Nothing ever comes easy for these Cowboys, every time it seems that things are going to get better, they put themselves in terrible situations from where is so hard to get out. Against good teams like the Niners they simply can’t do it, against bad teams like the Rams they were able to get a win that brings hope to a season that didn’t have much after the Niners game.
First and foremost, good ol’ Tony is back! I remember saying when the game was 21-0, “this is a game that we need to win, and Romo will have to win it by himself”. And he did. He looked much better on the field, and delivered when his team needed him the most. Those couple of 3rd and long that he converted in the go-ahead drive, showed that we got our QB back!
Although having Romo back is great, maybe the best news out of Sunday’s game was that the commitment to the run game is real and that this team will live and die with that identity. As good as Romo is, he hasn’t been enough to take the Cowboys back to his glory days. So, a new approach is in place, and that’s just recognizing that you need more than just a great quarterback to win in this league. Today’s Cowboys strength is in the offensive line, and it’s a smart move to explode that strength as much as possible. Even when trailing 21-0 on the road.
The defense didn’t look good against St. Louis, but at the end they got the stop when it was needed. It was encouraging to see that kid Anthony Hitchens playing the way he did. The next man up philosophy prayed by Jason Garrett was in full display when Hitchens broke the line of scrimmage and made that much-needed tackle for loss in 4th down. Overall he had a great game in just his second start in the NFL.
Those were the bright spots in a dramatic win. But if the Cowboys plan to get far this season, they need to address several worrying trends.
Obviously, Demarco Murray has to stop fumbling the ball. I don’t care if he is the NFL leading rusher, you can’t fumble the football every week and expect to be taken seriously.
Sep 21, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) gives thanks after intercepting a pass during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Cowboys defeated the Rams 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
I know that Morris Claiborne sealed the win with that interception at the end of the game, but what is it with this guy? Opposing quarterbacks just look where the supposed new Deion Sanders is playing and that’s where they throw it every time they need to make a big play. I don’t care how much the Cowboys have invested in him, Mo Claiborne is a liability, and keeping him in the roster after the strong performance by Sterling Moore last week, just sends the wrong message to the rest of the players. Objectively, the three best cornerbacks in the roster are Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr and Sterling Moore, and they should be starting as soon as next week. I can’t imagine what does Drew Brees is going to do to this defense with Claiborne playing next week.
Instead of Claiborne we could have a very good safety, linebacker or defensive linemen, and still have selected a cornerback like Janoris Jenkins (that of the pick-six against Romo) in the second round of that draft. With so many holes in this defense, just looking at Claiborne playing makes me cringe. I know that after a win, we all should be happy, and I am, but it’s impossible to keep ignoring the fact that the worst bust in Cowboys history is still playing. Jerry if you ever happen to read this, please #CutClaiborne!