowboys needed this badly. They did it in a somewhat ugly fashion, with a defense that looked suspiciously like the defense that the NFL carved up last December. But, take the hard-learned lessons along with your “W” and move on to Miami.
• Tony Romo once again showed off his Jedi skills by being a dominate passer on 3rd down. He also totaled an absurd 23 yards a completion. He made a few passes, especially early, that made you wonder if he had ever played with Terrell Owens before, but over the course of the game, Romo was the Cowboys best player. He shows a combination of intelligence, courage, and execution that add up to everything you need to have an All-Pro QB. I have said it before, and I will say it again: He is the one. And as the Cowboys go through this season, it appears that they will need him to be great more often than not, given the premise that this defense is what it is.
• Ah yes, the defense. And of course, Roy Williams. It is obvious from what your eyes tell you and what they say in the opposing locker-room that he is still a liability that you attack whenever you get a chance. Every QB that rolls in here sees a target on #31’s back, which is amazing given that somehow this piñata is also awarded a trip to Hawaii every year to celebrate his greatness. Not only can he not cover, but I am starting to question just how great a tackler he is. And further, despite the fact that he appears to be the exact same player he has been since Darren Woodsen retired, don’t you wonder why the Cowboys paid so much money to extend him last summer? Well, as the cliché goes, “you made your bed, now you must sleep in it”.
• Jason Ferguson is done for the year with a torn bicep. That is very bad. Now, you should be able to run up the middle most weeks against Dallas. Ellis, Newman, Ferguson, Glenn…I guess lady luck is not smiling on the Cowboys injury-wise like last season…
• Why isn’t Plaxico Burress one of the best WR’s in the game? He has every ability. He is fast, he is huge, he has good hands. Does he always play hard? Does he have a QB that knows how to use him? Not sure about those questions, but I just don’t think he has lived up to his potential. He is truly one of those players that can be as good as he wants to be because he has all the tools. What a stud. Credit to Jacques Reeves for fighting his tail off last night, but it was a man versus a boy.
• I am sure Anthony Spencer made some big mistakes last night. But, I am not worried about those, given the circumstances of his first NFL start. What impressed me is that he demonstrated in 1 game more pass rush ability than Marcus Spears has demonstrated in his entire Cowboys career. Spencer had a few pressures and hits on Eli Manning, and looked to have hurt Eli on that last hit where he flung him to the ground. So, our bar will continue to rise on the young lad, but for one game, I was pleased with Spencer. He appears to be no Spears or Carpenter.
• Ken Hamlin fits right in around here, eh?
• You never want to see a guy get hurt, but Brandon Jacobs was talking last week about what he was going to do to the Cowboys. He left the game after his 6th carry, and did not return. He is surely a load and a kid with talent, but geez, I always thought guys who have never done anything should not be talking trash until they accomplish something.
• Cowboys pass rush = not good enough. Eli Manning carved you up last night. Yes, that Eli. I am curious to see how the Cowboys get more pressure as the season goes on.
• Mathias Kiwanuka is also trying to learn LB after being a DE for years. If you watched #97 chase Jason Witten around last night, and try to cover Marion Barber out of the backfield, you know that his transition is not going well.
• Speaking of Witten, is there anyone who is more money on this team? He made the Giants secondary look hilarious. How could they not cover the huge guy rumbling down the middle of the field? There is a guy who they need to keep healthy.
• And since we are talking about Romo’s Targets, here are some thoughts on Owens night. First, as Romo and him were having so much trouble with each-other, everyone look frustrated. He had 0 catches for 0 yards in the first half, and looked to be getting his pout on over on the sideline. But, in the second half, to his credit, made 3 catches that were all between nice and awesome. That first TD was an overthrown ball that he somehow caught up to and grabbed with one hand. The Second TD was just Owens being impossible to tackle in the secondary by a safety. Owens is a game breaker, and he demonstrated that again last night.
• The Cowboys blitzed a CB last night. That may be something that we haven’t seen around here with Bill Parcells. Nate Jones was the man on the blitz that shocked the Giants, no doubt.
• Jay Ratliff had to play a ton last night for Ferguson, and even got a sack. In fact, if you go back and watch, you will enjoy the comedy of Ratliff getting the sack, and Marcus Spears falling on the pile and then executing a sack dance. Not cool to steal the dance, bro.
• Marion Barber’s TD run on 4th and 1 was brilliant. And you know something? The Texas Stadium crowd erupts when he replaces Julius Jones. MB3 is the darling of the public, but you need Jones, too. This 1-2 punch is perfect. Just ask the Giants about Tiki Barber + Jacobs rather than just the backup.
• If the defense is going to get burned, at least don’t take personal fouls, ok? Hamlin and Anthony Henry both cost the Cowboys penalties for stupidity last night.
• A special teams blunder can cost you games (just ask the Eagles), but the
Cowboys got away with it last night on the fumbled return right before the half. At the time it had a horrible feel to it, with the Giants cutting the score from 17-6 to 17-16 is just seconds. But, thankfully, the Giants didn’t have special teams themselves…
• I have said it throughout camp, Sam Hurd will make plays if you give him a chance. 51 yards for a Touchdown, and he is returning on my investment already.
• Some may not be familiar with the Monday blog. I should warn those who want
US Soccer or Aggie thoughts that the day after Cowboys game is all Cowboys. Everything else is ignored. Sorry.
• Except, we should recognize the Packers beating the Eagles. That was nice. But nothing else.
• Next week, Miami. A lose-able game in this NFL. March On, those who are able.