In the NFL, there are no guarantees or certainties of a tomorrow. The Cowboys found that out after their come from behind victory that Tony Romo snatched out of the jaws of defeat. Even though the end result was a 1-0 record, it didn't come without a few unfortunate injuries. Ronald Leary looks to be out this week at least with a groin strain, rookie pass rusher Randy Gregory will also miss some time with a high ankle sprain, but the broken fifth metatarsal suffered by Dez Bryant hurts the most as he looks at a 4-8 week recovery. Dallas is currently the only team in the NFC East with a win, but in order to build on that, they must first answer a few tough questions. After the win, I scoured Twitter and Facebook for some of the biggest questions heading into Eagles week.
Jeffrey Florey via Facebook asks: "What will the 'haters' say when Tony Romo continues to thrive?"
Well J-Flo, that's a great question. I think it will remain the same until Tony Romo wins something huge, meaning a Lombardi trophy. Lately, everyone is 'all-in' on Tony being a great quarterback and a lot of folks have placed him in their top five after last season. Yet, when you don the star on your helmet, you're expected to win rings. For some, the narrative will never die because it's what they want it to be. We can pull statistics out all day long but sometimes you just can't fix ignorance. Tony Romo has been an elite quarterback for some time though he has often been surrounded by lesser talent. The Romo saga will continue and even if he wins the big one, there will always be those who have something negative to say.
@prettyhairt via Twitter asks: "Where the heck was our pass rush? Eli was way too comfortable."
The Cowboys were actually providing decent pressure that saw a drop off when Randy Gregory left the game. The problem with playing Eli Manning is his release. He may make mistakes at times but he has shown to pretty good at getting rid of the ball. Ever since he's moved into this new west coast style offense, he's been even better at his release. He's nowhere near the athlete of a Tony Romo but he has good enough feet to step up and make the throw and get himself out of trouble. The pass rush is definitely improved over last season but with the style of offense the Giants play, the ball doesn't stay in the pocket very long.
Spenser Todd via Facebook asks: " Without Dez drawing double coverage for the foreseeable future will our passing attack still thrive?"
This is where the Cowboys offensive line will play a major role in the success of this team awaiting Dez Bryant's return. Tony Romo showed Sunday that if given the protection, he will sling the ball down the field with pinpoint accuracy. One of Romo's best traits is his vision and ability to go through his progressions and deliver the right ball. Losing Dez really hurts this team but it's all about creating mismatches for the receivers. Having an All-Pro pass-catcher like Jason Witten will help soften the blow. However, look for guys like Gavin Escobar and Cole Beasley to have elevated roles. Both of those guys cause for serious matching issues and Escobar can really help them get vertical. Terrance Williams also needs to step up big in the wake of this injury in order to keep Dallas dangerous. Williams has true ability to find a crease and be off to the races. If opposing defenses stack the box against the run, one of these guys needs to make them pay. Also, Romo showed that he can just as easily use guys like Lance Dunbar in the shorts, slants, and screen patterns. Dunbar has been looking for more opportunities and now may be his best chance.
Several folks via Twitter/ Facebook asked the same question: What injury hurts most and what will Dallas do to counter these injuries?
It depends really on how you look at each game. The injury to Dez Bryant is the most concerning because of how long other guys such as Julio Jones and Hakeem Nicks stayed out. Yet, you cannot judge every injury the same way. Dez has proven to be the guy that will heal as fast as he can to get back out onto the field. Some guys handle it different ways and it's really about the player's own comfort level. As said above, to counter the Bryant injury, look for Dallas to focus on their mismatches while establishing a running game to control the clock. For this game, the Randy Gregory injury seems to hurt most because of the no-huddle, fast-paced style in which Chip Kelly likes to play. However, Atlanta showed that a fiery, hungry defense can have success at times. The point of emphasis will be disrupting Sam Bradford as it should be with any quarterback. Rod Marinelli will have his hands full trying to make adjustments but playing disciplined coverage on the outside with your corners will help. The Ronald Leary injury is a concern because that means Mackenzy Bernadeau will have to handle Fletcher Cox. He's been a really crafty pass rusher for the Eagles and without Bryant on the outside, Dallas must keep Romo protected to find his weapons.