From the Armchair: Dallas Cowboys, Week 1
While the home fans were plenty vocal for Sunday night's game between the visiting Giants and the Cowboys, perhaps the loudest noise of the evening was the collective gasp of horror when the AT&T Stadium crowd realized that, with Tony Romo hurt near the end of the 1st half, the Cowboys might actually have to play with Kyle "Neckbeard" Orton as their QB. Fortunately, Romo returned in the 2nd half after reportedly only having the wind knocked out of him to play a typical Tony Romo game, going 36 for 49 with two TDs (both to Jason Witten) and one interception. To my eyes, that's a typical Romo game; good, bordering on great, but not spectacular.
The other big story of the night was the Dallas defense, which forced six Giant turnovers, three in the first three possessions. That number is significant, as the Dallas D only nabbed 16 takeaways during the entire 2012 season. It's notable however that, while it seemed the Giants offense couldn't get out of their own way in the first half, in the second half, it torched the suddenly helpless Cowboys D for 21 points and, were it not for an Eli Manning pick-6, the Giants would have had a shot to take the lead near the end of the game, after having trailed by as many as 17 points.
One other item of note was that WR Dez Bryant was held to just four receptions for 22 yards. While that opened up the field for Miles Austin and Jason Witten, Bryant, took out his frustrations on the sideline Gatorade buckets after leaving the game injured late in the 4th. Whether it was frustration over the Giant's blanket coverage or anger over his injury, the incident showed me that reports of Bryant's newfound calm and maturity were greatly exaggerated.
Overall a good, not great, Week 1 for Cowboys. That the Giants just looked awful, gave up 23 points off turnovers and yet still rang up 31 points on the Cowboys D still leaves plenty of questions over how good the Dallas team might be. Next up, the Chiefs in KC!