I’ll admit, I didn’t think it would happen.
I might have written an article last week about how I was keeping the faith. I might have spent this entire season talking about the positive things that were going on with the Dallas Cowboys. But after that butt-kicking at the hands of the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago, my hope was running low going into the game on Sunday.
It was the New York Giants, that terrible, horrible, 80′s horror movie villain of a team that just doesn’t die.
And it was the Cowboys. The perennial let down.
But here we are, on the other side of Dallas Cowboys 24 – New York Giants 21.
The word satisfying doesn’t do it justice.
This game was vindication. This game was sweetness. This game was what the season needed. I don’t care if it was against a bad team.
Some might think that I’m overreacting. And I couldn’t blame them for that. I’ve already argued that one bad loss does not make a season. The same can be argued about a great win.
But I don’t care. I’m going to enjoy this one. It was just that good.
The defense, after being historically embarrassed, came out and got the job done. My favorite rookie (Jeff Heath) came up with a TD fumble recovery to make up for three weeks of “welcome to the NFL” moments. Dez and Romo lead a game winning drive. Coughlin was waving his arms like a kid throwing a temper tantrum. Eli Manning was sad. My new favorite picture was taken.
The Cowboys may only be tied for first place in the NFC East, but I have no doubt in their ability to win the division.
Two weeks ago everyone wanted to talk about 40 first downs. This week, they should be talking about 4-0. That’s the Cowboys record against their divisional opponents this year.
Any game in the NFL is tough, but fans who have watched for a long time know the gravity placed on divisional games. This isn’t basketball where rivalries are made up and divisional titles don’t matter. The first goal on every NFL team’s checklist at the beginning of the year is to be the best in their group. After last night’s game, Dallas is well positioned to accomplish just that.
I believe Jason Garrett deserves the majority of the credit for getting them to this point.
This is a coach who has preached consistency and levelheadedness since he took charge. The fact that the Cowboys were able to put the New Orleans game behind them and beat the Giants (riding a 4-game win streak) in their own house is a testament to his philosophy.
I know this won’t change the majority view point. Fans will continue to complain that Garrett is too soft, too boring. A puppet at use for Jerry Jones’ amusement. And they are more than entitled to that view point.
But I believe he is the coach to turn this thing around. He has a plan, and the players believe in it.
It’s the reason the Cowboys won last night.