SEATTLE, Washington – Orlando Scandrick greeted the arrival of the media into the locker room on Sunday by yelling, “Measure that!”
Uhhhmmmm … what?
“Use that as a measuring stick!” he screamed.
The win?? Ohhhhh. OK, OK. OK.
The Cowboys were expected to be a joke this season. During training camp, veteran national football writer Peter King Tweeted, “Gonna be a long year in Dallas.”
There are two types of long years in the NFL. The years when you stink, and the years when you play well into January.
After the Cowboys impressively defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks 30-23 in Seattle, the long year that was supposed to happen looks a lot different.
How people viewed this team was not changing much when earlier this season they won at Tennessee or in St. Louis. Under Jason Garrett, the Cowboys usually have defeated the bad teams. Wins over the Saints and now the Seahawks, however, are the type of legitimizers this team has lacked, and needs to be taken seriously.
“They are going to have to,” Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey told me. “They have to look at us different.”
Other teams are going to see this, and take the Cowboys as something they have not been in a long time. The Cowboys are a threat.
Some people on this team, like Scandrick and Mincey, want people to notice and to take them seriously.
Linebacker Justin Durant prefers it, however, if teams assume they are the same old bunch that will blow it in the end.
“I hear what people say,” Durant said. “I hope they still don’t know.”
A 5-1 one record that includes a convincing win in Seattle? And you’re the Dallas Cowboys?
Think they know.
The Cowboys defense insist sthey did not expose the Seahawks offense, but they did show if they can’t run, they don’t have the quarterback or the receivers good enough.
The Seahawks were held to 80 yards on 18 carries; 32 of those yards came on one carry by Marshawn Lynch.
They entered the game leading the NFL in rushing, which now the Cowboys do.
It’s pretty simple – take away the run, and quarterback Russell Wilson is not one of those quarterbacks good enough to carry a team. Wilson completed 50 percent of his passes for a pedestrian 126 yards, was sacked twice, picked off once, and had a QB rating of 47.6.
When a game manager is asked to do it himself, he usually can’t do it. As good as Wilson is, he’s not Payton Manning.
I asked Orlando Scandrick if he felt the Cowboys exposed the Seahawks offense in any way.
“No, the 49ers do this all the time,” he said. “They run the ball on them, they stop the run. There is no exposing them. We are just good. Both teams have talent. I mean, we are good.”
When Tony Romo took a nasty shot in the first quarter and was slow to get up, Jerry Jones was like every other Cowboys fan: There goes the season.
“Oh my goodness,” Jerry said after the game of when he saw that hit. “Nobody was sure how much that was going to impact him.”
I asked Romo about it and he said the shot didn’t affect his back, but his ribs were another matter. He remained in the game. A little later, he said he rolled his ankle a little.
“It’s noting to do with the back, so it’s gravy,” he said.
Romo finished 21 of 32 passing for 250 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“Our quarterback play out there, and they have a good one, too,” Jerry said. “It was the difference, really.”
Running back DeMarco Murray avoided the media after his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game to tie Jim Brown as the only players to do that in his first six games of a season.
DeMarco Murray and Jim Brown in the same sentence, because we all saw that coming.
Murray rushed for 115 yards on 29 carries, and was a dominant ball carrier in the fourth quarter.
Someone needs to tell Murray he better enjoy the attention now. The adulation that comes with his success is not going to last forever, and when it’s gone he will be just another one of those ex-jocks looking for someone to make him feel important again like he was when he was young.
Tony Romo’s most impressive pass of the day was completed to Terrance Williams, but it looked a lot like the ball was intended for tight end Jason Witten.
Facing a 3rd-and-20 at their own 31 with just under five minutes remaining in the game, Romo completed a ball to Williams, who made a sensational catch by narrowly scraping his toes on the turf next to the sidelines.
The ball went over Witten’s head before Williams caught it. Romo insisted the pass was actually intended for Williams and not his good buddy.
"It was to Terrance,” he said. “He obviously made a great catch and it was one of the biggest plays of the game.”
Much was made about the matchup between Dez Bryant and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman didn’t finish with any interceptions, or any big plays, and Bryant finished with four receptions for 63 yards with no touchdowns. Romo threw his way a team-high 10 times.
Romo said after the game that as the game went on, the Seahawks broke their normal routine by using Sherman to track Dez. Sherman normally sticks to one side of the field and that's it.
Dez had one drop, and another where he had his hands on the ball inside the five yard line in the second quarter that he was unable to grab. It was not his best game.
Sherman was called for a pass interference in the third quarter on a third down pass trying to cover Dez.
Early in the fourth quarter, Dez was matched with Sherman on a 2nd-and-15; roughly 10 yards into a go pattern, Sherman put his hands on Dez to slow him down on a pass that if he had been able to catch would have been a touchdown. On the next play, Romo’s attempted pass intended for a Dez against Sherman was off, even though he had the defender beat.
He was not credited with a sack, but defensive end Anthony Spencer played his best game in two years. Granted, he only played one half last season and has only played three games this year but he made a difference on Sunday.
“I feel like I’m getting back to myself. It’s my fourth or fifth week of practice,” he told me, exclusively. “I'm not back into football shape yet but I'm trying to getting to be the player I was."
It took a while, but Lance Dunbar finally caught some passes. Entering Sunday’s game he had a total of seven receptions for 57 yards.
Against the Seahawks, he had four catches for 48 yards. Late in the second quarter on a third and 10, he caught one pass across the middle and as he ran towards the sideline, tight end Jason Witten singled to him to come his way as he set up a pair of Seattle defenders to block. Witten’s block sprung Dunbar for a first down.
Dunbar told me his increased work load had more to do with the type of defense Seattle runs more than anything else. They use a zone, which allowed him to run underneath routes and exploit large spaces where he could use his speed.
UP NEXT: The New York Giants come to AT&T Stadium for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, Oct. 19.
The Giants were shutout 27-0 by the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday night to end their three-game winning streak.
Every game the Giants have played this season has been decided by double digits.
The Cowboys swept the Giants last season ... and they should this season.
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