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Tony Romo Injury Means Cowboys Defense Must Carry The Load

The Cowboys need their defense to carry them while they wait for the return of their offensive stars.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

First it was Dez Bryant. Now it's Tony Romo. The Dallas Cowboys offensive stars will be occupying the trainer's room for the foreseeable future, a good estimate would be 8-10 weeks. Still, the Cowboys are 2-0, with two in-division wins, after they held on for a 20-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The reason? The Cowboys defense has been superb over the start of the season. The really good news about the Cowboys defense is that they should get better when Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain are all available.

Granted, it's only two games, but the Dallas Cowboys defense should give Cowboys fans hope as Brandon Weeden takes over the offense, and Tony Romo plays assistant coach for a while. Against the Eagles, the Cowboys had two interceptions and a fumble recovery to win the turnover battle. They held DeMarco Murray and the Eagles to seven rushing yards on 17 attempts. That's not a typo, that's seven yards.  They held Darren Spoles to negative four yards rushing, and 23 yards receiving. That's the guy who I was most afraid of before the game.

Sean Lee, now healthy, looks just as good as he did in the past when he was healthy. 14 tackles, one huge interception. Sean Lee at the weakside linebacker looks like it could be a very successful move. The defense only got one sack, but they had seven tackles for loss.

And in a surprise, the Cowboys secondary is playing very solid ball. So far, Tyler Patmon is filling in admirably for Orlando Scandrick. Morris Claiborne is having a rebirth. Brandon Carr is earning his money.

All of this is coming off a very good effort against the Giants in the first game. The had to overcome three Cowboys turnovers. Essentially, they only gave up nine points in that game, the other 17 points came from the turnovers. This week, they gave up three points until a garbage time touchdown.

The Cowboys are also getting contributions on special teams. Dan Bailey is money. Against the Eagles they blocked a punt and took it in for a score. Chris Jones averaged 52.5 yards on six punts in the game. And they bottled up a dangerous Sproles.

It's not going to be easy. The Cowboys offense already looked like a lesser version of itself without Dez Bryant. Now they are without their leader. Dallas still has weapons like Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams. Others, like Lance Dunbar, are trying to break out. For a couple of months of the season, Brandon Weeden will need to help make that offense respectable. A capable running game would certainly help.

After that, the Cowboys defense and special teams need to do the rest. They have to keep the Cowboys in playoff contention until Bryant and Romo return.


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