Last year, watching the Pittsburgh game was a delight. The Pittsburgh defense could not stop Tashard Choice from making positive yards, even when they would meet him head on and stop him with a hard hit. When he would bounce back up, and show them that no matter what, he would go back, and take another crack at them, and make more positive yards. Whether it be 2, 3, 5 7, yards mattered not, because there was just that feeling that he was going to continue no matter what. Believe it or not, that demoralizes a defense and makes them worry about stopping that kind of play. In my opinion, Pittsburgh did not prove that they could stop that kind of playcalling adequetely, did not react to his success catching the ball out of the backfield, and until they reacted to stop that, just keep milking the cashcow.
It was our turning away from that kind of playcall and going to the pass that costed us that game. It was a tragedy, because Tashard worked hard for that victory, but it wasn't to be.
Last night, even after Felix Jones ripped off a couple of nice big, long runs at the beginning of the game, something was missing. The excitement was there, but for some reason, it didn't feel real. Yeah, everybody was cheering, but it seemed...fake. Like the success was , not built on solid success, and that to really beat the Panthers, it was going to take alot more than just a few nice long runs by Felix, as well as there seemed to be a feeling that sooner or later, Felix wasn't going to be able to continue ripping those long runs to the outside. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, since Felix got injured. It's sad to see that such a talented RB like Tashard Choice should have to get a chance based on injury, but no matter. In the end, he became the spark plug that not only ignited the offense, but the defense also.
It all started when Tashard turned the corner and took a dive at making a touchdown. The stadium erupted, and confidence that the team was going to do something good was restored. After an entire first half of being quiet, bored, confused, and diissatisfied, as well as let down by Felix's injury, the crowd had finally connected with the fact that we were in the game. Even though Tashard did not score the touchdown, something in the gut told you that if he had the chance to punch it in again, he would. He did. Once the crowd was into the game, that feeling did not stop until the Cowboys attained victory. The feeling of confidence was contagious, and even the defense, playing very average, started to play inspiring football. All this because of a dive to the end zone, with determination, grit, resolve, and heart.
Even the pass offense came around after that. It's a funny thing what confidence can do. It's contagious.That is why the run is so important though- To allow the pass offense to be effective. There is no reason to force the pass into double and triple coverage. Not with our backs waiting to be used. Why not try throwing to a wide reciever after causing single coverage? That's the real reason why most of the interceptions happened anyway.
I hope Felix isn't hurt to bad. We need him back to team up with Tashard and MB3 to confuse defenses. Did you see the entire defense fade to the side Felix went to when Tashard fake handed it off to him, then ran the Razorback? Fabulous! I guarantee that if the offense continues to revolve around these three and the run/short passing game with success, we will be able to throw the downfield pass with success- even against the Giants, Pitt, Balt, Philly, and whoever else you want to name. Using these three backs the right way is the key to running our offense.
And most of all, taking the pressure off of Romo and restoring his confidence. Get well soon Felix!