The Dallas Cowboys went toe-to-toe against the best team in the NFL on Sunday afternoon. Despite losing to the Denver Broncos 51-48, Dallas proved they have the offensive firepower to compete with anyone this season. Sunday’s match-up was a statement game for the Cowboys. And that statement was: The Dallas Cowboys are for real.
But the one player who had the best game of his career on Sunday will also be overly criticized in the media this week for his lone mistake. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw for an all-time Cowboys record of 506 yards. He also had five touchdowns and had three different receivers with 120+ receiving yards each. But once again, Romo will probably only be remembered for his mistake.
With less than 2:00 minutes left in the game, and the score tied at 48, Romo threw an ill-fated pass to tight end Gavin Escobar. Unfortunately, the rookie was triple covered and the pass was intercepted by Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan on the Cowboys own 24-yard line. This lone mistake essentially sealed the winning field goal for the Broncos.
But let’s also remember, the Cowboys weren’t supposed to win this game. Especially considering how poorly the Dallas defense has played against the pass so far this season. And despite the defense causing two turnovers during the game, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning still torched them for 414 passing yards and five touchdowns. One of those scores, the 38-year old ran in himself on a fake run/bootleg. Another testament to how badly the Cowboys defense played today was that linebacker Sean Lee and safety Barry Church had 27 tackles between them.
Regardless, we’ve seen this Dallas defense play better earlier this season. But the offense was clicking on almost all cylinders today like never before. The lone complaint might be the Cowboys didn’t run the ball enough. Obviously, the quick-scoring Denver offense dictated the decision to pass more. An Romo’s success going to the air did as well. But Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray ran well in the first half, but was barley used in the rest of the game. Murray ended the game with a mere 12 carries for 43 yards.
One of the expected strategies to be used by the Cowboys in-order to limit Manning’s effectiveness was to keep him on the sidelines for as long as possible. This meant winning the time of possession game by running the ball. The Cowboys lost that game too. Dallas had the ball for 27:24. Denver: 32:36.
Still the Cowboys were one turnover and/or one missed call away from beating the best offensive team in the NFL. And that counts for something. Let’s hope the momentum from this game carries Dallas throughout the rest of the regular season.