Welp. Coming off a shaky win against the Browns, the Cowboys were looking more vulnerable than ever. On the opening two drives, however, The Cowboys gave us all a shot of confidence when they quickly stopped RGIiI (yes, I'm calling him that now) and engineered a quick drive down the field. That suddenly all came to a screeching halt, however, when the Cowboys gave up 28 points in the second quarter. They tried valiantly to come back, but the deficit was simply too large. By now, the season is pretty much over. Even if the Cowboys win out, the Giants must lose two games. Wildcard is out of thought, with either the Bears or Packers grabbing the no. 5 seed and the Seahawks currently in the pole position for seed no. 6. The Redskins also now own tiebreaker over us. But enough of my rambling. Here are the things I think:
1. Turnovers, penalties, turnovers
The Redskins scored directly off of a Dez Bryant fumble that gave the Redskins offense a short field to work with. Later in the game, Romo threw two interceptions, mistakes you simply cannot make trying to come back from behind. On the first drive of the game, the momentum was killed by two false starts. The discipline issues on this team are alarming, and is something I hope will be fixed come this offseason.
2. Injuries, injuries, injuries
As much as I'd like to avoid making excuses for this team, it's just unfortunate and ghastly what has happened to our 'Boys this season. Here's a list I made up.
Defense: Barry Church, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Orlando Scandrick, Kenyon Coleman, Jay Ratliff. Those are six out of a possible 11 starters missing from our defense. In MLB, we are literally down to our fourth string LBs. Our top slot corner broke his hand. No word yet on the Beast Tarheel.
Offense: Phil Costa, Demarco Murray, Tyron Smith, Miles Austin, Kevin Ogletree. Now, while that's "only" four starters missing, look at where they are missing: RB, WR, and OL. Starting RB is gone. 40% of the OL is gone, but both of them are top-notch starters. 1a/1b WR is down. The only one I'm kinda happy to see hurt (mind you, I don't like seeing people hurt, but it was good for our team. Not Tree.) is Ogletree, which frees up Beasely and Harris. Which brings me to my next point.
Oh. My. Goodness. Our wide receivers are playing excellently right now. (I wonder if "excellently" is a word".) It could be the fact that Tony threw the ball 62 times in the game, I don't know. All I know is that to a man, Harris, Beasely, and Holmes are all playing at a higher level than Ogletree, and they are all playing their hearts out. But wait. I'm missing someone. Lost in the fact that we lost another MLB, lost in the fact we barely squeaked out a win against the Browns, lost in the fact that we suffered a near blowout against the Redskins is Dez Bryant's emergence. Look at his stat line the past two games:
Against the Browns: 12 receptions, 15 targets, 145 yds, an average yds/catch of 12.1 yds, and 1 TD.
Against the Redskins: "Only" 8 receptions, 11 targets, 145 yds, an average yds/catch of 18.1 yds, and 2 TDs.
He's dominating right now. He's on pace to have 1,176 yds total. This is the player we had in mind when we drafted him no.24 overall (WHOA JUST REALIZED THIS. DEZ PICKED NO. 24. CLAIBORNE WEARS 24. WHOA. MIND=BLOWN.) He's the one that sparked the "almost" comeback with an 85 yd. reception. He's the one that, with 8 minutes to go, gave the defense one more chance to redeem itself by catching a pass nearly identical to the one he dropped against Baltimore. Now, I realize that he fumbled on the second possession of the game. But over his almost 3 year career, he's fumbled exactly twice. That was his second fumble. Things like this happen. You want to know how many fumbles lost once Troy Aikman started throwing to him? 3 in 3 years. In fact, those all came in one year, 1991. The next year, he fumbled again. Emmitt Smith? He fumbled 16 frickin' times in his first 3 seasons. Ridiculously high number. Things like this happen.
4. T o n y R o m o
Tony, you're amazing. Do I need to say anything more? If the defense had actually stopped the Redskins once more time in the 4th Quarter, we're either looking at OT or the greatest Thanksgiving Day comeback--Ever. The two-point conversion was a thing of beauty. You nearly brought this team back from the brink. Thanks, man.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below. And Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
Thank you to BTB,