Here’s an attempt at some reasoned thought after that unreasonable game.
- I can’t even begin to offer an explanation for Tony Romo. I’ve watched some of the INT’s again already and he was just terrible. You can’t explain away any of them. Plus, he fumbled the ball again while running with it; he reverted back to some bad habits of last year. He continued his habit of throwing high early in games. Then he seemed to overcompensate for it by taking something off his throws and floated them all over the field. But, I will say this: When the chips were down in the 4th quarter, Romo shook off all of that horrible mess he created and got us a TD and set us up for the final FG. So while there’s no excuse for his craptacular performance, he did what was needed at the end.
- The defense kept us in that game all night by cleaning up Tony Romo’s mess. Buffalo scored 24 points, and exactly three of them came against the defense. Romo spotted Buffalo 14 points and the special teams unit gave up another TD. But the defense held it together despite bad field position most of the night. Guys like Roy Williams, Bradie James, Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware had a ton of tackles.
- What’s happened to our running game? We’ve been relying more and more on the passing game to save us. We need to seriously examine what is going on there and get it fixed. I’ll be looking at that in the film review.
- Over the offseason, I was dubious about drafting Nick Folk. We had signed Martin Gramatica to another contract and he kicked pretty well for us last year. I thought the draft pick could have been used elsewhere. Boy, I really nailed that one! No, I shanked it like a Mike Vanderjagt chip-shot, it was Nick Folk who nailed it. Twice. Like T.O. said, he kicked a 106-yard FG, a 53-yarder twice. You also can’t forget the other FG’s he had in the game which were money, and his onside kick was simply sublime.
- T.O. has been dropping the ball a little bit over the past two games. That drop at the end on the final FG drive was crucial, that would have made life much easier. I’ll give the defense credit on making a great strip on the 2-pt. conversion although T.O. had his hands on the ball and let it go. I love the attitude T.O. is showing, and his post-game interview was in keeping with his new maturity, but I need him to lock up some of those catches on the field.
- I never thought I’d miss a special teams player as much as I miss Keith Davis. Two weeks in a row the Cowboys gave up a special teams TD, once in punt coverage and once in kickoff coverage. Pat Watkins and Deon Anderson got blown out of the play and Bobby Carpenter got blocked, too. I don’t know if it’s all the absence of Davis, but against the Bears we had no problem with Devin Hester when Davis was playing.
- At some point in the 3rd quarter, I had the thought that the Cowboys reminded me of Mike Tyson when he went to Tokyo and got knocked-the-bleep-out by Buster Douglas. We were puffed up like giants roaming the earth. The media, the fans, everybody had the Cowboys crushing the Bills just by showing up. All the talk was of next week’s game against the Patriots, losing to the Bills wasn’t even on the menu. Just like Tyson was thinking about Evander Holyfield and losing to Buster wasn’t an option. The analogy isn’t perfect, we aren’t the indestructible champ like Tyson was, but we were looking pretty close to indestructible so far in the season. After the game, I had the thought that this game was like that fight if Tyson had been allowed to continue the fight after staggering to his feet, after pawing for his mouthpiece, and somehow knocked Douglas out with a once-in-a-lifetime left hook.
- Maybe the Cowboys are going to have a charmed year. I have no other explanation for this victory. Yes, the defense did well, and Romo woke up late in the game, and Jason Witten continues his fantastic season, and Patrick Crayton continues to contribute, but we had no business winning that game. The Football Gods intervened.
- Some quick hit shoutouts: To Sam Hurd for being the first guy to hit the onside kick. To Tony Curtis for recovering the ball. To Jay Ratliff for hustling down the field and recovering Newman’s fumble after he had an interception. To Jason Hatcher for getting a sack.