4-4 Record Or Not, These Aren't The "Same Old" Cowboys

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Arguably, the Cowboys have failed to close only against Detroit. In Kansas City they never led – what was there to close? In San Diego they trailed for most of the second half and lost by two scores, never coming close in the game’s final frame. Again, no opportunity to close.

 

Oct 6, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) makes a leaping catch late in the fourth quarter against Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr (39) at AT

The Denver game was back-and-forth from the opening snap. Though the Cowboys did manage a 7-point lead with about six minutes to play in the fourth quarter, the loss was less a result of the team’s inability to close and more an example of what to expect when you ask your quarterback to be perfect in order to win. Tony Romo is an excellent quarterback, and he was literally perfect for 58 minutes against Denver, but that’s no recipe for success in the NFL.

And that’s exactly why these aren’t the “same old” 8-8 Cowboys. These Cowboys don’t need Tony Romo to make a play to win a ballgame. The old Cowboys lived and died on Romo’s arm, his ability to avoid the rush and make plays out of the pocket, and score on the final possession to win the game. These Cowboys are winning even when Romo is not at his best.

In fact, for the first time in his career, Romo has a better passer rating in losses than he does in wins:

PASSER RATING

In Wins

In Losses

2013

88.2

115.8

2012

103.1

80.2

2011

109.4

96.2

2010

127.6

89.5

2009

105.7

82.7

2008

104.8

75.4

2007

106.2

49.4

2006

108.3

79.6

This doesn’t provide a perfect measurement, and there are still eight games to go in 2013, but it at least suggests the 2013 Cowboys don’t have to be carried by Romo to be competitive, and that’s reason enough to assert they aren’t the same old Cowboys.

There appear to be more playmakers on this roster than there were in years past, further suggesting the rebuild following the Wade Phillips dumpster fire is nearly complete.

The Same Old Cowboys were never clearly the best team in the East; this team is. The Same Old Cowboys couldn’t close out games; this team has shown it can. The Same Old Cowboys needed Romo to be perfect to win; this team doesn’t.

Remember it was said here at midseason: If the 2013 Cowboys don’t get eaten alive by a ravenous injury bug, this team will make a run.

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