Facing the Giants


There was a phrase that kept popping up in my head whenever I saw the Cowboys screw up in the early parts of Wednesday’s encounter: “same old Cowboys.” And why not? Cruz beat Carr for a first down on that pick play and Romo threw an ill-advised pass straight into Michael Boley’s waiting mitts. It was disgusting. Romo’s interception made me the sickest, because he knew better. I’ve been an ardent defender of Tony Romo’s. It’s true that you’ve never read such treatises here on The Landry Hat, but I once put together a nine-part video thesis on Youtube defending #9 back in 2008. I’ve gone to bat for him against the hordes of sniveling, corpulent lummoxes like King Leonidas against all of Xerxes’ army. So when Romo shoots himself in the foot with those kinds of avoidable mistakes, it really kindles frustration towards him.

However, Romo settled down and later threw three touchdowns during the game. It’s weird. When Romo throws one pick, the Cowboys are 23-11. That’s nearly a 70% winning percentage. Compare that to his 21-9 record when he doesn’t throw a pick. It got a little trepidatious there because Romo was sacked twice, and the Cowboys’ record when that’s happened is 19-20. The good news is it wasn’t Pierre-Paul and Tuck getting after Romo; it was the lesser known talents along the Giants defensive line.

Even Tony Romo finds it incredulous he had a 158.3 passer rating in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s game.

Romo’s three touchdowns further cement him as the top man in the franchise’s annals. He’s now thrown for 3 touchdowns in a game on 25 occasions.

While Romo’s passing is vital to the team winning, there’s a law of diminishing returns related to Romo’s passing attempts. When the Cowboys have asked Romo to throw more than 32 times in a game, their record is 21-20. When Romo’s attempts are limited to 32 and below, the Cowboys are 27-7. This is a statistic that has a correlation with the success of the Cowboys’ ground game. Demarco Murray’s 131 yards on 20 carries underlies the importance of establishing the run in this offense.

Oh, and if you have Twitter, put this out there: Romo’s passer rating in the fourth quarter Wednesday night was 158.3.

He was perfect in the clutch.

The truth is these Dallas Cowboys were perfect in the clutch. On 105.3 The FAN’s postgame show, the hosts were trying to figure out who the MVP was, and other fans elsewhere asked the same question. The truth is the whole team stepped up to the task instead of relying on one man to do it all, like they were all relying on the ubermenschen of Romo, Witten, and Ware to get it done. Instead, everyman acted as superman and that’s why the Cowboys prevailed over the Giants.

Witten’s impact was purely emotional. I mean, I know it was a crazy premise to say we could win without Witten, but Wednesday night showed it’s possible. He really didn’t do much from a receiving standpoint. And his bravery was commendable and fired our guys up. However, DeMarcus Ware’s impact was demonstrative. Ware’s two sacks against Eli Manning now make Mouthbreather the most-sacked quarterback in Ware’s career with 12.5. Ware’s two sacks also helped give him 9 multi-sack games going back to 2005, the league leader in such a category. Also, going back to the Buccaneers’ game in Week 15 of 2011, Ware is now on a 4-game sack streak. He needs 7 more consecutive games with a sack to tie Harvey Martin’s beautiful record.

With Wednesday night’s victory, the Cowboys have won each of their 100th encounters with their divisional opponents (Week 15 of 2010 — Redskins; Week 17 of 2010 — Eagles; Week 1 of 2012 — Giants). In each division series, the Cowboys hold a winning percentage in the series.

Now, our attention should be on the Seattle Seahawks who we play up there in the Pacific Northwest a week from tomorrow. Since 1969, the Cowboys have played 12 seasons wherein they played on one coast and then traveled to the other the next week. The last time the Cowboys swept the Bi-Coastal series was in 1976 when they beat the Seahawks in Week 4 and then bested the Giants in Week 5.