10. I know it was just the Seahawks. And two weeks ago it was only the Rams. But a year ago today the Cowboys were 1-7. Mediocre teams can’t afford to be choosy. Or spoiled. Didn’t stop the late-arriving, lazy crowd from booing Tony Romo on his 1st-quarter slide short of a touchdown. Boo? No way, that’s progress. Maturation. Learning. The result was 3 points and a healthy Romo. The alternative: Week 1 against the New York Jets ring a bell? Speaking of the announced 81,510, that felt more like 510. At one point Fox showed an image that depicted the passive, “I’m here to be entertained” Cowboys’ fandom. Dad and mom sat with arms folded. Daughter texting away on phone. In the row above them a girl stares blankly at JumboJerry while her boyfriend checks out the texting hot girl. Sheesh.
9. Props to Terry Bradshaw. Not for having a lick of sense or being an insightful analyst on Fox, but for spawning a friggin’ hot daughter. Don’t know if Rachel Bradshaw sang worth a dang, but she looked good doing it.
8. That’s 16 games now in the Jason Garrett Era. Result? 9-7. He’s the first Cowboys’ coach to win 9 of his first 16 games. Bill Parcells went 10-6, as did Chan Gailey. The best? Wade Phillips at 13-3. The worst? Tom Landry went 0-11-1 and Jimmy Johnson 1-15.
7. On Ring of Honor day Drew Pearson sounded like a preacher, Larry Allen grunted his way through an acceptance-speech thanks and Charles Haley … well, he showed up for the formal honor with no jacket. Or belt. Far be it from me to criticize someone’s fashion sense, but that’s weak bordering on disrespectful. Haley was also dancing and jivin’ during the ceremony when protocol called for him to be silent, still and reverent. Very cool to see all the legends together. Only living members not to make it were Bob Lilly and Don Perkins.
6. Still love Dez Bryant’s talent. Lukewarm on his temperament. And after watching him be tackled on his own 1 with an ill-advised punt return and then fumble at his opponent’s 1, I’m starting to sour on him overall. And I hated the way he didn’t even bother to make a play on a knee-high pass from Romo in the 4th quarter. He had four catches, but was targeted nine times. And, again, Dez was shut out in the second half.
5. Tarvaris Jackson sucks. Perhaps more than any NFL quarterback this side of Tim Tebow. His horrendous 3rd-quarter pass actually glanced off Sean Lissemore’s right elbow, then pinballed off Bradie James’ left hand and left side of his helmet before Jason Hatcher plucked it out of mid-air for one of three Cowboys’ interceptions. “What, you didn’t think I could catch?” Hatcher joked in the post-game locker room. “I caught it because I didn’t really have time to think about dropping it.”
4. Don’t have to tell you this, but despite the win all is not well. The Giants somehow win in Foxboro to keep a 2-game cushion on Dallas in the NFC East. Miles Austin hurt his other (right) hamstring on a 2nd-quarter catch (he missed 2 games earlier with a pulled left hammy). And the Cowboys still can’t figure out how to punch the ball in the end zone. Drives of 96 and 86 yards are impressive, yet flabbergasting when they lead only to 3 points. The Cowboys only scored inside the 20 on a broken play, when Romo bought extra time by scooching around in the pocket – “Vintage Romo” owner Jerry Jones called it – and finding Laurent Robinson in the back of the end zone for a 20-6 lead. But on the day they were 1 of 3; for the season 10 of 26 in the red zone. And if you think they should just line up and run it up the middle, you haven’t been watching center Phil Costa. He gets zero push off the ball and countless times was shoved backward, often into Romo’s lap.
3. Take your time, Felix Jones. Rookie DeMarco Murray has amassed 392 rushing yards in his last two games at Cowboys Stadium, including 139 on Sunday. Don’t look now but Murray suddenly has produced the best three-game stretch of any running back in franchise history. Yep, his 466 yards the last three games – despite getting only 8 carries last week in Philly – are more than Emmitt Smith (446) ever rushed for in a trio of games. Exclaimed Tony Dorsett afterward, “The kid is the truth. The real deal.” Good enough for me.
2. Thanks to the most athletic play of his career, Anthony Spencer blocked a Seahawks’ 3rd-quarter field goal. Flirting with a “leverage” penalty, Spencer instead cleanly leaped over Seattle’s long-snapper Clint Gresham and easily smothered Steven Hauschka’s attempt to maintain a 13-6 lead. I’m impressed.
1. Cowboys are 4-4. And their mid-season MVP is … Dan Bailey. How can you argue with 19 consecutive field goals, third-longest streak in franchise history? The rookie kicker hasn’t missed since shanking that 21-yarder in Week 2 at San Francisco. The success has him in a pretty confident mood these days. “This is our year,” Bailey said. Of course, he was gloating about his college Cowboys (Oklahoma State), not his current Cowboys. “I think we finally beat OU and then … who knows?”