The VRR: Cowboys Can Build on Winning Record During Bye Week

By no means, was yesterday's win at Arrowhead Stadium perfect. If you would have told me on Saturday that Miles Austin would catch 10 balls for 250 yards and two touchdowns, I would have had visions of 40-burgers bouncing in my head. Instead, the Cowboys were forced into overtime by the winless, rebuilding Kansas City Chiefs.

October 25th and the Falcons will be here before we know it, which means the Cowboys can't be whistling dixie too long. Instead, maybe the old Johnny Mercer tune would be more appropriate: "You've got to accentuate the positive...Eliminate the negative."

A win is a win is a win. But, the Cowboys have plenty to improve upon.

The win came after a myriad of Cowboys errors, including 13 penalties for 90 yards, a missed field goal attempt, a dropped punt by Patrick Crayton, numerous dropped passes and several poor throws from Romo.

Whether Miles Austin's big day propels him to starter status or not, Wade Phillips says his role in the offense will be increased.

"He did the things we thought he could," Phillips said. "You're not going to make 250 yards every time, but he's going to have a chance to make big plays again."

If Austin is a starter, it would likely be at Patrick Crayton's spot even though Austin replaced Roy Williams Sunday. With a $45 million contract, it would be difficult to sit Williams for sure.

More VRR after the jump.

Tim MacMahon says that maybe Austin "ought to stay in the starting lineup".

He made key plays on every Cowboys scoring drive. He had catches of 18 and 37 yards on the drive that got rid of the goose egg on the scoreboard before halftime. His most acrobatic catch probably came on a throw behind him in the middle of the field, a 9-yard gain on third down that extended Dallas' first touchdown drive.

He made another leaping grab, this one on the sideline for a 34-yard gain, to set up a field goal early in the fourth quarter. And the 6-foot-3, 214-pound Austin twice turned short passes into long touchdowns (59 and 60 yards) by breaking tackles and bolting through the secondary with the game on the line.

"He proved that we can count on him in the clutch," said quarterback Tony Romo, who threw for 351 yards despite the fact No. 1 receiver Roy Williams stayed in Dallas to nurse his injured ribs. "We can count on him when it counts."

Overall, it looked to me as if Tony Romo's accuracy returned. Though, QB#9 seems more enamored with the team's resiliency.

"The guys just really, they battled so hard this week and went through a lot of junk with a lot of different things," Romo said. "To come out here and to get down the way we did, it would have been very easy to have said 'OK, hang it up,’ or just tone it down or whatever. And we didn’t do that. That speaks a lot about a football team and about this team. I think there’s a lot of resiliency out here and there’s a lot of competitive individuals and games like these. ... There are going to be a few of them this year, but if we can continue to do this, I like our chances the rest of the way."

Jason Witten was screamin' and yellin' yesterday. You go, team captain!

Beginning with the very first drive Jason Witten showed how fired up he was for the game. He exchanged heated words with Chiefs coach Todd Haley following an early penalty, and later barked at Romo when the Cowboys had to burn a timeout. Even Mat McBriar got some of it, Witten letting him know the ball needed to be snapped sooner when the Cowboys had to call a timeout as the play clock ran down before their field goal try.

The consistent play of Tashard Choice will also give the coaching staff something to think about during the bye week.

The Chiefs were also burned for two long runs by another similarly unheralded player, Dallas running back Tashard Choice. He scored on a 36-yard run and also ran for 24 yards, setting up the winning touchdown.

"We were going for the ball, trying to strip the ball out of his hands," Chiefs safety Jarrad Page said. "When you do that, you don’t completely focus on the tackle and getting the guy down. That’s when things like that happen."

Sure, the defense has given up scores late in the team's two losses, but the unit came up huge in overtime.

"I think it was a must-win, especially going into the bye week," said linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who recorded his first two sacks of the season. "It’s a feeling of relief because you see the identity of your team and I’m talking about the defense today. Some of the past games, we’ve lost in the end and it’s been on us. Now, we got the offense back the ball and they scored."

Patrick Crayton and Nick Folk may not be happy with their special teams performances, but NT Jay Ratliff helped that unit out big time with his fourth-quarter field goal block.

Despite his 6-4, 303-pound frame, Ratliff hurdled Chiefs deep snapper Thomas Sam Gafford to get in position for the block.

"I never tried it before," Ratliff said, deflecting credit to his teammates and special teams coach Joe DeCamillis. "It was just watching film and listening to what coach Joe D said and then executing the plan."

If you want to watch the victory again and again, here are NFL GameDay's video highlights.

And...SBNation's history department celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Herschel Walker trade.

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