Before we go getting too excited about the Dallas Cowboys trouncing the St. Louis Rams yesterday, let us remember: it was the Rams. The Rams were averaging less than 10 points a game on offense before today, and they were giving up more than 25 points a game before facing the Boys, so essentially the Cowboys did what everyone else has done to the Rams. That being said, I think they are many positives that can be taken away from their performance this week.
If you read my article this week (click here) , you will know that I was particularly interested in seeing how they would conduct themselves once they had a sizable lead. I was impressed by how this team continued to play hard for a full 60 minutes despite having an insurmountable lead. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that effort was how the defense played in the final minutes. With a lead of more than 20 points and only a few minutes remaining on the clock, St. Louis drove the ball down the field, and eventually had an first and goal inside the Cowboys’ 10 yard-line. The defense refused to play soft, kept fighting hard, and stopped the Rams on 4th down.
That defensive stand, when there was absolutely nothing on the line, tells me a lot about Rob Ryan’s defense. It tells me that they, both collectively and individually, have pride in the defense. It tells me that no matter what the score is, or the game situation is, these guys hate giving up TD’s. It also demonstrates that Rob Ryan has finally convinced them that they have to play hard for a full 60 minutes no matter what.
Rob Ryan is a Badass; I think he might be the most important addition to this team since they drafted DeMarcus Ware. It still blows my mind to think that this is essentially the same defense (Kenyon Coleman and Abe Elam are new, and Sean Lee is a starter instead of a back-up) that played embarrassingly bad last year. The scary part (if you are an offense that has to face this team) is that they should continue to get better.
I also really liked the fact that Garrett didn’t get too conservative once they had a big lead. I have been hoping to see something in Garrett’s offense that would suggest they wanted to do more than just win, that they wanted to dominate and destroy opposing defenses. Well, agaisnt the Rams, we started to see some of that. The Boys scored two TD’s in the 4th quarter.
More importantly, with just over 3 minutes left in the game and a commanding lead, Garrett had Romo throw a 20 yard TD.
Another positive: Dez actually made plays in the 2nd half.