In the NFL there are no style points, a win is a win and you don’t apologize about it. But we have to accept that the Cowboys victory against the Giants wasn’t as smooth as everybody would have expected when you win the turnover battle 6 to 1.
However, I think that the Giants’ game says more about the identity of this team than the final score. Yes, the Cowboys should have put the game away much earlier, and actually they did. But they just can’t make it easy for themselves, right?
Nevertheless, the offense took care of the ball, DeMarco Murray got some hard-fought yards, and the Kiffin-Marinelli turnover machine did the rest.
That’s the definition of a hard-nosed team.
They actually reminded me of the Ravens or the Steelers of the last decade or so. Maybe not a spectacular offense, but one with a good quarterback who plays smart football and doesn’t try to win the game by himself; with a North-to-South kind of running back, who will fight for every inch of the field; and with an aggressive, physical Defense specialized in takeaways and in scoring its own points.
I mean, Romo was OK, but more importantly he wasn’t reckless. 263 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, are fine but very pedestrian numbers by today’s NFL standards. However, the lone interception wasn’t typical Romo, it was just a rookie mistake.
Which takes me to my next point, the Giants were expecting Romo to hand them the game, as he has done so many times in the past.
That’s why they kept taking Dez Bryant out of the equation, trying to get into Romo’s head. Remember that crazy Steelers game a few years back? He just tried to do too much, when it wasn’t even needed. At the end, he just gave the game away.
This time we saw a more composed Romo, getting what the Giants were giving him, namely the short pass, and the running game. Consuming time in the process.
Meanwhile, this Defense was on its takeaway fest. I know that Eli Manning got like a zillion yards, but do you remember who got even more yards last season? That’s right, Tony Romo. When you are playing from behind, you need to throw a lot. That translates into lots of yards, but also lots of interceptions.
But Barry Church looked like the real deal, Bruce Carter stole Sean Lee’s show for a night, and even George Selvie prompted some fans to ask ‘Anthony who?’
At the end of the day, this renewed D got the win with those 5 takeaways and 14 scored points.
Maybe it wasn’t perfect, but in the first week of the 2013 Dallas Cowboys’ season we saw Jason Garrett’s right kind of guys, evolving into Jason Garrett’s right kind of team.
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