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Thoughts on the Cowboys/Bucs game: Defense strong in Big D

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It's nice to see some of the things I've been writing and preaching about for the last month actually start to happen on the field. It's amazing what an undermanned and reeling team can do when they start playing with a little emotion. If the Cowboys find a way to turn things around and go into a post-bye run, this game will be defined as the turning point.

Here are some of my random thoughts on the game:

  • Was it just me, or did it seem like the Buccaneers morphed into their own version of the Dallas Cowboys? Those penalties at the end of the half that allowed the Cowboys to stay alive on their way to a touchdown is exactly what we Cowboys fans have been witnessing for a while now. It was refreshing to see it could happen to another team.
  • I can't remember the last time I saw a Dallas Cowboys team that fired up, emotional and intense. They were close last year against the Packers but weren't able to maintain it through the second half. Yesterday the Cowboys kept that intensity up for the entire game, but this is what really counts: they executed. You can be the most fired up and crazy team in the league but it doesn't matter if you aren't executing throughout the game. Yesterday the Cowboys played a complete game on defense.
  • While he failed to register a sack, Demarcus Ware was a beast yesterday. He was a force against the run and consistently was putting Jeff Garcia on the ground. The only reason the Cowboys didn't have more sacks was because of Garcia's freakishly quick release, which most of the time was flinging the ball into nowhere. Perhaps the most amazing part of Ware's day was the effect he had in pass coverage. Several times Ware dropped back in coverage to take away the quick slant across the middle and twice he made a play on the ball, once almost nabbing an interception. The fact that Ware played every single down on defense makes his day look that much better, especially considering he was still getting good pressure on the final drive.
  • Folks, we are faced with the very real possibility of having Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick and Alan Ball as our top three cornerbacks next week. If Anthony Henry is ruled out against the Giants it is almost gauraunteed that we will sign a corner during the week for depth purposes. Just don't put all your hopes on Ty Law, which is a name getting thrown around. He wants starter money to play and you can't pay someone that much to be a depth player, no matter what his pedigree may be. Jerry does do some crazy things though.
  • Marion Barber may not have had a great day statistically, but he almost singlehandedly willed this offense forward. Imagine what he might be able to do if the offensive line decided to actually start blocking for him.
  • Brad Johnson. Watching him play you have to question the play callling and offensice scheme. Defense are stacking the box against the run, knowing that right now Johnson doesn't have the ability to get the ball to his receivers downfield. So you ask yourself why not more slants, comebacks, dink and dunk stuff? Well for one, he hasn't been accurate on those either. I do know this: If I can guess that we are about to run a screen or dump off to Barber on third and long, I'm pretty sure the defense can as well. More on the offensive game plan later this week.
  • How much of difference would Felix Jones make if he came back this week? It will make defenses play a whole lot different that's for sure.
  • Don't count on that happening though.
  • Yesterday was a perfect example of why Wade Phillips is a great defensive coordinator and just an decent head coach. Now we will never know the extent of how much control Wade took from Brian Stewart but there was definitely a difference in how the defense looked. Still hate seeing those cornerbacks playing so far back.
  • Yesterday's performance is why Zach Thomas was brought in. What an outstanding game he had.
  • Over/under on how many sacks the Giants have next week: 6.