The celebration of a huge victory and the preparation for the next game are all squashed together this week.
Had to include this one just for the title, which largely sums up the game in two quick phrases. And it points out that what Dez Bryant did in the game may not have been as spectacular as the Odell Beckham Jr. magic fingertip suction cup catch, but it was much more meaningful.
Bryant plays the game more polished now, more determined, more hungry, more confident. He looks like a player who has survived self-reflection, a re-boot. He is not afraid to play physical football nor, certainly, fast-track football. His eyes are wide open and his heart is all in it.
He epitomizes the Cowboys.
Despite efforts across the globe to keep it alive, Tony Romo is completely destroying the image of him as a choker.
The Cowboys (8-3) needed to go 80 yards for a touchdown, and Tony Romo felt at ease.
"It's a calming feeling," the Cowboys quarterback said. "You're almost doing what you decided before the game, if that makes sense. Once you get into the series, then obviously you're going to call the play and going to come up with the stuff that you feel best doing. But more than that, it's just three minutes, you have two timeouts. That's a different situation than one minute and no timeouts. You have to prepare for those situations."
One of the themes running throughout the season is that this is a different, much tougher version of the Cowboys. The win in the Meadowlands was more evidence of how true that is.
Yet, just like it says on the T-shirts the Cowboys had printed back in training camp, the Cowboys did the only thing they know how to do this year - Fight.
They fought to prevent an early blowout. They fought to get back in the game to make it interesting. They fought to grab a fourth-quarter lead. They fought on an 80-yard drive to regain the lead in the final minute. And they fought to make sure the Giants didn't even get a first down.
It was a fight. The Cowboys didn't win every round but they were left standing at the end. And that's really all that matters in this sport, or any sport.
The Mickster gives a nice summation of things Dallas had to surmount on the way to the victory.
When you get right down to it, that was amazing, truly amazing.
Come on, you kidding me? The Giants ran 74 plays. They held the ball for 35 minutes, 7 seconds, an NFL eternity. They converted 69 percent of their third downs (11-of-16), bordering on ridiculous. They, before 80,520 people at MetLife Stadium and a national TV audience, held an 11-point halftime lead. They were benefactors of seven penalties on the Cowboys worth 63 yards, two of those personal foul penalties worth 15 yards each, and another, a holding call, wiping out a 39-yard pass to the Giants 16.
The Cowboys defense gave up 417 total yards, most in the past seven games. What had appeared to be an approving defense allowed Giants quarterback Eli Manning to pass for 338 yards, two short of this season's high by an opponent, established by the Saints' Drew Brees.
Let's see, there was the Giants sack/fumble on the Cowboys' last possession of the first half. The Giants no-huddle offense preventing the Cowboys rushmen from entering in waves. The Giants' 93-yard touchdown drive to retake the lead with just 3:00 left in the fourth quarter, 28-24.
And ... oh yeah, ODELL BECKHAM JUNIOR, 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, the Cowboys cornerbacks, every single one of them, and their free zone, no match for the rookie receiver from LSU.
Bob Sturm mentions three little letters that really ought to be included in the same sentence with Dallas' quarterback more often. Can you find them?
This year's team has an offense that they can count on to take over a game and with three touchdowns in the 2nd half, they did just that. Again, it was the powerful running of DeMarco Murray complimenting Quarterback play that was nothing short of flawless (yet again). Tony Romo is having the best season of his career to this point, and I am not even sure it is close. His QB rating, his TD percentages, and his yards per attempt are those of a NFL MVP-candidate, and if he can maintain this for a few more weeks, that is exactly what he will be. For Romo to do this with the physical condition that he continues to deal with is nothing short of fantastic. He is having a simply amazing season and, of course, picked a rather unlikely time to do it in his career arc.
Bryan Broaddus says that Tyron Smith had a better night than many thought, even before the last drive and the eternal pockets for Romo. And he also talks a little about what Rolando McClain, who put the game on ice with the tackle on fourth down, brings to the table.
What people do not understand about McClain is that, for a player that plays with such force, he's incredibly smart in reading scheme and being exactly where he needs to be when the ball is snapped. He has this rare trait of reacting to the ball quickly while taking a path that allows him to avoid blockers along the way. On the majority of the Giants' running plays, he was beating guards Adam Snyder and John Jerry to the spot.
This might appear to be me having a laugh at the expense of the Giants and their media. Appearances, it turns out, are not always deceiving. I love how Mike Vaccaro writes, as well.
