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Romo + Defense makes the Cowboys formidable

Clarence Hill likes the Cowboys as contenders again, especially on the play of the defense and "Mr. Cool as the Other Side of the Pillow" - Tony Romo.

His defense played its best game of the season with four forced turnovers, the most by the high-powered Colts since 2001, while the neophyte Romo continued to play well beyond his experience level. He completed 10 of 11 passes in the second half and flawlessly directed two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to secure the comeback victory. Marion Barber scored on runs of 5 and 1 yards.

Romo's perfect strike to Terry Glenn on a third-and-seven play after the Colts used their final timeout with 2:09 to go set the stage for the wild celebration.

"To come out here with a win against a team like this in an environment like this is special. This is one you look back on and say it was special," said Romo, who completed 19 of 23 passes for 226 yards with one interception. "But this isn't our goal. Our goals are much higher."

Romo's 82.6 completion percentage was the third-best in club history.

Romo completed 10 of 11 passes in the second half? That's phenomenal. Completing 83% of your passes is also phenomenal.

The Cowboys revealed some of their basic game defensive strategy.

"We wanted to focus on being physical. Pressing them," Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry said. "A lot of teams play off of them and gave them room to create plays. We felt if we could stop their movement at the line and pressure [Peyton] Manning, it would work out for us."

The Cowboys corners played up on the receivers and got very physical with them, they also pounded them after they caught the ball. The time-honored knock on the Colts is that they are "soft", the Cowboys effectively exploited that. It's one thing to play press coverage and be physical; it's another thing to cover the receivers once they get off the line, something few teams had been able to do against the Colts. Count Dallas among that select few.

Romo must have the full confidence of the coaching staff, because according to Witten, he changed the play on the last play that sealed the victory. The pass to Terry Glenn that allowed the Cowboys to kneel-down after getting the first-down was supposed to be a run.

"It was great play call," quarterback Tony Romo said. "It was a safety throw, and that play was designed to get around that yardage."

According to tight end Jason Witten, the original call was a running play. He said Glenn and Romo talked it over in the huddle and decided to change to the pass if it was open.

"He's been a clutch receiver here for a long time," Witten said of Glenn. "And he made a big play for us."


Nice.

Speaking of Terry Glenn, the guy just stayed patient until the game came to him, and did it ever in the second half.

Before the start of the second half, Romo and Glenn told Sparano and passing game coordinator Todd Haley about some slant patterns that were opening up.

Glenn caught his first pass of the game with 3:12 remaining in the third on a quick slant for 5 yards. He later caught one for 8 more yards.

In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis tried to stop the slant, and Dallas took advantage. Dallas faced a first-and-10 at its 39 when Glenn faked as if he was running another slant. Romo pump faked and froze cornerback Nick Harper. It allowed Glenn to run a deep route down the sideline. Romo's pass landed perfect for 33 yards with 9:16 left. A few plays later, Marion Barber scored from the 1 to give Dallas a 21-14 lead.

That play was huge; they had been setting up the Colts CB's with the slant the whole second half, and then sprung the trap. Sure enough, Nick Harper jumped the slant and Romo threw a beautiful ball to Glenn.

Then Glenn killed the Colts off with the aforementioned catch on third down.

Glenn's biggest catch came on another slant that had a perfect end to his weekend.

The Cowboys were faced with a third-and-7 from the Colts' 32 and Glenn caught a pass from a quick slant from the right side for 7 yards.

It was just enough to clinch the game.

The play was called "Buckeye" which is fitting for Glenn, who attended Ohio State and was in a good mood after his college team beat Michigan on Saturday.

Let's not forget the contributions of the running game. After a very slow start in the first half, the running game got it going in the third quarter and was instrumental in setting up our first offensive TD.

Trailing 14-7 after Peyton Manning's touchdown pass to Dallas Clark in the third quarter, the Cowboys got their running game going. Jones picked up 24 yards on three straight carries.

He would carry the ball six more times on the drive, setting up Barber's 5-yard touchdown run with 11:36 left to play. On the go-ahead drive, Jones picked up 12 yards on four carries and had a 15-yard catch on a screen play.

As the game wore on, the Cowboys' size finally won out over speed.

"That could have been a little bit of it," right guard Marco Rivera said. "We're bigger, and we might've tired them out toward the end. If you keep going, you're going to wear them down a little bit."


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