Moral victories do not exist. As my brother put it in his weekly article, there is ‘no half-victory column in the standings for games you almost, should have, could have won.’ Like it or not, our beloved Cowboys are 2-3 heading into Week 7. Here we have another game where the team had a great chance of winning, but couldn’t come away with the big W. There were plenty of positives and negatives to take away from this loss in Foxboro, but I’ll talk about the most prevalent ones, while trying my best to keep this column at a manageable length.
I saw an interesting tweet after our game was over: “Let’s see how the media tries to blame this one on Romo.’ Tony was 27-41 (a respectable 66%) for 317 yards with a touchdown and an interception (while the pick did come during a promising drive, it was during the first drive of the game and was forgotten quickly). With 7 and a half minutes left in the second quarter, the Patriots were up 13-3 and had the crowd fully involved and excited. Tony subsequently led the offense down the field 93 yards, and capped the drive with a touchdown pass to the ever-reliable Jason Witten to somewhat silence the crowd before halftime. The team did struggle to get the ball in the end zone, but I certainly don’t put the blame solely on Tony: I give a lot of that to Jason Garrett.
Garrett’s play-calling will be called into scrutiny this week and rightly so. When the team had the ball late in the fourth quarter with the lead, Garrett chose to run three straight running plays to try and eat up some clock. Ordinarily, that would be a good idea, but with Romo showing he could find holes in the Patriots’ defense using Austin, Bryant and Witten, and with injuries to Felix Jones and Bill Nagy, even Jerry Jones thought the Cowboys should have played more aggressively and passed for a first down to help secure the win. You can’t give Tom Brady (who will probably go down in history as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time) that much time to win the game. Even throughout the game, Romo’s passes were short and Garrett was not letting Bryant and Austin run down the field and make plays.
To end this article with some optimism, even though I am seeing some ‘fans’ say the season is over, I am certainly not one of the them. I saw Sunday as a win-win situation for us. It was a game that we were not ‘expected’ to win, and would have been a bonus in the standings if we had. Granted, coming so close to winning hurts, but the team met the challenge of playing with the big bad Belichick/Brady-led Patriots. The Cowboys have been competitive in every single game this year, and are in the Top 10 in the league in offense and defense. Take a look at the NFC East: do you see any team running away with the division, especially with everyone jumping off the Redskins bandwagon? We are only 1.5 games behind the Giants, and we have a very winnable game this Sunday against the Rams. Stay strong. I’m certainly hanging in there with you, Seth. Who’s with me?