OK, Blue Bloods. Nobody likes to lose…not even in the preseason. But if you are going to lose, that is a better time than any to do it. Games that don’t count don’t count.
Losing 31-10, you might think would indicate that there were few positives to be taken from the game. That just isn’t so. I saw plenty to smile about last night. Here are some things that come immediately to mind:
Martellus Bennett and Felix Jones
Marty B and Felix are not your typical back ups. They are frontline talents whose skills will – or should – be prominently displayed all season long. If The sight of Martellus catching a short pass in the flat, scooting past one defender, and bowling over another for a first down doesn’t get you stoked, then your stoker is broken.
In the 1970s the Cowboys were the best team in the NFL at running the screen pass. Why? Because of Tony Dorsett. His vision, burst, patience, and speed made him a threat to score at any time. The screen pass got him outside the tackles, on the corner, where it often became mano y mano, catch me if you can.
They frequently could not.
Say hello to Felix Jones. The Cowboys haven’t had the combination of burst, vision and break away speed that he brings to the team since the great Dorsett. He showed again last night that if he can stay healthy, he is a weapon every opposing defensive coordinator will have to account for…and the screen pass will live again in Big D.
After getting the jitters out, the linebacker-size kickoff specialist sent a kick eight yards deep into the end zone. Touchback! Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Especially since the Cowboys were the NFL’s only team not to record a single touchback in 2008.
He also pegged a 35-yard field goal, which is just icing really.
For all the haters out there (and there are plenty of them), Romo remains one of the league’s top playmakers at the most important position (by far) on the field. Witness the touchdown pass to Jason Witten. Pump, move those feet, dip that shoulder, he’s open..fire!
Quickest release in the league? If not, it’s within milliseconds of whomever is faster.
That TD drive was a nice display of mixing things up, spreading the ball around, and using all of his weapons. And did anyone besides me notice how much more “presidential” on the sideline Garrett looks than the Pillsbury Doughboy, aw shucks, so-called head coach?
Yes, it was only one sack, but…nice!
He’ll do, won’t he? Nice to have a backup QB who could probably start for about half of the league.
Concerns? Sure! Plenty of them, but most of them have to do with reserves rather than starters. I would say the biggest concern at the moment is the injury bug. If the wrong people go down, it could be a long season. If the Cowboys stay relatively healthy, they won’t be losing to the Raiders 31-10 come Thanksgiving.