We didn’t even score a TD. That’s the part that I just can’t believe, this high-powered offense being shutout of the endzone. I truly didn’t believe that could happen this year. Such hubris.
Here are my hot topics after the game.
Tony Romo – No matter how good you are, every once in a while you’re going to fall flat on your face. Tony Romo is no different. He just didn’t have it in this game. From the very start he was erratic, missing T.O. on a wide-open bomb. It never got any better. He was getting protection at the beginning and for most of the game but he couldn’t find his targets. Credit the Philadelphia defense for playing a heck of a game but Romo had a lot of opportunities that he just missed. He did hurt his thumb in the second-half but his passing was no different then than it was earlier. He forced some throws into traffic to T.O. and they were turned into three INT’s. I’m confident that Romo will bounce back and the word is his thumb will be fine. I guess we have to give Romo the pass on this one considering the season he’s had, but we can’t afford it two weeks in a row.
Jason Garrett – I don’t know for sure, but I think the Cowboys will probably regret abandoning the running game so early and so completely in this game. It was obvious Romo was struggling and the defense was doing everything required to keep the Cowboys in the game. Jason Garrett might have learned a lesson in this game, as long as the score isn’t prohibitive, you can run the ball. Especially when your QB is having one of his worst games. Again, Garrett gets my free pass on this one for his work this season but he should definitely consider the run a little more the rest of the year.
Defense – They were outstanding. Every time it looked the Eagles could put the game away they stood up and gave the offense another chance. Chance after chance, until the last drive when they finally gave out. They sacked McNabb four times and they harassed him on others. They did a pretty good job on Brian Westbrook, at least they limited his damage. A week after some shaky play they looked like a championship-caliber defense today. There was just no help from the offense.
Injuries – Well, the early word is that it’s not as bad as we thought. The big one is the Andre Gurode injury. Without him in the middle our excellent line play could suffer. It should be noted that all four of the Eagles’ sacks came at the end when Gurode was out. Luckily, it looks like a sprained knee and he could possibly be OK. Chris Canty also had a sprained knee, but one article said he was questionable to return in that game so it must not be that bad. Pat Watkins has a regular ankle sprain and Romo’s thumb injury is said to be minor. MRI for Gurode tomorrow so let’s pray that it turns out OK.
Public perception – You’re going to see a lot of stories about how the Cowboys are not the favorites anymore in the NFC. Pundits will question whether this team really has it and what’s wrong with Romo. The Green Bay Packers will be the darlings of the NFC. We’ll drop to #4 or so in all the Power Rankings. Talk radio will have a field day at our expense. Forget it about it. None of it will matter unless we go out next week and lose again. This is still the same team that went 12-1 and had the 2nd most powerful offense in the league. One game is never reason to panic unless it’s an elimination game. This wasn’t. Now if it happens again, then I’ll listen. Until then, I still have the same faith in this team that I did before this Sunday.
A loss is a good thing? - As for this loss being considered a good thing, I'm usually not one to go in for that. I think every loss is a bad thing. But, sometimes maybe a loss does focus a team again. Only the future will decide if it's a good thing, Romo explains:
"We made too many mental mistakes. If we win the Super Bowl, the loss was a good thing. If we lose in the first round of the playoffs, it was not a good thing."