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The Drive Through: Cowboys immediate reaction, panic and praise

1. Red Ball: Cowboys are 7-4 under Jason Garrett. Last 9 games have been decided by 3 points or less. Eat it, Peter King!

Tony-romo-points-cowboys-ap_606 2. Anybody who questions Tony Romo's anything, save for the postseason, really needs to shut it. His line was bad, his center was awful, and his receivers looked like they didn't know where they were. And in the fourth quarter he was good.

Fourth Quarter Romo In 2011:
Week 1 at Jets: 5 of 12, 108 yds., 0 TD, 1 Int, 1 fumble
Week 2 at SF: 12 of 15, 201 yds., 2 TD, 0 Int
Week 3 v. Wash: 6 of 12, 107 yds., 0 TD, 0 Int

Romo's line: 22 of 36 for 255 yards with 1 pick. His QB rating was 70.9. Considering the circumstances, a brilliant night. 

"It was a tough game, the pain side of it," Romo said after the game. "It's hard to mentally keep coming back each play. It's not just me doing it. It's a bunch of guys. Tonight was a great example of keep grinding and moving forward. There were a lot of mistakes. A lot of mistakes. These guys are tough and they want to get back in there."

3. Felix Jones picked a very, very good time to have a good game: 14 carries, 115 yards. The o-line was pretty shaky, but when Felix got loose a little bit it forced the Redskins' defense to honor the run and not just sit down on the passes. Felix also had three catches for 40 yards.

Tedwilliamshead-martellus-bennett 4. It's time to admit what Martellus Bennett is - a professional athlete without a position. We are the ones who keep putting expectations on this guy, and he's never produced like it whether it was at A&M or with the Cowboys.
Kevin Ogletree ... time to get it or get out. 

5. The Cowboys defensive front-seven can keep this team in games. It would help, however, if DeMarcus Ware showed up before the fourth quarter. Ware did nothing in the first three quarters before making a few very big plays on Rex Grossman.
"I thought the defense was outstanding," Garrett said after the game. 
It was, but next week against the Lions it's going to have to be better. This is the Redskins. This is Rex Grossman.

Linebacker Anthony Spencer's sack and forced fumble on Rex to effectively win the game is more proof of just how good this guy can be, when he wants it. He didn't last season.

"We're going to have to swallow this one," Rex said after the game. 

6. Hate to say this, but Terence Newman is never going to be 100 percent healthy again.  

123094247_crop_650x440 7. It may be time to seriously consider moving Tyron Smith to left tackle and Doug Free to right tackle. Smith's upside says he should be an LT, while Free may be better suited for the right side. Free hasn't been as good so far in 2011 as he was in '10.

8. Dez Bryant: 4 receptions for 63 yards. He was almost invisible the entire night, but for one busted play with 2 minutes remaining. This guy has got to figure it out. He's too good not to.
Romo's improv play where he escaped pressure against another blitz and found Dez for a 30-yard gain on a 3rd-and-21 with 2 minutes remaining enabled the Cowboys to win.

"It happens. The first 2 times we blitzed too and got them in third and long," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. "It didn't work. Romo made a good play and it was a good catch by the wide receiver."

C51c4f02-eb25-4402-88ae-3a008e65ba07 9. Dan Bailey. Looks like the Cowboys have found their kicker. Thank. God. Bailey was good from 41, 27, 32, 41, 23 and 40. 

"I would say pretty reliable. He has a good demeanor for a kicker, and for a football player," Red said. "The field goals were the difference in the ball game for us."



10. NFC East Division Standings, and points for and points allowed

Cowboys: 2-1   69/67
Redskins: 2-1   66/53
Giants: 2-1      71/60
Eagles: 1-2      78/77


Facebook Mac Engel




I shouted at the TV the night Dallas drafted Bennett with JerMichael Finley available. As a regular watcher of the Big 12, Texas and A&M in particular...not sure how they valued the underachiever over the dynamic Finley.

Hey cover guy we got. Hopefully Dallas can squeeze the rest of the season out of him because we are better with him on the field.

Dez still isn't right but you are "right" too. He needs to be a better student of the game. His physical skills are obvious but he hasn't shown he can even be healthy for a handful of games in a row.

And as far as Free and Tyron...I started thinking that last week. It seems like Free is getting beat off the edge a lot more this year where there is nary a whisper over on that right side.

Don't know if Dallas would have the cojones to make a move like that now...maybe in bye week...but I think it should most definitely be considered.


quite a leap saying Newman will never be healthy again. Dez watching for Romo's ad-lib won us the game- period. And do you really think now is the time to flip our O-tackles to opposite sides? I know you want to be insightful Mac, but you don't wanna be the next Bayless, do you? Rein it in big boy. Careless opinions in print will haunt you forever, son.

The Big Mac Blog

I can't recall the last time Newman was healthy, and I really, really like the guy. And Tyron Smith was an LT coming out of college. Free played on the right side his first few years in the league. Flipping them during the season is a massive stretch, but for the future it appears as if Smith's athletic ability makes him an ideal candidate for the left side. You don't normally spend a top 10 pick on a RT but you do a LT.

Danny "Dallas" Wilkinson

I called it!!! Romo is THE MAN!!!! He is the heart, the soul, and every breath that the Cowboys have. I have been telling all you sports writers every chance I get that Romo is everything to this team. Big D didn't play great last night but Romo showed what he is made of. I call in to every sports show I can proclaiming the truth about our quarterback. NO BODY DOES IT BIGGER OR BETTER THAN THE QUARTERBACK TONY ROMO!!!!!! You people need to get up on that!


No mention of Costa and the bad snaps? What was up with that? Once is an honest mistake. Twice is an unpleasant coincidence. Three and four times is a major f***-up. Painful to watch even from all the way up here in Colts country -- we empathize (at the moment) with quarterback issues, but center issues are something we have a hard time understanding.

Peter Jenson

The NFC East is off this year. That's the biggest surprise. The Dream Team aint no dream. The Redskins are saddled with Grossman. And the Giants are, at best, paper champions.

If ever there was a year for the Cowboys to ride majestic and win their division, this is the year.

Its still early. LOTS of time for the Boyz to blow it, but I'm betting the Cowboys win this division then then take their usual nose dive in the play offs.



Don't give up on my Cowboys! They are in it to win it!

Kameron S.

Love Romo's bounce back preformance. The guy has heart. I wish he was an elite quarterback be he just aint. The Cowboys are going to need him if they are ever going to have a shot at winning anything in the post season. I'll give it to Jerry for shelling out the big money for players but Romo isn't Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. He isn't even as good as Rivers. This team is good, they are fun, and I love Jerry but Tony Romo aint the answer. I wish I thought Jerry would trade him or cut him loose. It would be painful but they need an elite qb to make it in the post season.

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