Sunday reminded Cowboys fans what a bad taste in the mouth is like. After 11 days of over-exaggeration on opening day, reality creeps in and they realize that the stars haven’t just quite aligned for the Cowboys yet.
With 11 days off, it is hard to imagine that the meticulous Jason Garrett failed to prepare his Dallas Cowboys for their trip to the corner of the America. Josh Ellis, (writer for Dallas Cowboys.com) tweeted, “I don’t think they were unprepared. I think they got punched in the mouth. As Mike Tyson said, everybody’s got a plan until they get hit in the mouth.”
With the honeymoon from the inspirational season-opening victory over, the Cowboys need to quickly figure out what went wrong on Sunday. Specifically how they are going to stop rookie running back sensation for the Tampa Bay Bucs, Doug Martin.
One thing I have noticed from watching the Giants vs Bucs game is this kid’s spin move. Wow. Martin has good burst, and is excellent at finding the hole and running North-South. Not much dancing, and not much East-West action.
To stop Doug Martin, the Cowboys need to make the Bucs one-dimensional, which they have the personnel and talent to do so. Along with the current personnel, Jay Ratliff should be ready to go after sitting out the first two contests with an ankle sprain.
The Bucs operate a ‘run-first’ offense which thrives off the play-action pass. Against the Giants, even Josh Freeman was able to exploit their depleted secondary. When Martin touched the ball, he showed excellent burst, but not a punishing style like the Cowboys faced with Marshawn Lynch. This is to the Cowboys advantage, as their team speed is excellent.
With Romo’s tremendous record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this week looks to be a fresh glass of mouthwash. An early lead by the Cowboys will keep the Bucs out of their comfort zone and force Josh Freeman to air it out 45-plus times.
The Cowboys cornerbacks are physical and will match up well against the Bucs receiving corps, helping Rob Ryan call defenses against a desperate offense.
Stopping Doug Martin will be difficult if the Cowboys allow the Bucs to stay in the game. Multiple interceptions by Eli Manning kept the game closer than it should have been.
Look for the Cowboys to score early and often and keep this game out of reach of the up and coming Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also look for the Cowboys to have something special set up for their victory formation; just in case.
Another win this week will lead to more knee-jerk reactions regarding how "amazing" the Cowboys are. If you subscribe to the knee-jerk reactions such as "canning" Felix Jones, firing the non-blitzing Rob Ryan, and believing that the sky is falling, remember we are only two games into the season and nothing is set in stone.