Cowboys Better Learn To Win Without Dez and Romo


With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out for a long period of time, the Dallas Cowboys better step up and win.

When the Dallas Cowboys lost superstars Dez Bryant and Tony Romo in consecutive weeks, the worse possible scenario had happened. The Cowboys had lost their All Pro wide receiver and their Pro Bowl quarterback for a significant amount of time. How could the Cowboys function without their leaders?

They’re a lethal offensive tandem that produces for this team. Whether its Romo engineering a fourth quarter comeback against the New York Giants or Bryant beating double coverage, they’re the main cogs on this team. They put the points on the board, period.

When it was announced Bryant would be out 6-8 weeks, everyone knew Romo would carry the Cowboys in Dez’s absence. With the best offensive line in the NFL and three durable running backs, the Cowboys would be more than capable of winning. Add an improved defense combined with Dez’s return and you have the trappings of a Super Bowl run.

Now that Bryant and Romo will miss a significant amount of time, the Cowboys better learn how to win without them.

This project starts on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

It starts with head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett must motivate the players to rise above their talent like never before. He must do more than preach that “Finish The Fight” mantra. He must coach mistake-free football.

In essence, Garrett has to find a way to win by any means necessary.

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When it comes to Brandon Weeden, Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan need to utilize his strengths to benefit of the team. Tailor that arm strength to plays that work, like the slant pass he threw to Terrance Williams to seal the Eagles game. Byron Maxwell played soft coverage on that play and Weeden hit Williams with the dagger.

Taking what the defense gives you and making timely throws can only benefit the Cowboys and increase Weeden’s confidence. Another confidence booster is the running game. A good run game is Weeden’s best friend because it’ll open up play action.

Interceptions and fumbles obviously cannot happen. Weeden knows he can’t be a turnover machine and throw games down the drain. We all witnessed his pathetic performance against the Arizona Cardinals last year.

To be honest, we’re all crossing our fingers that he plays well, that his play Sunday was a sign of great things to come. One good thing was Weeden running for a first down, catching the Eagles off guard. He didn’t wait to be sacked, but rather took off and ran. Simple things like that will help the Cowboys win games and keep the chains moving.

Remember, the Cowboys need to win anyway they can.

Since teams will stack the box and dare Weeden to beat them, its imperative that Weeden get rid of the ball quickly. This will beat the blitzes and keep defenses honest.

The reality is that Weeden has to be more than a game manager for the Cowboys to win and stay in contention. I’m not expecting Weeden to be Romo 2.0, either. This is not what Weeden is.

The Cowboys have to find creative ways to score points and keep its defense off the field.  It’s that simple. Kicking field goals is not going to do it.

The Cowboys don’t have a dominant defense like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens or the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers, both Super Bowl winners. Although the Cowboys’ defense is playing terrific, it’s not on that level.  Those defenses were one of a kind and didn’t need their offenses to score a gazillion points to win.

Which leads to my next point.


This side of the ball is playing at a high level, creating turnovers and bringing the wood. Linebacker Sean Lee recorded 14 tackles (5 assisted) and an interception against the Eagles – that pic in the end zone was crucial.

As good as the defense has played this young season, it needs to improve in one critical area. It needs to get sacks and create pressure. Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford had plenty of time to throw. If Bradford could’ve connected on some of his wayward throws, the Eagles could’ve scored more than 10 points for sure.

Rod Marinelli has to blitz more to create pressure or the defense will get scorched. Eli Manning and Sam Bradford aren’t on the schedule every Sunday. Jeremy Mincey and Demarcus Lawrence have to step up.

The Cowboys offense has turned the ball over five times in two games. The Cowboys must eliminate the turnovers to be successful. It makes no sense to lose the ball in crucial situations (Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar).

Escobar’s fumble could have been disaster and an easy been a touchdown in Philly. Ball security is a must as this team moves forward. Turnovers are a recipe for failure, especially if the Cowboys have to play from behind with Weeden as the quarterback.

Weeden, Kellen Moore, and Matt Cassel are not Romo. They have to play with a lead as much as possible.

Linehan has to get Lance Dunbar more touches. Dunbar is an absolute beast in open space and a clear mismatch for linebackers. He is truly the X-factor for the Cowboys.

He can tote the rock, play in the slot or catch the ball out of the backfield. Just get the explosive runner the ball. He can be used on bubble screens or a regular screen.

On the winning drive against the Giants, Dunbar caught two passes for a total of 40 yards, the longest being 24. His production was crucial on that final drive.

So the Cowboys have the talent and the blueprint to win.

But they have to win without Dez and Romo.

Next: Cowboys: Where Is The Running Game?

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