Carolina came into Big D with a challenge. Trying to prove that they aren’t the team that the media has painted them to be. Unfortunately for them, Dallas was on that same mission. After a slow paced first half, Dallas came up fired up, and honestly looked like the team we expect them to look like.
The Cowboys stuck to their gameplan, running the ball for over 200 yards for the first time since 1979. Felix Jones had 8 carries for 98 yards before leaving in the third with a left knee strain (severity unknown) and Tashard Choice filled in nicely with 18 rushes for 82 yards.
Tony Romo fired back after a week full of media warfare completing 22 of 33 passes for 255 yards. Though he didn’t have a touchdown, you can thank Romo for this victory. It was his ability to read the field, escape the blitzes, and make great throws to his receivers that got the victory. Witten had 77 yards off of 9 targets, Roy 4 catches for 75, Crayton battled for his 44 yards, and the backs totaled for 56 yards receiving.
The real story tonight though was the defense who until tonight had 0 sacks and 0 turnovers. That changed tonight. The rushing defense was strong allowing only 73 yards. The secondary allowed 220 yards, which is a great improvement. The real big deal is the two interceptions, mostly the one for a touchdown by Newman. The Cowboys were able to amass 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in a good victory to keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Victor Butler got his share of snaps tonight and he made the most of it. He fought to rack up 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble to seal the game. Victor Butler, a 4th round pick, was drafted because of his pass rush abilities. He will be a project for Wade Phillips but honestly, his development along with that of Jenkins, Scandrick, Jason Williams and even Ware will mean everything to the future of this organization. Victor should see more snaps after tonight’s performance.
Draw the Line
Once again Ware was held to 0 sacks. Cause for concern? I don’t really think so. He is game-planned for week in and week out. He still gets there often and still pressures often. Ware will have trouble duplicating 20 sacks ever again, but expect a 10 sack season. Wares impact on this defense wont be statistic as much as it will be seen on the field.
The problem does however arise when talking about Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter has looked lazy and continued to do that tonight. I expect some changes to be made especially when Jason Williams returns.
Every game I’m going to try and hand out 3 game balls. Tonight they go to the following:
1. Terrence Newman- Newman held Steve Smith to 4 catches for 38 yards. Not an easy task. He also had a pick six to put the Cowboys up 2 scores.
2. Felix Choice??- I’m cheating here, but our running backs played well totaling 176 yards and a TD. (Patrick Crayton and Romo also accounted for 36 yards)
3. Tony Romo- Based on a hard week, he rebounded nicely, carefully orchestrating these drives perfectly. No Interceptions… Enough Said.
Tashard Choice said that you can thank Witten and Romo for kick starting the offense during halftime……. Keith Brooking had a wonderful game, and looks to be a great pickup……. and just like the skins, Jason Witten could be seen praying with the Panthers players at the end of the game. Some class to end the game.