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10. It wasn’t pretty, but it was pertinent. Somehow, some way, the Cowboys had to win this game. Now? At 4-5 and with the 6-4 New York Giants off next week, they can beat the 2-7 Cleveland Browns at home next Sunday and be within 1 game of the NFC East lead. After that? Home games in which they will be favored against the Washington Redskins and same Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not about to say the season is necessarily saved, but we’ll make it through Thanksgiving with reason to give a damn.
9. Cornerback Brandon Carr finally got his 1st interception as a Cowboy, and it resulted in a 47-yard return for a touchdown – with an assist to Ernie Sims’ knee – to put the game away. “I knew I’d get one eventually,” Carr said. “I’m glad it happened the way it did. Touchdown. Big play. Came at a good time for us. Hopefully it opens the door for a bunch of ‘em.”
8. Haven’t seen Jason Witten that giddy in a long time. In the post-game locker room he was joyously yelping and hollering at every passing teammate. Amazing what 1 win can do for morale.
7. Stat I cannot begin to explain: In 3 of the Cowboys’ 4 wins this year they’ve committed 13 penalties. Sunday was 13 for 75 yards, including 5 defensive offsides and 5 penalties by rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne (2 offsides and 3 holding). “Long day,” said Claiborne.
6. Eagles fans are as ugly as their stadium. Lincoln Financial Field looks like a drab erector set, with an half-assed open end zone that makes it seem like they just ran out of money before completion. And on the way in to the game, a Cowboys’ bus – carrying mostly media – was pelted with empty beer cans. Stay classy. Losers.
5. Owner Jerry Jones wouldn’t discuss it at the end of the week, but the back-and-forth with former coach Jimmy Johnson apparently took its toll on him. “It was a rough week for everyone,” Jerry admitted after the game. Before the game, he actually addressed a question about Mike Holmgren, calling him a “very good head coach.” At least for a week, the names of Holmgren and Sean Payton are on hold.
4. Dwyane Harris got 3 blocks – lastly from Eric Frampton and Danny McCray – on his 78-yard punt return that perhaps sealed Andy Reid’s fate. It was the first punt-return score for Harris at any level. “Soon as I got 1 block I knew it was there for me,” Harris said. “No way the punter was gonna knock me out.” That punter, of course, was former Cowboy Mat McBriar.
3. Buzz in the locker room was Frampton’s butt. You know you saw it. After picking up Lance Dunbar’s fumbled kickoff in the 3rd quarter, Frampton was pantsed on a tackle, his exposed ass shown to the world. “Dude,” said Orlando Scandrick as teammates passed around a reporter’s phone of the incriminating pic, “you don’t even wear a jock strap?” Said an embarrassed Frampton, “Naw man, I don’t wear nothin’. I looked up and saw it on the big screen and said “Uh-oh, they got me’.”
2. Down 17-10 late in the 3rd, the Cowboys erupted for 3 touchdowns in 2:35, each via a different route. Passing score to Dez Bryant, punt return by Harris and interception return by Carr. When Jason Hatcher fell on a fumble in the final minute, it marked the 1st time in the Cowboys’ 52-year history they had a punt, interception and fumble return for touchdown in a game.
1. He was mad – and average – most of the day, but Romo resurrected Dallas’ season with his 3rd-quarter vintage escape that would make David Blaine proud. Down 17-10 and facing 3rd-and-5 at their 39 with 2:20 remaining in the quarter, Romo dropped back and was immediately under siege. After spinning away from a sack, he ducked under Fletcher Cox and then Cullen Jenkins, left the pocket and eventually found Miles Austin for a 25-yard gain. 3 plays later Romo lofted a perfect bomb to a diving Bryant for a touchdown. Criticize him all you want, but there are only a handful of NFL quarterbacks who can make that 3rd-down scramble play.
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