Is it me, or is the sun shining a little bit brighter this morning? Just one week removed from letting what would have been an impressive road win slip through their fingers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the Cowboys left nothing to chance as they blasted the St. Louis Rams 31-7 at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon.
It was incredibly nice to see the Cowboys play a complete game from bell to bell with no room for the Rams to make a run. In fact, with the “w” all but written in the books, yours truly felt comfortable in breaking my game day rule of not eating during the Cowboys games. As I was dipping into the crock pot with a whopping two minutes left on the clock, but family thought I had taken leave of my senses. How sweet it was!
There are a couple of things that stood out in the Dallas win…
First, the Dallas defense took full advantage of the St. Louis Rams offensive line woes. Without their starting right tackle in place, the Rams were unable to keep pace with the rush of the Cowboys and that left QB Sam Bradford in a world of hurt as he endured sack after sack by a Cowboys D that has been rejuvenated by their new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. At one point in the first half the Rams sported a minus sign in the yardage column, while the Cowboys were 100-plus.
Also, it is worth noting that the anemic Dallas running attack found a pulse Sunday afternoon. DeMarco Murray, who had a record-breaking day the last time the Rams came to town, gained 175 yards and looked in mid-season form. The offensive line was finally able to open some holes and Murray’s talent did the rest. The only negative part of the Dallas running game remained the inability to be successful in short yardage situations. That will have to improve as the season progresses.
The best part of Sunday afternoon’s dominating performance is that it put Dallas in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Yes, I know it is early…But I can’t help noticing that the Cowboys are looking much better than their division rivals with almost a quarter of the season in the books. If Dallas could put together a winning effort on the road next week against the San Diego Chargers it could be huge. This is especially true when we consider that the Giants are headed to Kansas City, the Redskins are off to Oakland and the Eagles have a tough test facing them in Denver.
As is the case with the NFC East so far, the NFC as a whole seems to be down this year. The San Francisco 49ers, who were thought to be one of the teams to beat going into 2013, find themselves staring at a 1-2 record after suffering an upset loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon. Likewise for the Green Bay Packers, who were defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals in week three. Again, I know it is a long season, but if the Cowboys can string some wins together and the rest of the East continues to lay eggs, good things could be in store for Cowboys Nation.