In order to get a better sense of where the Cowboys are, I watched the rewind of the AZ-DAL game from last Sunday. Everyone has seen the “icing” of the kicker by HC Jason Garrett at the end of regulation. That move was preceded by the biggest story of the game: the 3rd and 11 reception by Dez Bryant. The Cowboys are at midfield, Romo rifles the ball into Bryant, who makes a great grab in between two defenders. The story begins AFTER the reception. With 27 seconds remaining and the Boys on the edge of FG position, Romo hurries his team up to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball. If you had one timeout, wouldn’t you use it after the reception? Instead, 20 seconds of the clock run down, and the Boys only have 7 seconds left. Now here is the insanity- the Cowboys didn’t have one timeout left. THEY HAD TWO TIMEOUTS! If this manure maneuver were performed by the Giants Head Coach or their experienced QB, I would want BOTH of their heads. Everyone was ripping Garrett for being the Princeton dunce on the icing, and that was irrelevant penny ante material compared to blowing 20 seconds of clock with two timeouts in his pocket. As for Romo, could you imagine Rodgers, Brady, etc… wasting 20 seconds? Never.
Why is it important to discuss the 20 seconds of evaporated time in this Cowboys-Giants preview? Because the Cowboys played a lot of good football last weekend and they underachieved. They went into AZ territory ~8 times and came away with 13 points. There was one penalty which brought back a great Dez Bryant punt return. Delay of game penalties. False starts. Throw in some good AZ defense and you get the idea. If things had gone just a little differently, Dallas would have scored plenty more. So expect them to be much more trouble vs the Giants on Sunday night as long as they are able to execute just a little bit better than last week.
Dallas has plenty of weapons on defense and offense. I am having a hard time figuring out which monster scares more, DeMarcus Ware or Dez Bryant. When Romo is not self-destructing, he’s got a lot to work with. Murray is a good RB. Everyone knows Witten at TE, the position where the Giants always enjoy getting roasted. On Defense, Rob Ryan keeps the opposition off-balance with good schemes. The Giants OL must keep Eli clean, because the Dallas pass rush can cause havoc.
Petrus got a lot of props last weekend for helping the run game. Going up against the likes of Jay Ratliff, I’d say it is a must to have Petrus start.
Summary: Dallas played hard last weekend, and the score/result vs Arizona covers up the fact that Dallas is dangerous. They are like an engine without a transmission. If they get into any gear at all, the Giants will have their hands full. When you think about how this Dallas team blew games to NE, NYJ and DET earlier this season on top of the AZ loss, you can understand why the NFC East is where it is. Andy Reid has an OL coach as a Defensive Coordinator, who puts Nmandi Asomugha in zone coverage. Garrett chokes the AZ game. Coughlin the irate steward who watches as his coordinators underachieve. Washington Snydersville. It’s the NFC East, the land of blind organizations, and someone’s gotta win this division.