My hot topics from the Minnesota game.
Slow starts – Not anymore. The Cowboys came out on the first offensive drive of the game with a brand new game plan. Tony Romo ran a no-huddle offense, not hurry-up, but Romo would call the play at the line based on a couple of choices from Jason Garrett. This allowed Romo to get a good look at the defensive set before deciding what to do. Dallas also used different formations, one time lining up with T.O. in the backfield. We threw a pass to the fullback, we threw a screen to Julius Jones, basically, we threw the ball and used some new plays and new formations to get it done. And the payoff was a T.O. TD.
Run defense – What a great job by the run defense. Early on, it looked like trouble when the Vikings drove the ball on the ground right down the field for a TD. But the Cowboys tightened up after that, holding Minnesota to 131 yards rushing overall (after giving up 54 on the first drive) and holding super-rook Adrian Peterson to 63 yards and one TD. The Vikings offense relies on big plays from the running game and they just couldn’t generate enough of them to make a difference.
Self-inflicted wounds – The Cowboys are intent on keeping games close through their own mistakes. Tonight, a couple of turnovers in the first half made us sweat the game out, when all the stats said we should be far ahead. Last week it was penalties and the week before that it was turnovers again. The Cowboys could be a much better football team right now if they would quit hurting themselves.
JJ vs. MB3 – The amount of time we spend talking about this is kind of amusing, and yes, I’m amused with myself because I’m talking about it right now! My position is that I’d rather see MB3 start, but it doesn’t break my heart or explode my brain that he doesn’t. I think he’s the better back, but JJ has been running fairly well in the recent games, too. As long as Dallas is going to be creative in the beginning of games like they were this week, I probably won’t worry about it. But for what it’s worth, I would start MB3.
6-1 – At the beginning of the year, if you said we’d be 6-1 going into the bye week, I would have taken that in a heartbeat. Well, here we are, in first place in the NFC East, with the best record in the NFC, and a world of promise in front of us for the second half of the season. Here’s to reversing our recent second-half collapses.
Shoutouts – Chris Canty, who had a good game and blocked the FG. Pat Watkins, for picking it up and making for the endzone like a running back. To Jason Hatcher, who forced a fumble from Peterson that the Cowboys turned into a FG. To T.O., who had a very productive day and made some nice catches. And to Mat McBriar, his kicks were money.