Most people will focus on the final outcome of the game. Justifiably so, because good teams do not lose after being up by 24 points. Regardless of the outcome, the first half of the game was nearly pitch perfect outide of the ineffective run on fourth and goal which was ill-advised. The Dallas Cowboys attacked the strongest aspect of the Detroit Lions with arguably their weakest.
Otherwise, the defense befuddled a quarterback, contained a running game and forced the opposing offense off the field. The special teams kicking appears to be in as good of a condition as it has been in years, and while the returners are not spectacular, they achieved the yards that were available and never turned the ball over.
The offensive game plan appeared to be well-conceived, running screens, off tackle runs, and effective quick passes with injured and “fresh off the scrap heap” talent. This first half team can compete with any team in the league. They can win playoff games. They can win Super Bowls.
After the first half, the Cowboys were able to extend the lead to 27-3. Good teams do not lose 24 point leads. Well coached teams do not lose 24 point leads. Tony Romo will undoubtedly receive a “lion’s” share of the blame, and without looking at the film in much greater detail, I cannot see any reason to disagree with this assessment. But under Jason Garrett‘s watch, the Cowboys have lost a 14 point fourth quarter advantage and a 24 point second half advantage. If you know Tony Romo is an unknown X-factor and is prone to making questionable decisions, why do you possibly keep going back to that well? Don’t you run the ball more? Don’t you call more screens which take the decision making out of the QB’s hands?
Romo’s three interceptions were on a 1st and 10 (twice) and a 3rd and 2. Hindsight is 20/20 and second guessing is the worst form of guessing, but are there any running downs for the Cowboys, outside of 4th and 1 at the goal line?
The Cowboys are just as flawed of a team as they were in week one. Two wins lead by Romo and Co. plus one very good half were simply an illusion.