One Mississippi ... two Mississippi ...
Tony Romo had all day. No, really, he did. All. Day. He dropped back. He scanned the field. He hummed all the words to "Jungleland." He looked for open receivers, looked, looked, found none, looked again ...
Three Mississippi ... four Mississippi ...
Romo didn't panic. Why should he panic? He was in no immediate danger. All he could see was the backs of his offensive linemen. The only blue he saw was the huge "MetLife" sign in front of him, on the façade of the upper deck. He scanned. He looked. He made his way through Alec Baldwin's entire soliloquy from "Glengarry Glenn Ross." He looked some more ...
Five Mississippi ... six Mississippi ...
And then he found someone: Dez Bryant, back of the end zone. It was just silliness, the rumor that when the play began, Bryant was a freshman at Oklahoma State; in reality, he'd been a junior at Lufkin High School.
There was some weirdness going on at the stadium. It is the Cowboys, in the Big Apple, of course.
Rapper and business mogul Jay Z made an appearance on the Dallas Cowboys sideline after Sunday Night's primetime game vs. the New York Giants. Jay Z recently started his own player representation agency, Roc Nation Sports, and Dez Bryant is their most high-profile football client.
Jay Z and a likely presidential candidate, all in the space of a few minutes. Make no mistake, they were seeking Jerry Jones out. Some life he has, huh?
Christie, an unabashed Cowboys fan, was spotted palling around with the team's owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett on the field. Perhaps Christie was hitting up Jones, a Republican, for campaign donations to aid his potential run at the White House in 2016.
Just another take on how these are not last year's Cowboys.
Jason Garrett talks a lot about process, and it is clearly a process to clean up all the goofball tendencies. His team is getting there, though. On Sunday night, it never felt like Dallas was teetering on the brink of a complete meltdown, even after three early Giants scoring drives, even after Beckham's catch. Those events would have been gut punches for previous incarnations of the Cowboys-- and for many other teams -- leaving them staggering and sagging. But on Sunday, you were never waiting for -- expecting, really -- the kinds of fatal mistakes that have dogged them so often before. The giddiness in the locker room suggested that this victory finally proved to the Cowboys themselves that all the conversations they've had about poise -- which Witten said began back in April and May -- have finally paid off.
The win wasn't without cost - three Cowboys fractured a finger or thumb during the game.
The Cowboys came out of Sunday's win against New York with several new injuries - none of them seemingly too serious.
Most noteworthy of several new problems are thumb injuries to both Jeff Heath and Jack Crawford. Both players are expected to have surgery Wednesday morning after sustaining those injuries in the 31-28 win.
"I don't necessarily anticipate Heath and Jack necessarily being ready for this week with those thumb injuries. We'll keep you guys informed with what we do with those guys," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Terrance Williams is the third player with a fracture, of a finger, but he is hoping to splint it and play.
Jack Crawford's thumb injury may accelerate the return of Josh Brent, who is still working to get back into shape.
"I have not received any indication on whether I will or won't be playing [Thursday]," Brent said. "Obviously it's a quick turnaround. I just go out there and practice and be the best teammate I can be."
And looking ahead . . .
When they rolled out of the stadium, Dallas had 87 hours to go before the next game.
It's a quick turnaround, and the coaches spent the plane ride back grading film. By midday they had already focused their attention on Philadelphia. The Cowboys staged a light practice in the afternoon, working on first- and second-down plays as they would on a Wednesday that preceded a typical Sunday game.
We all know that the Eagles define themselves by how they stack up against the Star.
"We had to stay focused on Tennessee all week," linebacker Trent Cole said. "That was the next game. And we were coming off a bad game (a 53-20 loss to Green Bay). So there was no reason to think about Dallas.
"But now we can. Now, it's all about Dallas. If you can't get excited for this game, you shouldn't be playing football."
Mark Sanchez will be the quarterback on Thursday. Which could be fun.
In the eyes of many, Sanchez is not much of a downgrade from Nick Foles, leading a Philadelphia offense that ranks third in points per game. The Eagles scored 43 points and 45 points in two of three games with Sanchez at the helm, and he led the team to a 31-21 victory when playing the majority of the game. A closer look at the quarterback's numbers, though, show that he might struggle on Thursday.
Sanchez helped the Eagles put up big offensive numbers against the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers, who are both winless since Week 6. When presented with a challenge, Sanchez looked similar to the player that started for the New York Jets, committing four turnovers in a 53-20 loss.