Wow! Just wow. The Jason Garrett Era as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys starts with a stunning 33-20 win over the NFC East-leading New York Giants. The new-look Cowboys traveled to New Meadowlands stadium and at 4:15 PM EST played a game against the Giants, just as new Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett had predicted. What no one predicted was a victory by the Cowboys. Perhaps the Giants didn't want the world to see this ignoble defeat, the lights at New Meadowlands stadium went out for a brief period in the third quarter. Once they came back on, the game got interesting, but showing a new resolution and a new no-quit outlook, Dallas gave Jason Garrett, and the Cowboys fanbase, a much-needed win.
We'll dig deeper in later posts to see what exactly happened on the field. We know that Dez Bryant was a star, again. We know that Felix Jones had a huge play that the Cowboys needed. We know that Jon Kitna was hot, throwing darts all day long. We know that the Cowboys run defense held Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs to under 100 yards. We know that a depleted secondary managed to hold tough and produce two interceptions. One was returned 101 yards for a touchdown by Bryan McCann, the other sealed the win by Alan Ball.
One thing very absent from the field was the costly penalties from Dallas, the costly turnovers, and mostly, the costly bone-head plays. In other words, the Cowboys looked like a competitive NFL team for the first time in a long while.
Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys have a long way to go. They've dug a huge hole, and only consistent good play will give any belief they are on the way back up, for good. But you can't deny the Cowboys and Jason Garrett this moment. Garrett preached all week 'going forward', the past was the past. He told the press he only wanted to discuss the upcoming game against the Giants. And painstakingly let us know exactly when and where that game would be played. There were disparate reactions, from disbelief, to snickering, to hope, to indifference.
Just maybe, Jason Garret is on to something. Next week, we get to judge him all over gain.