This time, they made it stick. The Cowboys aren't a great team yet, but they showed exactly what they are capable of when they are hitting on all cylinders
Contrary to popular belief, the mark of a great team isn't being able to pull out close games. Regression to the mean shows that teams that prosper in this category for a season normally can't carry that success from year to year. The true measure of greatness can actually be found in how well teams blow out inferior opponents. The Cowboys did just that, dominating the Buffalo Bills from the first snap of the game, en route to a classic 44-7 victory.
Quarterback Tony Romo had his best game in years, completing his first 13 passes on the way to a 23 for 26, 270 yard 3 TD performance. He now has a 16-7 TD-to-INT ratio on the year. He completed an astounding 88.5% of his passes, a new team record.
His was the most impressive, but was far from the only stand out performance of the game.
Rookie third-round pick DeMarco Murray danced and bulldozed his way to over 100 yards for the third time in four games, cementing his spot as the Cowboys lead back and possibly their biggest weapon.
The defense started the game with a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick by DeMarcus Ware, and continued a violent onslaught of punishment. For everything last week's victory over Seattle was missing, the Cowboys emphatically filled in the blanks on Sunday afternoon.
This game couldn't have started out any better for the Cowboys. Getting first possession, Dallas' first play was a screen to DeMarco Murray that gained 15 yards behind a block from rejuvanated left guard Montrae Holland. A third and four saw the Boys go four-wide and a 26 yard completion to Jesse Holley, and then Dez Bryant struck.
After the Bills cut the defecit to 21-7, Dallas responded with a clock-killing, demoralizing 7 plus minute drive down the field that resulted in their second red zone touchdown of the day, a short run by Murray.
Where the Cowboys failed in the contests versus the Jets and Lions, they excelled against the Bills. The second half saw a stout defense force four turnovers, including a fourth quarter pick-six by Terence Newman, his second interception of the game. That score propelled the lead to 44-7, the final margin, and the Cowboys called off the dogs by bringing in their backups. In between the plucks, the defense smacked the Bills players around, forcing a fumble of the ball and a players mouthpiece on separate plays. They were both indicative of the impressive effort in stopping the fourth-highest scoring offense.
With the game in it's final moments, Frank Walker picked off an errant Fitzpatrick pass in the end zone to seal the victory. Jon Kitna entered the game and put the Cowboys in a V formation to end it all. A truly satisfying victory for Dallas.
We'll have plenty more soon here on BTB, but for now, revel in the comprehensive effort and victory by this up and coming 5-4 football team.