Can Garrett’s offense play a full 4 quarters and maybe show some of the nastiness he should have learned from Jimmy Johnson’s reign?
The Cowboys should be able to win this game quite handily. That being said, I am bit concerned with their recent history of playing up a level against strong opponents and down a few levels against weaker competition. I think that the way the offense plays in the second half, with a lead, will speak volumes about Garrett and the character of this offense going forward. They need to show that they can continue to play hard even with a lead. I want to see them revel in the experience of being a bully and beating up on a weaker opponent.
Traditional football dogma says that you learn about a team’s character by how it handles adversity. I don’t disagree with this axiom, but I do believe that we can also learn a lot about a team by how it handles success.
This offense needs to develop an attitude that says “we can dominate any defense”. Some of them have bravado as individuals (Dez Bryant comes to mind, as does Romo with his recent Super Bowl comments), but they need to develop a collective swagger. They need to get this offense firing on all cylinders, and keep it that way for 4 quarters regardless of how much of a lead they have. Success breeds more success, and if they are going to turn this season around and make it a success, it has to start with an excellent performance this week.
I am assuming they will be playing with a lead in the 2nd half. I will be watching to see how they handle having a lead. Will they ‘go for the jugular’, or will they take their foot off the gas? Will they start to look lazy and sloppy, or will they continue to play with energy and vigor? Will they lose focus and start making mental errors, or will they finally start playing like we, based on their enormous talent, believe they can? This week offers them a chance to make a statement to the league, I will be watching to see what they have to say.