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Dallas Cowboys News And Notes: Early National Reactions To Win Over Texans

Quick review of the late evening / early morning headlines following yesterday's win.

Tom Pennington

Just to get you started this morning:

  • Since realignment in 2002, 45 of 63 teams (71.4%) that started 4-1 made the playoffs.
  • Jason Witten became the third tight end in NFL history with 10,000 career yards receiving.
  • Murray became only the third running back in NFL history with five consecutive 100-yard games to open a season, joining Hall of Famers O.J. Simpson and Jim Brown.
  • The last time the Cowboys won a game with a -2 turnover margin was in 2009 (versus Kansas City). Before that, the Cowboys last managed that feat in 2004 and 2002. Prior to yesterday's game, the Cowboys' record since 2000 in such games was 3-21.
  • The NFC East, with a combined 12-7 record (.632), is the winningest division in football, at least until tonight's Redskins game.
  • The NFC East, scoring an average of 27.3 points per game, is the highest scoring division in football.
  • The NFC East features two of the three 4-1 teams in the league.


Dez Bryant's clutch grab sets up another Cowboys win -
The Cowboys are 4-1 for the first time since 2008, and Dez Bryant gets a nod in's key takeaways from the game:

Sometimes a superstar needs to step up and make a play. That's what happened in overtime when Dez Bryant made a one-handed grab with Johnathan Joseph all over him, a 31-yard gain that put Dallas in field-goal range. Tony Romo knows exactly where to go when it matters most.


Romo, Bryant carry Cowboys past Texans 20-17 in OT - Yahoo Sports
This AP report focuses on Romo's escapeability on his TD pass to Terrance Williams.

He spun to his right as Watt closed in, then threw about as far as he could with more pressure coming. Terrance Williams had an easy 43-yard catch in the end zone when Houston's Kendrick Lewis fell at the goal line just before the ball arrived.


'Certainly it's one for the ages with Romo,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ''There's a handful of those he's had throughout his career, and I think you can add that one to the list.''

Tony Romo's legend grows on two plays in Dallas Cowboys victory - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
You'll find the visual proof in the two animated gifs above.

Romo: We need more Cowboys fans at home games -
In a story that is not going to go away any time soon, the visiting fans at AT&T Stadium turned what was supposed to be a home game into an away game:

Tony Romo was forced to use a silent snap count in his home stadium for the first time in his career. After the game, the quarterback called for more Cowboys fans to fill AT&T Stadium on Sundays.

"No question today we played on the road throughout a lot of it," Romo said after the Cowboys' 20-17 overtime win, according to "It was probably half and half our fans to their fans. I don't know what it was, more than you can just tell with the crowd noise. That was every bit as loud as going to St. Louis or Tennessee."

"We need to understand that. We lose a lot of our ability to do some things at the line of scrimmage, pre-snap and lot of stuff that gives us a big advantages."

Texans vs. Cowboys: 3 things we learned from an OT thriller -
This article notes that Tony Romo is still capabale of greatness, and draws a surprising game summary:

Among the Cowboys' four wins, Sunday's was the most complete. The defense held the Texans to 330 total yards (177 before the 76-yard field goal drive late in the fourth quarter), and executed in every phase on offense against a stout defensive front. The offensive line bought time for a sturdy performance from Romo (28-for-41 passing for 324 yards, two touchdowns and a pick) and paved the way for yet another huge game out of DeMarco Murray (192 total yards).

Travis Frederick rejects Justin Tuggle's celebration -
The Texans Justin Tuggle was "geeking out in celebration" after coming out of a pile with the football, but Travis Frederick was having none of that.

NFL Grades Week 5 -
The Cowboys get a B+ for the OT victory over the visiting Texans.

The Cowboys did what they've done all season: They gave the ball to DeMarco Murray a lot. Only this time, Murray had the help of Tony Romo's biggest game of the season. Romo directed a 59-yard drive in OT to win the game. It was a nice complement to Murray's 136-yard effort. The Cowboys running back is now on pace for 2,144 yards this season, which would break the current NFL record by almost 40 yards (2,105).

John Clayton's Last Call: Thrills across the board - ESPN
John Clayton reflects on how the Cowboys defense has far exceeded expectations.

Maligned in the preseason, the Cowboys are playing well, especially on defense, which figured to be a problem in 2014 after last season's No. 32 ranking (415.3 ypg.). Dallas gave up way too many rushing yards (176 on 31 carries), but it did a good job containing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 154 yards.

Cowboys get it done in overtime, beat Texans 20-17 | ProFootballTalk
This game summary also looks at a defense that has exceeded expectations.

The unit turned in another strong performance and didn’t let the three turnovers become the daggers that they have been so many times in the past for Dallas. They could be tighter against the run — Arian Foster had 157 yards and two scores — but they are far from the nightmare that was predicted heading into the season.

Dallas Cowboys: Balanced offense keys Dallas victory over Texans | The Oklahoman
This article credits Scott Linehan with Dallas’ dramatic improvement on the ground.

Romo believes being balanced is the key. Since Romo threw three interceptions the first half in the season opener against San Francisco, Romo has registered a league-best 91.5 quarterback rating.

“I’ve never thrown the ball as well as I’m throwing it right now,” Romo said. “I tried to tell everyone that in the off-season. Technically, I’ve gotten to point where (my mechanics) are very exact.”

With Murray averaging 5.1 yards a carry it’s taken some pressure off Romo and the passing game. By controlling the clock, it also benefits a suspect defense that allowed 6,645 yards last season, the third most in NFL history.

Rolando McClain re-injures groin - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
McClain was initially expected to miss two to four weeks after injuring his groin against the Titans and missing the Rams game, but came back early. Perhaps too early. He re-injured his groin yesterday and is officially "day-to-day."

How Cowboys limited one of league’s top defensive players in J.J. Watt | Dallas Morning News
The Cowboys limited J.J. Watt to just four tackles. No sacks, no quarterback hits, no tackles for loss, no passes defended, no interceptions, no touchdowns.

“He moved all over the place,” Cowboys right tackle Doug Free said of Watt. “He was around the ball quite a bit. We played together really well and that made a big difference. Everybody kind of knew where he was and paid attention to where he was and just played hard.”

“I don’t think we were trying to run away from him,” DeMarco Murray said. “We were running right at him. He’s a good player. I got a lot of respect for him, but we know we have a couple good guys on our side also.”

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