This will be my first year following the Cowboys through BtB. I've posted a few times, but mostly I lurk. This will be my first attempt at a public post game recap, and I'm by no means a professional writer, professional sportscaster, professional blogger, or professional anything. Hell, I'm not even an amateur anything. However, I want to express my thoughts and see how they compare to the thoughts of others. I'm sure that countless others do this very same thing on this website and that's cool.
Facebook is dumb. Twitter is limited. Instagram doesn't work. I could pay for a website, I suppose, but instead I figured I'd just post on this free forum full of Cowboys fans.
I'm not expecting to get anything out of this but an outlet. I don't want anything from this aside from an outlet. I don't want to to be special; I just want a public place where I could type more than 140 characters and a few people might see. Please feel free to be critical.
I subscribed this year to NFL Game Rewind. I'm thinking that I might do an instant write-up and then a bigger analysis after being able to watch in better detail.
Turnovers - 6/1. When is the last time we've seen anything close to that? A long time is what I'd assume is the answer. I'd wager my life that my team would win with that sort of turnover margin, but damn if this wasn't way too close a game for comfort. Dallas' offense really dropped the ball(heh) in regards to making New York pay for those turnovers. If it weren't for the defensive scoring, I have doubts that the outcome would have been in our favor. This could have been yet another game where Dallas wins the stats game but loses the points game. It felt very "Cowboys" for almost the entire game.
Offense - I was not as impressed with the Dallas offense as I thought I would be. Hell, I wasn't as impressed as it would seem I should be. The o-line played well enough. Tony played well enough, and Murray played well enough. Why did it feel so bad? Because of missed opportunities off of turnovers, for sure. Dallas needs to convert off turnovers on offense, and they didn't.
I was surprised to see the "Pistol" formation so much. We didn't see much from under center and we didn't fall back on "Shotgun 11" like we have for so long. Instead, we relied on a hybrid of the two, I suppose. Did we see that in the preseason? I don't remember seeing it that much, and it definitely wasn't as featured as it was in this game.
Efficiency would be my major gripe with the offense tonight. Penalties didn't really kill us as they have in the past. It was the lack of converting. With 33% for 3rd down, conversions were significantly lower than last year. Considering the time of possession difference, the number of plays called difference, and the turnover margin, Dallas should have dominated this game. There is work to be done with the offense.
Offensive Line - Very nicely done. Well, considering the past 3 years, it was a breath of fresh air. Tony had that extra half of a second he thought he'd get, and the negative run plays were kept to a minimum. The interior offensive line still seemed to struggle albeit against a very, very big and strong defensive tackle rotation. The tackles both played well, I think. I want to take a coach's cam look at it, but Free played better than he has in a long, long time and Tyron, despite the penalty, kept the blind side safe for the most part.
If I remember correctly, the only penalty along the o-line was the false start by Tryon Smith. Might have been another. All in all, Romo hasn't had that much time (BAHH RIBS) in a long time. Add the missing negative run plays, and we had very, very, solid offensive line play; something we couldn't say most of the last 3 years.
Penalties - A pleasant surprise, again, considering the last few years. Nothing too impactful save for maybe a couple close no-calls. Not much to mention here. I pray this is a trend.
Bryant - What a game (or lack-there-of)? I turned that statement into a question for a reason. Was it anyone but the Giants' fault that Dez didn't do what EVERYONE expected him to do? Was it Romo not targeting him? Was it Bill not calling his number? Was it simply Dez not getting open? Or was it the Giants putting such an emphasis on him? I'm really not sure. After the first half, I was wondering why we hadn't seen more of him.
The Giants were rolling safeties to his side and being very careful. However, Calvin Johnson had 1900 yards last year while being the one player a team should triple cover. And maybe that provides us the answer. Does Mathew Stafford only have 1 target and Romo have so many more? Romo has a lot more targets that Stafford does. This allows Romo to take his eyes off of Dez and spend his time on Austin, Witten, Murray, and a whole complement of 3rd receivers. This is my explanation.
Defense - This is a tough one. You want to say they played well from a turnover standpoint but from a yardage and points standpoint they bent and almost broke. The holes in the zone were very evident between the corners and the linebackers. It's somewhat of a concern I have for this defensive style. It may just be a matter of familiarity between the corners and outside linebackers/safeties. Basically, it's a matter of when to let the receiver go into the next zone. It may be the consistent and season long weakness on the defense. Run defense was nothing to complain about but Dallas didn't see many generic running plays.
The D-line wasn't as much of a liability as we might have assumed. The linebackers played well against the run and in coverage. It was the holes in the zone that wore the defense down, but the emphasis on turnovers that saved the game.
Selvie played well!
Romo - Love those dimples. What a warrior. I know, I know. I'm a Romo homer. Well, you take a hit like that, come back, and talk to me. He wasn't perfect. I thought he was fairly accurate. Not the accuracy you want to see, but it was the first game of the season.
He moved well in the pocket, as was to be expected. He was burned by his receivers a couple times; Williams, to name the big culprit. HE WAS A LEADER BLAH BLAH. A decent Romo game, but he didn't carry Dallas which, come to think of it, is nice to finally say.
Murray - Tough running. Solid hands. I need to check the blocking but I don't recall seeing him giving anything up. What I do recall is his being in the game every drive save for one. I was really surprised not to see the Tanner and Randle play more. He ran the ball well. He saw most of the optimal lanes on the stretch plays and ran through a couple tackles. I'd give him a very average score if I were scoring. Am I?
Dwayne Harris - Warrior. Every special teams return play he was there.
Dan Bailey - I pray I don't jinx him. Damnit if he isn't consistent and right down the middle. He is going to win us this division.
Commercials - I love the Madden commercials.