Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) signals to quiet the crowd while at the line of scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

For These Cowboys: A Win By Any Other Name...


Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) scrambles in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Browns 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Many of us considered that this home game vs the Cleveland Browns had all the makings of a trap.  Like the Seattle Seahawks game in week 2 after that dominant win against the New York Giants., or the Chicago Bears game after our  Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Trap games.  Or, as they are known to the Dallas Cowboys this year:  The next game after a win.

Turns out, it was a trap game.  The Cowboys came out unprepared on defense and lethargic on offense.  To paraphrase Cowboys head coach ‘we sucked – in all three phases‘.  The 2 win Browns, on the other hand, came in to Cowboy’s Stadium desperate and ready for a fight with players that are also auditioning for their new owner.  We should have known they’d come out swinging,  every team in the NFL wants a piece of America’s Team, the struggling teams even more so – knocking, an America’s Team on the ropes, down a peg is just icing on the cake.

Nov 18, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Cleveland Browns general manager Mike Holmgren shakes hands with Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Knowing this, you’d think, by now, the Cowboys would be better prepared.  You’d think Jason Garrett, newly looking over his shoulder, would have his team ready to play.  What with soon to be available, Brown’s President, Mike Holmgren, and Jerry Jones, in the same stadium for this game and Sean Payton living in Dallas.   Apparently, Jason Garrett and the Cowboys aren’t familiar with the term ‘any given Sunday‘.  Wait… what am I saying?  The Cowboys live in that term.

And the penalties, as is common these last few years, continue to mount.  Lately,  the defense has decided to match the offense in bone head mistakes and mental errors.  The Cowboys rag tag offensive line gave up 7 sacks and numerous hits of QB Tony Romo to the Browns.  I’m surprised that Romo only turned the ball over once.  He was hit all day, with zero running game to relieve the pressure.  We headed into the locker room at half time down 13 – 0.  What?  This is the Browns, people!  The 2 win team with the 40 year old rookie QB with a passer rating of like… 4.  (OK, I’m exaggerating, he’s 29)

How many times this year have the Cowboys gone into halftime with a similar score?  The almost scary (if you think about it) difference in this game was that it wasn’t turnovers that put us in our halftime hole, we just got dominated – by the Browns.

The Cowboys made some adjustments, clearly, during halftime, and shook off the lethargy.  Thank goodness!  Romo led the offense to three straight scores in the second half.  We caught up, and finally passed the Browns, taking a 17 – 13 lead.  But, here is where the dichotomy of these Dallas Cowboys comes in.

If we are honest, we knew the Cowboys could come back on these Browns.   We also knew that, after taking the lead, there was plenty of time to lose it again.   Then, despite  a valiant defensive stop on 4th and goal by the Cowboys, again, if we are honest with each other, as Romo took over at the 1 yard line with 1:42 left on the clock, we knew we were in a precarious spot and plenty of time remained for the Browns to score.

Sure enough, they did (with the referees helping the Browns).  Now,  down 20 -17, with 1:07 left, we equally knew that was plenty of time for Romo to lead the Cowboys down the field for a winning touchdown or tying fieldgoal.  Sure enough, he did (with the referees helping us this time).   Our Cowboys pulled out a miraculous win in overtime, even if it was against the lowly Browns.  How is it the Cowboys are capable of heroic comebacks and quick collapses all in a span of less than 2 minutes? And that all of us know it?  Expect it, even?  It shows we have a great deal of trust and belief in the talent on this Cowboys team – and a great deal of expectation that that same talent will fail us.

After the game, Jason Garrett said,  “I think in a lot of ways, games like this define what you want and who you are.  The last thirty minutes really showed a lot about our football team.. “.  

It sure did.

Points and Observations:

-Welcome back, Miles Austin, where ya been?

-Playing like he did, Dez Bryant should have charges dismissed every week.  (too soon?)

-Was there noise pumped in to Cowboys Stadium?  A couple times I heard roars and then, when the camera panned the crowd, they looked like they weren’t making noise.

-You can blame him all you want for fumbling 1 time in 7 sacks, but I think Romo is playing great again.  Y’all still want to trade for Phillip Rivers?

-Was it just me, or was it awkward that Jerry Jones met with Mike Holmgren before the game and couldn’t wait to tell everybody how good a friend he is and how much he respects him?  A more subtle message would have been a PA announcement at the beginning of the game that Jason Garrett’s job is on the line.

- Artie Cappello



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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Jason Garrett Jerry Jones Tony Romo

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