Monday, September 10, 2007

Week One War Of Attrition

IN AN OLD-FASHIONED SHOOTOUT, the Cowboys offense, led by QB Tony Romo, outslugged the Giants 45-35 in a Sunday night game that had just about everything -- everything, that is, except even a hint of defense by either team. Both offenses marched up and down the field with total impunity, with tons of big plays, very few punts and not a 3-and-out to be found.

But in the end it was just too much Romo in his return to the national stage. And there needed to be to offset a career game by Giants QB Eli Manning, who matched his Dallas counterpart by throwing for 4 touchdowns. By the end of the game, both squads were gutting it out in the oppressive Texas humidity, losing players left and right to injury and sheer exhaustion.

Dallas lost NT Jason Ferguson midgame from a defense that was already missing CB Terence Newman and LB Greg Ellis from the starting lineup due to injury. In the first half alone Giants' DE Osi "University of Nigeria" Umenyiora, RB Brandon "Big Talk" Jacobs, and a reserve DB were unceremoniously knocked out the game. Then late in the game, Cowboys rookie LB Anthony Spencer sacked Manning on a 2-point attempt, and the QB's right shoulder hit the turf first and hard. He couldn't finish the game, and it was just reported on ESPN-Radio that Manning is out for a month with what they're calling a bruised shoulder, although there's a good chance it's a more extensive injury.

Don't look now, but next up on the Giants QB depth chart is the Pillsbury Throw Boy, 285-pound Jared Lorenzen -- who resembles Jared the Subway Sandwich spokesman before he lost all that weight for the ad campaign -- followed by uber-journeyman (and former Cowboy) Anthony Wright.

WAS A SWEET WIN because of who it came against -- the Cowboys' biggest rivals. Best of all was Brandon Jacobs limping off the field. During the week, in a quote that you best believe made the Cowboys bulletin board, Jacobs boasted that his Giants were gonna go down to Dallas and kick some butt. He fits right in the Giants locker room with fellow blowhards Plastico Burress, Jeremy Shockey, Mike "All About Me" Strahan.

The Cowboys defense was behind the play the whole night, forced to start CB Jacques Reeves in place of Newman, which was exploited all night by the Giants, with WR Plexiglass Burress hauling in 3 easy scores. By the end of the game, Reeves was giving so much cushion to Snoop Burress that he was often in a neighboring zip code. Luckily the Dallas O was clicking on all cylinders. Romo put together 7 scoring drives, running for a TD from about 10 yards out in addition to the 4 scoring strikes -- 2 highlight reel plays by Terrell Owens and one apiece to Sam Hurd and Jason Witten. Witten was simply Novacek-like in his ability to find the middle seam behind the Giants' linebackers.

Romo was 15-24 for 342, good for an incredible 23 yards per completion -- 3rd best in Poke history behind two guys named Meredith and Staubach -- and didn't seem to miss injured WR Terry Glenn at least on this night. Instead he spread the ball around after patiently going through or his reads or just firing the ball on timing plays, often on what seemed like one- or two-step drops.

The Dallas defense needs to get its act straightened out in a hurry, although the schedule gods will be smiling down on them for the short term in the form of two subpar offenses coming up -- Miami and Chicago -- although both games are on the road. In any event, they should fare better against Trent Green and Rex Grossman the next two games, before coming home to square off against Marc Bulger and the high powered Rams in week 4.

Tony Romo passed the first test of the year with flying silver & blue colors and beat back all the many doubters for at least another week. To me, and probably even to himself, he had nothing to prove, except to display a passionate commitment to the sport itself. All the same it's good to know that a major piece of the Cowboys puzzle is now in place for what should be a good long while -- once Romo's expiring contract situation is taken care of. Sure didn't look like much of a distraction last night. But to watch #9 taking command last night, putting his stamp on the game time after time, you know this guy is driven by a love of the game that you can't put a dollar figure on.


jimithegreek said...

nice to see you back on the football rant. the giants will be lucky to win 6-7 games. Dfence is awfull, coach is past tense! Romo looked good but your Dallas D looks suspect. baseball races & It doesnt get better!

Vincent said...

I hate tha Giants and I'm thrilled we destroyed the season for them but They deserve better than Tommy boy as coach. What was wrong with his face he looked like he has skin cancer and is melting
One anti cowboy thing Can Roy Williams cover ANYONE !!! Jesus Christ he was in the wrong spot all night

and to remind everyone we need to root against the browns all year because we have their draft pick next year so lets get brady quinn in there so he can lose 14 games this year