The Dallas Cowboys Get a Gut Check …And a Win!


By Artie Cappello

I thought this one had the makings of a trap game. But after the way we lost in New York, I figured there’s no way Jason Garrett doesn’t have his team ready to go this week and probably with a chip on their collective shoulders. Right? Wrong.

This was a trap game. The Dallas Cowboys worked harder than they should have on the opening drive and through out the game. It seemed any air they had went out of their sails when Dan Bailey sailed his chip shot wide right.

The game was hard to watch (and not just because I smashed my TV screen a little with the leg of a chair when the 49ers went up 14 zip). Felix Jones, Jason Witten, Phil Costa and everyone else got hurt… for gosh sakes we looked like the walking wounded out there! Then, even with all the crap Cowboys Nation talked this week, I know everyone  of you gasped and maybe even shouted some expletives when Tony Romo went to the locker with an unknown rib injury.

Not again! Here comes Jon Kitna. A collective sigh went out, and one cheer (from Martellus Bennett). Word comes from the Dallas Cowboys that Romo has a fractured rib and is out for the rest of the game. Well, there goes the game, and maybe the season.

And then…

In a gutsy if slightly over the top move, Tony Romo re-emerges from the locker room. He finds his helmet, pushes Garrett aside and with a fist bump from Kitna runs out on to the field and, in obvious pain and with the help of Miles Austin and a cast of back-ups including Jesse Holly, leads his team to victory! Dramatic license aside, that’s kinda what happened. Dan Bailey kicks the field goal in overtime. Cowboys win, 27 – 24.


When all was said and done, this game became a real gut check and we saw some clutch play. Not just from Romo, but from Miles Austin, Dan Bailey and especially Jesse Holly. Jesse Holly, the Michael Irvin reality show winner that won a spot on the the team and has been able to hold on to it by playing as hard as he could where ever they told him to. Before the final drives and over time. Tony Romo took Jesse Holly aside and I can only imagine he told him something like this: “They will be covering Austin like a blanket so I’m gonna be coming to you. Be ready Jesse. This is why you play this game, for these moments right here”. Or something of that nature. Even though the game as a whole was a little ugly, a win is a win…and I’ll take it!

Points and Observations:

Where is the running game? Felix Jones had a statement pre-season, but has done nothing. I mean NOTHING, since the season began. Neither has Choice or DeMarco Murray.

Jason Garrett’s play calling is mystifying  at times, and not in a good way.

Rob Ryan’s Defense: I like it. 6 more sacks and an interception. Now if you could stuff the run better in short yardage situations.

Kudos to Joe Decamillis and our Special teams. Not a whimper out of  Ted Ginn Jr
Why am I not seeing Abe Elam? Does he still play for the Cowboys?

We really are the walking wounded. I hear Miles Austin tweaked his hamstring again. So, our starting Center, our number one and two receivers, two of our top three Corners. Oh, and Romo, Witten and Mike Jenkins too. Who is left? soon we’ll have to forfeit games by not having 11 men on the field.

Dan Bailey had me worried. Do we need two kickers on the team that you can’t trust on a chip shot? Thank goodness he redeemed himself. But still…

Reality check: This was an exciting game, but it shouldn’t have been. All due respect to the well coached  San Francisco 49ers, but the Cowboys had to pull out all the stops to beat an average team. Our best players are hurt. We have below average O-Linemen and Running Backs. Below average secondary and except for two or three, mostly average Linebackers.

Are the Cowboys going to play every game like this? Remember when Brian Sipe was the QB of  Cleveland Browns like 20-30 years ago? Anyway, they used to be called the Cardiac Kids because of the close games, the come backs and the last minute wins and losses. The reason I bring this up is I’m beginning to see a resemblance.

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