This has to be a really hard time for all the Tony Romo and Dallas Cowboys haters out there. Poor babies.
Firstly, for the second time this year, and second straight game, Tony Romo has been nominated for the FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Week.
The Cowboys' winning drive has also been nominated for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week, announced Tuesday. After the Giants took a 28-24 lead with three minutes remaining, Romo took the offense 80 yards on seven plays to answer. He completed all six pass attempts for 66 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
Just had to include our old friend KD Drummond's take on the one ugly aspect of the game.
Per CowboysHQ research team, referee Bill Vinovich has never called a game involving the Giants where New York had more penalties called on them than their opponents.
Missed penalties in crucial situations. Failed reviews with obvious evidence. Making Jason Garrett redder. Nuff said.
Some more praise for the renowned choker.
Romo is the first quarterback in NFL history with at least four game-winning drives in four consecutive seasons. It was funny to hear NBC's Cris Collinsworth remark that "Isn't it amazing that Tony Romo has those kind of numbers in the fourth quarter, yet he's known for not being successful in that situation?" Yes, that's exactly what I have been writing about for the last four years. At some point the volume of success should be too big to ignore, but this is the curse of not having playoff success in today's game. Romo's critics are already waiting for him to falter in Thursday's first-place showdown with Philadelphia, which is only for first place because of the late-game success Romo has had this season.
Sturm takes a look at how opponents have used the blitz (or not) and how it has affected the Cowboys. He thinks the Philadelphia Eagles are going to come with a few, and it's up to Dallas to handle them.
Romo has been really solid (bordering on phenomenal) this year against the blitz: 58-78, 822 yards, 10 TDs, 2 INTs and a QB rating of 125.7. The issue is more about the 11 sacks that have caused distress about keeping the QB on his feet and not in the locker room having his back examined. Regardless of his QB rating, opponents did see that Monday Night game and how the constant pressure made the Offensive Line look ordinary contrasted to the final drive against the Giants where Romo had time to eat a sandwich before throwing passes. You must believe that Jim Haslett put ideas in the head of upcoming opponents on how to deal with Romo and Perry Fewell (the Giants Defensive Coordinator) showed people what not to try. Which did Billy Davis and Chip Kelly consider the blueprint for how to deal with this Cowboys' offense?
DeMarco Murray had 121 yards rushing, despite the Giants making a concerted effort to stop him, and the Cowboys having to play from behind for much of the game. It was about as quiet a 121 yards as you will ever see. That is how used to his excellence we are becoming.
Murray entered the season seven games of at least 120 rushing yards in his career. He has six this season. He has recorded at least 100 yards in 10 of the Cowboys' 11 games. He is now third in team history with 17 career 100-yard games, trailing only Emmitt Smith (76) and Tony Dorsett (43).
The Eagles' best runner had nothing but good things to say about his counterpart.
"I've been a big fan of DeMarco for a while, not just this year," McCoy said during a Tuesday conference call. "I always felt like if he got the ball more, he could do some special things.
"I like his game. He runs hard, he finishes very well. They're a good team. They're giving him some lanes to run in. I think the way he finishes runs and how strong he is, that's what makes him an elite back."
Ditto for Chip Kelly's comments about Romo.
"It's just a credit to what type of quarterback Tony is, and I've always been a fan of his in terms of his play at the quarterback position," Kelly said. "He's just so calm back there, he can extend drives, he can keep plays alive, a unique ability to avoid the rush and keep plays going, so you have to stay a lot longer in coverage on guys.
"He's just got a great grasp of what they're doing offensively and it shows. He's playing with a lot of confidence right now."
However, not everyone on the Eagles got the "play nice and stay off the bulletin board" memo. Bennie Logan, starting DT for Philadelphia, was puzzled about all the praise for the Dallas offensive line, terming them "OK". Travis Frederick didn't really care.
"I'm not a really big bulletin board guy," Frederick said. "For me, if you can't get motivated to play a game, this is your job. This is what you do. This is what I love. I'm motivated to play every game. People say things. Sometimes the media ... I don't want to blame you guys, but sometimes they spin it a little bit. It is what it is. I'm not worried about it."
DeMarco Murray's response was better.
"Let's find out Thursday," Murray said with a smirk.
Our own JSM8ith has the best summary of it all, since as Cowboys fans, we really prefer to embrace the hate.
Well, well. If you wanted some bulletin board material, I think we've officially found it. Bennie Logan decided to start the fun, but Fletcher Cox kept it going. As for Murray, he decided that four simple words would be the best response that he could give. Let's get ready for a massive Thanksgiving matchup.
Some think Tyron Smith has fallen off a bit now that he has signed the big contract. His head coach still has faith in him, and the expectations may be a bit too much, anyway.
Smith has not been as dominant this season as he was in 2013, when he seemingly destroyed opposing defensive ends every week. Then again, the standard for Smith is so high that it's easy to forget the only player who's never been beaten is the player who stays on the sideline.
For those that remember the various issues swirling around Smith over the past few seasons, this is a fascinating and in-depth look, by ESPN's Tim Keown, at what he went through. There is a lot in this article about how this affects so many, and how young professional athletes from poor socio-economic backgrounds, most of them African-American, can become a money source first and foremost to their own families. It also explains why Smith took a deal that many felt was far too favorable to the Cowboys.
He treats money the way most people treat a gym membership: It's there, and he'll use it if he needs it. In July, he signed an eight-year extension, making his contract now worth a potential $109 million, with $22.1 million of that guaranteed. Many in the business felt the deal was too team-friendly -- Pro Football Talk called it "nuts" -- because it leaves one of the league's brightest young stars with no bargaining power for an entire decade. But the criticism fails to account for Smith's loyalty to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, whose security team has assisted Smith and Costa and was once called on to remove one of Smith's brothers from the team's training camp in Oxnard, California.
We are all pretty aware of this. So let's just use this as an excuse to revisit some key tenets of the Garrett dogma.
"Certainly it's an important game," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It's a division game. We have the same record. There's significance to that. And you heard me say this before: You play 16 games, and each one is critical. Every game that you play is the most important game you're playing because it's the one you're involved in, so this is the most important game of the year up to this point. Just like [Sunday] night's was the most important game."
The biggest challenge may just be the lack of time between games for Dallas.
Tight end Jason Witten said the magnitude of this game should help all of the players get ready for Thursday.
"It's hard to get to this point," Witten said of the 8-3 record. "I think the excitement that comes with this can override how tired you are. It's a great opportunity for us. You have to get through it and move forward. You're going to be tired regardless. You have to find a way to get through it and move on to the next one. That's the focus."
The Cowboys landed back in Dallas Monday morning at 5 a.m. and were back in the building later in the afternoon. A light walk-through practice took place later in the afternoon and the team will then hold practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday's showdown.
That short week changes the calendar for the Cowboys.
The calendar might say it's Tuesday but for the Dallas Cowboys it is a Thursday in terms of their practice schedule, which means quarterback Tony Romo will take part in a full workout.
If you haven't yet submitted your picks, now would be a good time, and keep in mind that the games start early on Thursday. Here's the link to the entry form.
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At exactly 2:00 am ET this morning, we had 165 votes logged, which means there's still lots of room for more participants. Right now, the Cowboys are heavily favored over the Eagles, with 94% of the picks coming in for the Cowboys.