Before we move on to the Seattle Seahawks, which we will be doing shortly, let's take one more look back at the win over the Giants. This NFL opener was a tough one, this wasn't a gimme over any ol' bottom-tier team, the Cowboys were decidedly the underdogs. Nevertheless, Jason Garrett's charges performed brilliantly, and the bar has been raised on the 2012 Cowboys season. There's real optimism in Big D, and for good reason. Now, that could vanish in the blink of an eye, but for this week at least, I'm feeling very good about the direction of this team.
So what went right that I was sort of dubious about entering the first game? Glad you asked. Just happen to have five things here:
1. The offensive line. Before anybody goes nuts on me, they were far from perfect. The first half was a mess, they had far too many penalties, and Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray did a lot of work on their own. But, in the second half we got a glimpse of the potential, against a good defensive line. Coming into the season, this was the area that held about 85% of my total concern about our chances. Now, that number has come down. We're not out of the woods yet, but there's hope for it and without a decent o-line we aren't going anywhere.
2. Kevin Ogletree. Before the season, many were lamenting the loss of Laurent Robinson. With Dez Bryant and Miles Austin always an injury concern, what would the Cowboys do at the third receiver spot? Ogletree has answered that for now.
3. The defense. Last year they fell apart at the end of a few games, costing us a playoff spot. The secondary was a sieve. Rob Ryan couldn't implement his full scheme. Through the pre-season they looked like a much better unit, and during the Giants game they showed some real toughness. Brandon Carr is the real deal, and Morris Claiborne showed tons of promise.
4. Bruce Carter. Have we found the inside partner to complement
Chuck Norris Sean Lee? He sure looked the part, he was all over the field on Wednesday night. Is the Bruce Lee interior duo about to become reality? Oh the possibilities...
5. Road, Rival, Super Bowl. The Cowboys won their season opener on the road. They beat an NFC East rival. They beat the defending Super Bowl Champs. It's all good.
Of course, there are things to fix, penalties, the o-line has to play 60 minutes, etc. But for one night, it all went according to Jason Garrett's plan.
On to Seattle...