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My Quick Thoughts on Vikings at Cowboys 2013

November 3, 2013


(Matthew Emmons/USA Today)

  • Tony Romo has been unfairly saddled with the choker label by lazy media types and ignorant fans throughout his career, despite the fact that he’s been the NFL’s all-time highest-rated 4th Quarter QB for quite some time now.  Against the Minnesota Vikings, it took an heroic effort by Romo in leading the Cowboys on a 90-yard game-winning TD drive to keep his team from losing to one of the worst squads in the entire league.  The sad truth is that very few of those same media and fans who have relentlessly criticized Romo will be willing to credit him for delivering the win this time.  But there are still plenty of us out here who have always appreciated Romo and realize that without him, the Cowboys would have been at or near the bottom of the league for the past 7-8 years.  He’s the main reason this team ever has a chance to win.
  • As poorly as the Cowboys’ defense has played for most of the season, Monte Kiffin deserves the lion’s share of the blame.  But the one guy who should be given much more credit than blame is Rod Marinelli, for somehow keeping a defensive line that’s been perpetually beset by a seemingly endless series of injuries not only functioning, but often effective.  This time, a guy the Cowboys signed on Monday named Everette Brown made two huge plays to help save the day.  His pressure of Vikings QB Christian Ponder resulted in an interception by Orlando Scandrick, and he also added one of the Cowboys’ two sacks on the day.  George Selvie, who continues to be a surprisingly consistent contributor, had the other sack (his fifth so far this season).
  • Bruce Carter apparently remains in the doghouse he first entered in San Diego, having been benched again to start this game.  But after several terribly missed tackles by Ernie Sims, it wasn’t long before Carter saw action.  Considering how great he was during his breakout season last year, it’s shocking that Carter has been struggling so mightily in 2013.  With six tackles (five solo) on the day, hopefully Carter is starting to turn the corner and can begin rounding into the form we saw from him last season.  If so, he and Sean Lee make a very formidable tandem.
  • DeMarco Murray returned from injury and averaged just under eight yards per carry.  But he was only given four handoffs, as the Cowboys set a franchise record low in rushing yards for a game with a measly 36 yards.  It’s one thing to avoid the run due to ineffectiveness, but given what Murray showed on his four carries, the Cowboys’ decision to throw 51 passes is just impossible to explain or defend.  Bill Callahan and Jason Garrett need to figure out a more effective offensive gameplan ASAP, or each week will continue to be a struggle.
  • Until Romo engineered that incredible game-winning drive at the end of the game, the Cowboys’ two best players on the day BY FAR were Dan Bailey and Chris Jones (the latter of whom made a better tackle than anyone else on either team’s defense).  And when your kicker and punter are your two best players, you’re not going to end up winning too many games in this league.  The Cowboys should feel very fortunate to have emerged victorious.
  • The old adage goes that in the NFL, any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday, but it would have been absolutely catastrophic to lose at home to a team with only one win on the season.  Yes, the Vikings have the best running back on the planet in Adrian Peterson, but they have very little else and should have been easily dispatched by a team supposedly holding playoff aspirations.  The Cowboys came much too close to getting beat by this sorry bunch – and at home, no less.
  • Next up is a trip to The Big Easy to face the 6-2 Saints.  The Cowboys better not make the mistake of thinking New Orleans is ripe for the taking, after losing to the Jets, but the Saints are 4-0 at home on the season and have a QB in Drew Brees who has the potential to absolutely obliterate the vulnerable Dallas secondary.  If the Cowboys can keep Brees under 500 yards passing next week, it will be a minor miracle.  Their only shot at a victory is for the offense to rediscover the form it showed against the Broncos back in Week 5, and for the defense to generate at least several takeaways.  Otherwise, their time spent on the right side of .500 will be short-lived.
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