Monday, October 16, 2006

Bring On The Giants

Finally, it seems Dallas Cowboys third-year RB Julius Jones is living up to his early promise, showing more than flashes of his potential as he proves he can be a consistent, week in, week out running back. In a 34-6 win over the Houston Texans, Jones rushed for his third straight 100-yard game, and the defense put the clamps on QB David Carr and the rest of the struggling Texans offense. The Texans could manage only a feeble 34 yards rushing on 17 carries, and Dallas now leads the league in rush defense, giving up less than 70 yards per game.

And oh yeah, WR Terrell Owens got the hat trick, hauling in three TDs in the second half. This sets up the biggest game of the year to date, a Monday night home clash against the hated Giants, both teams coming in with 3-2 records.

In a nice little surprise, I found out the Dallas-Houston game was on TV in the New York area -- the fourth time in five games a Cowboys game was televised here (missing only the Tennessee Titans game), and next week's Giants game will make it 5 out of 6. I remember ordering the NFL Sunday Ticket package for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, paying well over 200 large for the privilege, before realizing it wasn't worth the price just to see the 6 or 7 Cowboys games per year that weren't being televised on Free TV. Shortly thereafter I canceled DirecTV also and remain cable-less to this day. But yesterday I sat down to watch at 1:00, thankful that the game was on CBS (Channel 2), which comes in crystal clear on my big set, unlike Fox (Channel 5), which never does.

Dallas got off to a very slow start in the rainy conditions, suffered through four early facemask penalties (two were personal fouls) among other mistakes, and actually trailed 6-3 at the half. The second half Dallas went back to emphasizing the running game, with Jones and Marion Barber providing a potent 1-2 punch, grinding out 163 yards on 32 carries between them. (see boxscore) And despite a lackluster pass rush, the Dallas defense came away with two key second half picks, setting up two TDs that put the game away before the fourth quarter started, allowing backup QB Tony Romo to get in his first game action since the preseason.

But it was Julius Jones who may have been the best player on the field Sunday. Suddenly game announcers are raving about his patient running style, beat writers are detailing his exploits in feature stories, and of course defensive coaches across the league are having to take notice of his impact when they make up their game plans. Jones is now sixth in the NFL in rushing, only 40 yards from league leader Tiki Barber, and three of the backs ahead of Jones have played one more game due to the Cowboys' early bye week. And with the stamp T.O. put on this game, the Dallas offense has a very good chance to be among the NFL's best as it rounds into midseason form.

Yahoo NFL game story

Proving His Point

Owens Gets Wish In Cowboys 34-6 Win

Defense Shuts Down Texans

Dallas Cowboys Fan Zone

Mickey Spagnola's Blog

Cowboys All Over Texans

Texas-Sized Mismatch

1 comment:

katekraig said...

Hey Barry,

Got your message about the freakshow, yes it should be interesting...thank God we have an unlimited amount of booze to consume.

See you in 1 week!