The Dallas Cowboys escaped Landover, MD with a fulfilling but not aesthetically pleasing 27-24 overtime victory over the Washington Redskins. Of course, a win is a win for the standings. When projecting future success, the how and why become just as important as the what. In that vein, the now first-place Cowboys still have work to do. As expected, going to overtime against a team that has lost five games in a row didn’t impress many of the national pundits. We all know, though, that they have already written their season chapter on the Cowboys and nothing Dallas does against inferior opponents will impress much.
That’s probably a good thing, as it should keep the Cowboys from being impressed with themselves. Yes, the team’s first three-game win streak since the end of 2009 is nice, but it has come at the hands of three teams that appear (now) to be in the bottom half of the league. Despite two wins in a row since being blown out by Dallas, Seattle sits at 4-6. The once up-and-coming Buffalo Bills just got embarrassed for the second consecutive week, at the hands of the then 2-7 Miami Dolphins. Sunday’s opponent, Washington, have now lost six consecutive contests. Despite the large margin of victory in the first two games, Dallas has simply beaten teams they were supposed to.
Fortunately for the Cowboys, they still have two straight games in front of them that they should be able to win. The Cowboys play their customary Thanksgiving Day game against the aforementioned Dolphins in just three days. Miami is led by ‘one that got away’ quarterback Matt Moore, and is sporting their own three-game winning streak. Two of those have come against the same teams Dallas has defeated (Buffalo and Washington), and the third (Kansas City) is comparable to Seattle. So if as fans we poo-poo what the Dolphins have done, that same grain of salt has to be sprinkled on Dallas’ wins.
OK, enough of the wet blanket. Let’s catch up with the latest news from the webisphere.
The puzzling thing for the Cowboys is that they don’t know what’s exactly wrong with [Fiammetta] who has been held out of practice since last week. His symptoms include nausea and sickness when he is working out, Garrett said.
Sensabaugh had an MRI exam Monday which revealed the specific nature of the injury. Sensabaugh indicated he wants to play in Thursday’s game vs. Miami.
Sensabaugh said the goal is to wear the protective boot for one day and then get back to practice, something he missed Monday.
Also missing from practice today were WR Miles Austin, CB Mike Jenkins and QB Jon Kitna. Kitna has been ruled out of the game, while Jenkins had previously targeted Turkey day to make his return.
ESPN studio analysts Cris Carter and Merril Hoge took a moment to call out Dez Bryant . Carter, a former receiver: “Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice were the best-conditioned wide receivers in the NFL. As a wide receiver, you should be the best-conditioned guy on the field. Dez Bryant is not that.” Hoge: “Dez Bryant doesn’t adjust to [defensive] adjustments.”
I went back and talked to [Romo] a little bit last night about a couple of the plays, and he confirmed what I thought — that Dez actually ran an outstanding route on 3rd and 15. He changed the play, Romo did, from what was sent in, and the one he changed to had an adjustment in the route. So there was a play sent in, [Romo] changed it, what he changed it to had an option adjustment in the route for Dez, and he got it all right, which is impressive for Dez. Because I think now we’ve seen two or three weeks where Dez has actually a few good routes, so they may be getting through to him a little bit.
“We can’t control what the standings are like,” Elam said. “They’ll probably be different next week. It’s been changing all year. If you focus on that, you’ll be left behind.”
“There’s not time for that,” Ratliff said. “There’s no time for us to look around the league and see what’s going on and get help from this person or that person.”
The graph shows the up and down swings from the contest on Sunday. Note how it appeared the Redskins were sooo close in OT.
In more than one of the Three To Focus On articles covering Cowboy games this season I’ve reminded everyone that, while Tony Romo has been playing well lately, he can still be a liability, and their losses to the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions can attest to that. After yet another great performance – 113.8 NFL passer rating with 292 yards, three TDs and no picks or fumbles – made all the more impressive by the fact that the running game was ineffective, those two meltdowns seem unlikely to happen again this season. Redskin fans are very aware of Romo’s Houdini-like escapability; in the 2009 game in Dallas, Romo was able to just barely spin out of Orakpo’s clutches, buying himself enough time to find Patrick Crayton in the end zone to score in what would turn out to be a 7-6 win.
“It’s crazy to think that we were playing a football game [Sunday], but that’s what it is because it is a short week,” linebacker Cameron Wake said. “You say ‘do extra.’ You’ve got to do extra on top of extra. It’s a grind, so you’ve got to put in extra time whether it’s at home — whenever you can grab those extra 10 minutes, you’ve got to grab them.”
The Dolphins held a walk-through Monday, allowing players’ bodies to heal while still preparing for Thursday’s game plan. Tuesday will be the team’s only practice before flying to Dallas on Wednesday.
It seems like Cowboys fans got under the Redskins receiver’s skin after the game. Stay classy, Washington.
Also seems like the Cowboys, specifically Dez Bryant, have made MeAngelo doubt his abilities as a player.