Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Early Reactions To Win Over Vikings

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys move a game over .500 for the third time this season and stand alone at the top of the NFC East after a 27-23 win over the Vikings. Here are some early reactions from players and coaches.

Romo’s celebration well earned - Tom Orsborn, Evening News
Garrett puts Romo's performance that culminated in a game-winning TD-drive in context:

"I know a lot of people want to talk about some of these plays or games where things didn’t work out. But if you really look at his body of work and you look at it objectively, he’s done this kind of stuff a lot," Garrett said. "…Anybody who knows football and understands football and has followed our team, understands what a fantastic player he is. That was on display again today."

Romo, Cowboys Avoid Upset, Beat Vikings 27-23 - CBS DFW
Jason Witten, who had eight catches for 102 yards and a TD for Dallas, also praised Romo, after Romo threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left ."

A great job by Tony (Romo)" said Witten. "He was as good as I’ve seen him in a long time as far as directing traffic, finding throws and staying poised in his decision making."

Anatomy of Cowboys' game-winning drive - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys' receivers had eight drops on Sunday. But the Cowboys and Tony Romo found a way to get through that at the end, much to the relief of the fans watching the game

"You don’t want drops ever to happen," Romo said. "You’re going to have them happen one or two times. Today was a little extreme. You just have to keep your approach even keel."

"Relief is never a term I would use," Romo said. "It’s a joy. You feel like you won the football game, and you feel like you gave yourself a chance to win at that point. More than anything it’s a little more competitive than that, if that makes sense ... I just picture Michael Jordan over Xavier McDaniel where he’s just kind of aggressively being, 'Yes!' That’s the feeling you have. Without swearing, you want to be like that."

Lethargic Cowboys avoid irreparable damage thanks to 'phenomenal' Tony Romo - David Moore, DMN
Jason Witten keeping it real:

"You can be in first place in your division and all that," Witten said. "We all have to realize that and live in the now. But deep down, we know that we’ve got to play better moving forward."

Cowboys set a franchise-low in rushing yards - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
DeMarco Murray had just four carries for 31 yards.

"Yeah, yeah, but hey we won and we were effective in the passing game," Murray said.

Nick Hayden rocks on with touchdown celebration vs. Minnesota Vikings - Brandon George, DMN
Hayden broke out the air guitar after his unexpected TD.

"I think you just call it the rock and roll touchdown dance," Hayden said. "I was playing the guitar and I smashed it right afterwards."

Fellow lineman Jason Hatcher saw some issues with Hayden's technique:

"He told me what he did, rock star with a guitar then a salute the troops," Hatcher said. "I thought it was pretty awesome. I’m pretty sure he didn’t have any rhythm to it."

Defensive Line No-Names Find Way To Step Up Once Again - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Nick Hayden had more to talk about than just his air guitar solo.

"This group … we’re relentless," Hayden said of the defensive line. "We’ve got new guys coming in each week, but they’ve been stepping up for us. It’s been great. We just try to learn from Coach Marinelli. He’s done a great job with us. We just keep playing for him."

Terrance Williams takes the blame for a Tony Romo interception again - Carlos Mendez, Star-Telegram
Williams took the blame for Romo's sole interception of the game.

"I ran past him to try to see if he would turn and move his hips, but he didn’t. He just stayed there," Williams said of cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who grabbed the sideline pass with 4:29 left in the game and the Vikings ahead 23-20. "I tried to cut him off, but I’ve just got to do a better job of being more physical, or just at least trying to deflect the ball so a pick like that wouldn’t happen."

Dallas D survives Hall of Fame performance - Tim MacMahon - ESPN Dallas
In his first two NFL starts, undrafted rookie safety Jeff Heath went up against Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson in back-to-back games. He is properly awed:

"You can’t really dive into the NFL any more than that, playing against the two best players at those positions," Heath said. "Adrian Peterson is a beast. It’s pretty crazy. After the game, you think about who you just played against and it’s pretty crazy."

Dez Bryant: Criticism for sideline tantrums ‘uncalled for’ and ‘a whole bunch of nonsense’ - Jon Machota, DMN
TV cameras appeared to be focused on Dez Bryant the entire game, but especially when he was on the sidelines, hoping to catch another easily misinterpreted outburst from Bryant. But that didn't happen.

"I had to watch myself because I didn’t want you all to get me on camera and make me look like a fool," he said. "That’s me. It’s all positive. I feel like that’s who I am. That’s what brings the excitement to myself and to others. I can’t let nobody destroy the passion I have for this game."

"Coach Dooley told me straight up, don’t let nobody kill your passion. You bring that same intensity every week," Bryant said. "You know who you are."

The benching of Bruce Carter is explained - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Bruce Carter may have won his job back: While Ernie Sims started the game, he also missed several tackles in the first half, prompting the coaches to start Carter in the base defense in the second half.

"I'm just trying to find the best combination for our football team at that position," linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said. "I'm still working that out. You got first down, you got second down and you got third down. Both of them have different things they bring to the table in terms of helping our football team, and we're going to work that combination during the course of the game and see what the best thing is for us to win."

Cowboys injury report: Jason Hatcher, Nick Hayden expect to play next week - Drew Davison, Star-Telegram
Jason Hatcher suffered a stinger in the game that he said was worse than the one he suffered against the Broncos, but that the injury wouldn't prevent him from playing against the Saints next week.

"I’ll be OK," he said. "During the season, you can never let them fully heal. So once you get hit on it, it’s going to keep coming back. So it’s just one of those things you’ve got to manage and protect."

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