Blog Entry

Cowboys overcome tryptophan for moral victory

Posted on: November 25, 2010 8:27 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2010 8:30 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson



Jerry Jones insisted that what he wanted to see from his team was effort, a refusal to give up, and some winning. Well, since Jason Garrett took over the Cowboys, that's what he's gotten, even if a 30-27 Thanksgiving loss to New Orleans means they're now -- *ahem* -- officially eliminated from the playoffs.

On Thursday, he nearly got an absolute microcosm of what he wanted, as the Cowboys shook off a 17-0 first quarter deficit to storm back and carve up the Saints, taking a 27-23 lead into the fourth quarter, until a long pass from Jon Kitna to Roy Williams swerved from an icing the game situation into a fumble that gave the Saints a second chance.

One of the terrifying things about that play is that it wasn't the only time Dallas shot itself in the foot on a day known for shooting turkeys -- Mat McBriar's fumble-turned-rugby-kick of a punt in the fourth quarter (that probably should have been a fourth-and-go situation), the botched play-calling at the end of the game that resulted in David Buehler having to try and blast a 59-yard field goal, the Marion Barber sweep on fourth-and-one early in the game, and well, yeah, it was the Cowboys and they looked a lot closer to the team that Wade Phillips coached than the one we've seen the last few weeks.

But that being said, the 'Boys were playing the defending champs, and if you give them any room to breathe, especially after smothering them in the second half, well, they're going to make a play.

That's exactly what they did, getting surgical on the Dallas defense, as Drew Brees hit Robert Meachem for a monster gain (the classic "go route on Terrence Newman" that almost always works out well) and then slinging a touchdown pass into Lance Moore.

And while we throw the term around a lot, "moral victories" are typically pretty useless -- in this case, though, Jason Garrett should feel like he just picked one up. He won't say that, of course, because that's not his style (and Jerry Jones would throw him off the roof of Cowboys Stadium if he ever heard that).

But here's the thing: this Cowboys team is straight-up overmatched against a Saints team that people are surprisingly sleepy on this late in the season, particularly with an 8-3 record. They shut down the biggest weapon on Dallas' offense, Dez Bryant, by double-teaming him, and they took every advantage of the myriad mistakes by the Cowboys in the early-goings.

Three weeks ago, they would have given up after the first quarter, gotten embarrassed on national television by more than 20 points and given Jerry a serious case of heartburn.

Instead, he had one of the most sincere set of smiles (as the cameras kept flashing to his luxury box with the Cowboys winning late) anyone's seen from the Cowboys' owner in quite a while -- it's an indication that even though his team lost on Thanksgiving, he thinks he's found the coach of the future.

That's obviously not the equivalent of "hosting the Super Bowl in your own stadium," but it's at least a step in the right direction, and that's at least something Dallas fans can give thanks for after the start to the season they had.

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Cowboys overcome tryptophan for moral victory

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Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: November 26, 2010 1:44 pm
 

Cowboys overcome tryptophan for moral victory

..."The minute I saw that play I knew it wasn't a completion, and so should anyone else who's been watching the game this year. He hit the ground and the ball came out--you have to maintain possession while on the ground. And trust me, I wanted that to be a completion--I've been a Saints fan since before the paper-bag years--but it wasn't."...

    Well, we'll have to agree to disagree; and frankly I still say Payton blew it--he has done that before, ya know? From what I saw, he DID maintain possession "while on the ground" long enough for it to be called a definite completion then fumble. I make no claim to infallibility in that, or any other observation--only a blind fool would; but I and everyone who was watching the game where I was (about 15 others) were shouting for a challenge--perhaps we were blinded by a combination of our bias for the Saints and maybe a bit more tryptophan and alcohol than is needed to affect vision--but it sure looked like a completion to all of us. Like I said... agree to disagree.  

    As for how long anyone's been a saints fan, if that is even relevant,--I was in Tulane Stadium when John Gilliam ran that first ever NFL season kickoff (for the Saints) all the way back for a TD, and followed them every season ever since to this day. (Actually since the first preseason game that was televised). That said, I don't regard length of loyal fandom as a measure of accuracy in making a call--in fact it can cloud it.  There were several other questionable calls in this so-called "moral victory" that, if truth be told, was a "morale crusher".

NFE



Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: November 26, 2010 10:55 am
 

Cowboys overcome tryptophan for moral victory

Jason Garret just choked. How do you fail to gain a yard, pass it 3 times, when all you need is to give your kicker a chance at a field goal. How many times does Kitna and Bryant need to practice the 10 yard out this week? Kitna was 0-5 on that play, all of them thrown at the feet and 3yards wide of Bryant. Let the coaching search begin Jerra.


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