Monday, September 24, 2007

Cowboys Statement Game

WITH A DECISIVE 34-10 road victory over the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears, the Cowboys moved their record to an unblemished 3-0 to remain atop the NFC East and, in the process, demonstrated they deserve to be counted among the elite teams in the entire NFL. Tony Romo went 22-35 for 329 yards and 2 TDs, and the Dallas defense picked off beleaguered Bears QB Rex Grossman 3 times. WR Terrell Owens may have had his best game in a Cowboys uniform, hauling in 8 passes for 145 yards, including one 89-yard drive where he accounted for 70 yards on 4 catches. Rising star RB Marion Barber rumbled for 102 yards on just 15 carries, reaching the end zone twice, while TE Jason Witten caught 6 passes for 90 yards.

As good as the defense looked, holding the Bears offense to 239 total yards, the story of the game was once again Romo, whose mobility and poise in the pocket was on display all night, flinging passes while on the run from every conceivable angle. Romo's precision passing overcame not only some costly drops by his own WRs, but 100 yards on 12 penalties handed out by a visibly incompetent officiating crew. No less an authority than John Madden was heard raving about Romo all night, at one point referring to him as "Superman" -- and who could blame him. In all 3 Dallas games so far -- wins over the Giants, Dolphins and Bears -- Romo has been indisputably the best player on the field each time.

The 27-year-old Romo has become one of the great NFL stories of recent years, an undrafted free agent from obscure Eastern Illinois has risen to the top of the QB heap, with his name now regularly mentioned in the same breath as household names like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
Romo has thrown for 860 yards, with 8 TDs against 2 INTs (one on a tipped pass), and his passer rating after 3 games stands at 111.9, tied for 2nd in the NFL behind Brady with Carolina QB Jake Delhomme. Another telling stat is that in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), only Kurt Warner, with 3,213, has thrown for more yards than Romo's 3,172 in his first 12 overall starts.

Last night, the Dallas defense looked aggressive and played angry. LBs DeMarcus Ware and rookie Anthony Spencer combined for 3 sacks, and CB Anthony Henry picked off his 3rd and 4th passes of the year, taking one back all the way for a game-clinching TD in the 4th quarter.

The Cowboys next two games look very winnable -- at home against the 0-3 St. Louis Rams and on the road versus the also winless Buffalo Bills -- setting up a potential showdown of unbeaten teams in week six at Texas Stadium against the New England Patriots, who have outscored their three opponents by an overwhelming 114-35. So far Brady has completed a head-shaking 80 percent of his passes on the season, aided by the resurgent WR Randy Moss and newcomer Wes Welker.

Speaking of stellar QB play the numbers put up in yesterday's games were through the roof, resembling the laissez-fair "defenses" of the old American Football League. Either the defenses were resting or it has just become too easy to complete passes, but a glance at the stat lines shows a remarkable trend. Nine QBs threw for over 300 yards on Sunday, led by Detroit's Jon Kitna's 446 yards on 29-46 passing. Donovan McNabb feasted on the Lions' weak secondary to the tune of 381 yards on 21-26 passing. Brady was 23-29 for 311 yards and his usual weekly 4 TDs.

Even Atlanta's Joey Harrington got into the act, completing 31-46 for 361 yards in a losing effort versus Carolina. Kurt Warner -- remember him -- came off the bench for Arizona in relief of a struggling Matt Leinert (9-20 for 53 yards), hitting on 15 passes in just 20 attemps for a gaudy 258 yards. And Houston's Matt Schaub is justifying his huge offseason contract, hitting on 27-33 throws for 236 yards versus the Colts. There just weren't a lot of incomplete passes on this Sunday, is the point I'm trying to make.


jimithegreek said...

your cowboys looking good, romo one of the top qb's so far, gatts pack lookin good too. and how bad is rex grossman?

Anonymous said...

How bad is Grossman? Very bad. And yes, the Pack is (almost) Back!