Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive endDemarcus Lawrence
(90) celebrates recovering a fumble with teammates during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
It is a good feeling getting to write a delayed reaction for the Dallas Cowboys playoff victory. While it wasn’t a pretty game it was a win. I know there will be talk about “The Phantom Flag”, but I talked about this yesterday on how it was more than just that play that helped the Cowboys win. Now we get to watch the Cowboys head to Lambeau for a playoff game for the first time since the 1967 Ice Bowl. There are some things that they need to work on if they want to beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. First, however, let’s look at the positives.
1. Tony “Mr. Clutch” Romo – A few years ago did anyone think we would be calling Tony Romo clutch? This year Tony looks like a different person. He is making great decisions for the most part. Yea, I know he held onto the ball too long at times, but at least he didn’t throw it up for grabs. This was a defining moment for Tony and it showed he has the ability to win an important game late in a game. He is the reason this team won. He spread the ball around and even though Dez Bryant was double and triple covered, Tony took what was given making Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley the benefactors.
2. Adjusting the D – This defense looked a mess in the first half. They had troubles tackling, covering, and getting to the QB. There were some adjustments at the half that allowed the Cowboys to climb back into the game. There does need to be a more consistent game from them against Rodgers and Co. but if they can pull it back together they have a really good chance against a weak Packers line and mediocre run game.
3. The Special Third Team – I have said many times before but special teams just do not get enough credit. While Dan Bailey missed a FG, the special teams overall were stellar. They held a dangerous return team to short or no gains and were really strong on both sides. They really need to be noticed more often.
While we all know this game wasn’t perfect, here are a few things they need to fix now before hitting Green Bay.
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Offensive Line Stunts
– First Jeremy Parnell is the weak point on this line. He was terrible and we are severely missingDoug Free
. The Cowboys got smart and brought in Dunbar to help him out and tried to spread that side of the field a little more, but this line could not handle the front 7 of the Lions. As we saw in the Redskins and Cardinals games they need work handling stunt moves. They have to get this fixed or Matthews andPeppers
will have a field day.
2. Be Prepared! – I am not sure the Cowboys looked prepared for this game. It is like they approached it as if it were a regular season game and not a playoff game. This falls solely on Jason Garrett. They have to focus this week on the task at hand and not get ready as if they have another shot after this week. They looked sloppy and lost at times. I know nerves were a part of it, as we have so little players with playoff experience, but wow it looked bad at times.
3. Penalties are Bad MMK? – We all know how poorly this game was officiated. But there were some really bad penalties at some really bad times. They have to clean up the play a little and not allow Green Bay to get automatic first downs. Let’s be honest Aaron Rodgers will kill you if you give him chances.
So there it is, Delayed Reaction for the first week of the playoffs. Let’s hope the next one is about getting to the NFC Championship game. Let me know below what you all think.