The Dallas Cowboys opened up their brand new Cowboys Stadium against the New York Giants Sunday night.
They played in front of a crowd of 105,000 or more, and about 100,000 went home very unhappy, as the Giants kicked a last second field goal and won the game 33-31.
• Tony Romo's turnovers
And everyone was worried that TO had left. He had three very costly interceptions, and all of them were on him. Even the fluke pick off Jason Witten's shoe was a poorly thrown pass.
• Tony Romo's passes
Almost every pass seemed "pushed" or "too fine." He seemed very uncomfortable, and never really got it together.
• Secondary was shredded
Eli Manning had a field day with Orlando Scandrick and Terrence Newman. It didn't help that they had to cover their guys forever because of the lack of a pass rush.
• Pass rush was anemic
For the second week in a row, the Cowboys had zero sacks. They put some pressure on Manning, but it wasn't enough to rattle him.
• Orlando Scandrick
Last week after the Tampa game, I said Scandrick should be starting over Jenkins. After seeing him miss about five tackles and get burned by the young Giant receivers, I will admit I was wrong.
• Cornerbacks' cushion
Eli ate the corners up with the quick passes, and when you don't tackle, it turns into easy first downs. Why are they always 10 yards off the ball?
And by the way, yes the Cowboys stopped the "run." But the Giants took a page from the Patriots playbook and used the short passes as their "running game."
• No turnovers. The Giants didn't drop Romo's mistakes. The Cowboys dropped all of Eli's.
• Wade Phillips' time management
He should have used the timeouts they had at the end of the game to give Romo a shot to pull off one of his "horrible game" miracles.
• Jason Garrett's game plan
This was the best game plan Jason Garrett has called since 2007.
Dallas had the most rushing yards since 1993 (a Super Bowl year). He turned an overly aggressive defense against itself with some plays that allowed cutbacks and a spectacular end around.
Read this and see that he turned all those negatives into positives.
• Running game
To run up 251 yards rushing against the Giants is unbelievable. All the backs had great games and the offensive line was superb.
• Offensive line
Those big boys finally got to do what they have been wanting—ground and pound. I was absolutely shocked that they manhandled the formidable Giants defensive line the way they did. The holes were huge and Romo wasn't sacked.
• Felix Jones
Yes, he did have a costly fumble. But Dallas Cowboys fans are about to see what this offense is really capable of. With Marion Barber III possibly injured, Jones will get the bulk of the carries next week.
• Marion Barber III
I think MB3 benefited the most from Garrett's game plan. He looked fresh in the fourth quarter for the first time in a long time, and I believe that had to do with the rotation of backs early in the game.
He was a man among men and a huge key in keeping the Cowboys in the game.
• Dallas red zone defense
This was probably the biggest thing that kept the Cowboys in the game. The Giants were 0-5 in the red zone. It is just tough to overcome -4 turnover ratio.
The Cowboys rushing offense looked spectacular. Then there was the elephant in the room—Tony Romo's turnovers.
It is nice to know that Dallas can stay in the game despite a bad game from Romo, but I don't think they want to test that theory anymore this season.
It will be funny to read the articles tomorrow saying Romo can't "win the big game." He is now 4-1 against the Giants in the regular season, so if this was a "big game," then he has at least won four of them.
They must develop a pass rush and make turnovers. The secondary was ripped apart, and there were tons of missed tackles.
The red zone defense was great, but the Giants racked up 427 yards.
I would rather Wade play an aggressive defense, rather than the bend-don't-break defense.
Other than Felix Jones' fumble, it was another good week for special teams.
I will say it seems like Patrick Crayton is the NFL's greatest fair catcher. It'd be nice to see him to do something with the ball.
The Cowboys were lucky to have been that close at the end of the game with a minus-four turnover ratio.
I am going to take it as a good sign.
If they can stand toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in the NFL, dominating both sides of the ball throughout the whole game, despite the poor game by Romo, I am encouraged.
Romo and Peyton Manning are tied for the highest QB rating of all time. Romo will bounce back and Dallas will be fine.