Time for another edition of What They're Saying. In this episode we'll explore the emergence of a couple of offensive weapons, a defense that showed they can get the job done, a QB who can struggle but still win games and a media that somehow still doesn't believe in the Cowboys.
Let's kick it off with Miles Austin. Through training camp and the early season, Austin had Cowboys fans dreaming of a speed threat opposite Terrell Owens. His performance was tantalizing until he injured his knee and was put on the shelf for a few weeks. No longer an afterthought, Austin emerged as a force in this game. Here he re-creates his TD catch.
"It was an outside double move - a stutter-go," Austin said of his first career touchdown reception. "It was one-on-one cover out there and when I stuttered, he was still on my hip a little bit behind me. That one was a perfect ball, right on the sideline, and I caught it in stride."
It was a beautiful thing too, and it broke the game open. Romo gets credit for delivering a perfect strike.
"That was a perfect ball Tony threw," Austin said. "I had a whole bunch of ideas before the game about what I would do if I scored, but I was so excited, I didn't do any of them."
Keep it that way Miles, TD's are the thing, not celebrations that bring penalties.
Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd are now on notice; Miles Austin is ready for the big-time. Well, he still has a few things to work out, like taking proper angles once he catches the ball in the open.
"I don't know what I was doing," Austin said. "I'm not really used to running that play, even in college. I usually don't [catch] the ball in the middle of the field that way. I didn't really think anyone was behind me. But I just went straight instead of keeping the angle."
"I can't believe I didn't get in," Austin said. "That was a dumb mistake, I guess."
You're forgiven for this week. Besides, as long as you get it down to the goal line, we know MB3 will punch it in. Austin might get plenty more chances this season because his QB likes what he sees.
"I have a lot of confidence in Miles," Romo said. "He's really coming into his own. You can see that he's a guy who has confidence to go up and make a play. And that's what he did."
When the Cowboys passed on Rashard Mendenhall in the draft and picked Felix Jones, there was a chorus of naysayers who blasted the move. Time for them to reconsider their folly as El Gato has put on a show in the first three games of the season.
"Felix Jones really gives us a boost in the offense," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. "We're still finding ways to get him involved. But he keeps showing that he can handle everything we give him."
Keep giving him more Garrett, the kid can play. Like the 60-yard TD run he popped early in the game.
"It was designed to go to the left side and we thought it would be a big play," said Jones. "It was a great feeling to get out there in clear and just go. It was great blocking and I just took off."
It was good blocking, including a certain wide receiver who escorted him down the field while exhorting him to score.
"Come on," [Terrell] Owens said. "Come on."
Who says T.O. isn't a great teammate?
The head coach loves what the rook brings to the table.
"Felix gives us, as Jerry Jones says, that 'wow' factor," coach Wade Phillips said. "He slipped on some of his runs, but once he got out in the open, he was gone. He can do it. He's explosive."
But while we're extolling the virtues of the young running back, let's not forget the veteran.
"Felix had the big run and made some nice space plays," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said, "but over and over again, we just handed it to Marion. He really controlled the tempo of the game."
The only knock on MB3 in this game was some questionable ball handling, but that can be forgiven when you clock over 140 yards on the ground.
Click the link below to keep reading about Tony Romo's night and the play of our defense.
Tony Romo wasn't in the best form last night. He knows it. On a side-note, talking about Romo's mistakes along the way does not constitute being a "hater." No one should have a man-crush so big that they can't notice mistakes and point them out. Romo is like any other player, he does good things (most of the time) and bad things (every once in awhile) and to notate them is the same as with any other player on the field. Don't let your man-crush turn you into a farce where you have to defend even the worst of his mistakes, like INT's in the redzone.
Romo also took the blame for the pick, acknowledging that he forced a throw to Jason Witten in the end zone. "We call that Cover 4," he cracked. "He was covered by four guys."
Hey, that's pretty funny Tony, just don't do it again. But, as is usually the case with Romo, he battled back and made plays to help win the game. That's his modus operandi.
"Tony never ceases to amaze me," Wade Phillips said. "He has a will to play. If things don't go his way early, he fights through it and plays well. Tony came through for us like he has and like we expect him to."
"It's good to know you can win a game when you have to grind it out," Romo said.
After the Philly game, the Cowboys defense took some deserved criticism. It looks like the Cowboys defense is a work in progress and they made some progress against Green Bay.
"I thought it was pretty outstanding. Our defense played pretty well the whole game," Phillips said. "I was proud of our defense. They only had one big play (Rodgers' 50-yard pass to Donald Driver in the third quarter) and we still held them to a field goal on that drive."
The Cowboys did a great job in limiting what QB Aaron Rodgers could do.
"We were in a lot of [pass] situations that worked out for us," defensive end Marcus Spears said. "Guys were getting to the quarterback, and if you're able to stop the run and get those guys in those type of situations, you can win, especially with the guys we have who can rush the passer."
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers echoes those sentiments.
"You've got to give Dallas credit," Rodgers said. "I didn't have a lot of lanes tonight, didn't throw the ball as well as I wanted to and they did a nice job with their pass rush."
You have to give some credit to Rodgers, he's a slippery guy back there and forced the Cowboys defensive front-seven to get in their cardio work.
"It really stated with the secondary," Ware said. "They really stepped it up this game. A lot of the sacks were coverage sacks. We were running around, he was running around and we were just chasing him."
One guy who was chasing him and sacking him was Anthony Henry. The Cowboys used corner blitzes to change up the scheme and try to confuse the Packers, and it worked.
"We felt coming in it was something we could use against them and try to make him [Rodgers] uncomfortable in the pocket," Henry said.
"I told [DeMarcus] Ware I was tied for the team lead [in sacks] until he got that one at the end."
And to the media that was fawning all over the Packers this week, and picked them to win the game almost across the board; owner Jerry Jones has a proposition for you.
"I'll give anybody a loan here if you bet against the Cowboys," Jerry announced as the media entered the locker room, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
All in all, it was a great performance by the Cowboys and an excellent win. They moved to 3-0 and won on the road against a team that was supposed to challenge them. They did such a good job, that certain players on Green Bay spent their post-game efforts talking out of their orifice where the sun doesn't shine.
"A lot of times, the best person doesn't come out on top," Packers defensive tackle Colin Cole said. "But at the end of the year, we'll find out who's the best team. At this time, I wouldn't say they've done all that much. I don't feel they're the best team in football, so don't be too quick to go crowning them now."