The Cowboys used an entire team effort to defeat the Redskins on Sunday Night Football. Once or twice a year, a football team will execute on all 3 phases of the game and it looks and feels refreshing. On a night where Tony Romo and the offensive line were not at their best, the other two phases of the game picked up the slack.
The offense started things off nicely by taking the opening drive down the Redskins throat and punching it in for 7. Remember a couple years ago, the Cowboy could never score a touchdown on their opening drive!
The special teams and I mean the entire special teams provided points. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but the Cowboys have been running that “wall play” exclusively since last year on punt returns. If you don’t know what I mean let me break it down.
Essentially what happens is when a team has to punt the ball the Cowboys special teams turn and run toward Dewayne Harris. The players then turn back around and start to create a wall on one side of the field. This gives Dwayne Harris the alley he needs. I am quite surprised other teams have not adapted to this play by the Cowboys.
Special teams and Dewayne Harris weren’t done. On a kickoff return, Dewayne Harris almost took it to the house again supported by excellent blocking by his teammates. As much as the special teams helped with field position and points, it was the defense that won the Cowboys this game.
It was the play of Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr, and Morris Claiborne specifically. In all the years I have watched the Cowboys, I cannot recall a game where I saw so many batted balls by the defensive backs. And to top it off, there were no pass interference calls on all those plays.
Last but not least, we cannot leave off the pass rush by…um…ya I can’t remember any of the guys playing on the defensive line today, can you? In my prediction, (click here to review) I wrote that the Cowboys would run into problems if they could not get a pass rush. When Demarcus Ware went out of the game, I thought the Redskins had an opportunity. The Cowboys defense line led by Jason Hatcher stepped up and provided the pressure. Well done, all around for the defense.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sean Lee’s performance. That guy is on every tackle. Who else was amazed when Lee shed an offensive lineman and stopped Robert Griffin from scoring a touchdown. Make no mistake, that was a game changing play. If Lee stays healthy, he should make his first pro bowl.
Finally, let’s give a little praise to Terrance Williams, he cost his team a game, but in the last two games he has provided a reason to forget Miles Austin. Hopefully we will continue to see his progression. Also, and maybe I am in the minority with this, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Cole Beasley. You can tell Romo just trusts that Beasley will be where he is supposed to be. And before I get any hate mail, let me give Tony Romo some credit for once again extending plays with his feet and making some great throws.
Here are my 5 plays to remember:
- Sean Lee prevents RG3 from scoring
- Redskins missed field goal that would have cut it to a 2 point game
- Kyle Wilbur’s fumble recovery that led to a touchdown
- Dewayne Harris punt return for a touchdown
- Dewayne Harris kickoff return that led to a touchdown
Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Justin on twitter @justinsopinion