Can you feel the collective energy in Dallas right now? It seems like the whole mood of the city has lifted. When I was a student at Texas A&M, I had a job in the mall. If the Aggies won on Saturday, the mall would be buzzing with energy. If they lost it would be dead. It seems to be the same way with a Cowboy victory or defeat. Today was no exception with the Cowboys dismantling of Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams.
The Cowboys stepped on the pedal and never let off. Rather than settling for field goals and field position, the Cowboys scored touchdowns. Ideally this is the way the offense should work. In my game prediction (which can be seen here) I said that DeMarco Murray would be effective but not special. I was wrong. Today, Murray hit the hole with speed and authority. It also helps when the running lanes where wide and I mean wide open. Where I got it right was when I said Romo would not need 45 passes to win this game but would need to throw touchdowns and he did. Let’s stop and look at the details.
Romo didn’t throw for 300 yards; he didn’t even attempt 25 passes. Yet he was extremely effective. This is what I meant when I said Romo needs to do more by doing less. When Romo doesn’t have to constantly bring the Cowboys back into a game, rather just keep them competitive, he shines. When the running game is effective, not even special, but just effective, Romo doesn’t feel the need to have to take over a game and thus the Cowboys find balance.
As I was listening to all the post-game shows on TV and radio one myth kept popping up that I am going to bust right now. The Cowboys have not found anything new nor did they simply decide to run the ball for a change. It’s the simple solution of executing an effective running attack to allow Romo the opportunity to throw touchdowns, which he did. Here is the proof. 2 of Romo’s 3 passing touchdown passes were preceded by at least 2 consecutive running plays. That’s the difference, that’s the “secret sauce” that Jerry Jones talks about. The Cowboys will never be a run first offense. But when you have the ability to do everything decently, you can do anything consistently.
So what am I saying? The Cowboys won today because they were able to run effectively which allowed Romo to excel in a lesser role. Anyone else notice Romo not doing his infamous, “Kill Kill” bit as much. Now, keep in mind there are going to be 4 or 5 games this year when Romo is going need to bail Dallas out. Today was not that day. Here are my 5 game balls.
- Jason Hatcher and Demarcus Ware for the constant pressure they put on the QB
- The Offensive line performance for giving Murray running lanes and a clean pocket for Romo
- Rod Marinelli and Monte Kiffin for creating a culture of turnovers. I know everyone is seeing the defense constantly swiping at footballs
- DeMarco Murray for his special running day. Let’s see if he can do it in December when the Cowboys need him to ice a game.
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Justin on twitter @justinsopinion