I didn't actually get to watch the game last week (thank you, NFL and your stupid broadcast rules), so here's the first week of my Dallas Cowboys recaps.
All in all, there were mixed results in tonight's game. The team opened up their new stadium against a familiar rival. The NY Giants came in 1-0 after winning last week against Washington. The Cowboys won on the road in Tampa, but there was some trepidation as the defense allowed an unholy amount of yardage to Byron Leftwich and a bad Tampa offense. That fear was fully realized tonight.
The Cowboys' defense did great against the run. And their offense was fairly top-notch as well. I say that because they scored 31 points. But there is also the pass defense and Tony Romo's performance to consider.
On the pass defense, there really was very little. Orlando Scandrick in particular made a number of costly errors in tackling and in coverage which led to big plays for the Giants. There was no pass rush of any significance; there were no turnovers by the defense and no sacks for the second week in a row. On offense, Tony Romo had a number of bad plays and three costly interceptions. He did throw a TD to Jason Witten and ran for one himself. But tonight it was the plays he didn't make (or made for the other team) that played a big part in sinking the team.
What's most striking about the game is that the Cowboys had a chance to win, if they could have stopped the Giants. They saw what was coming, and utterly failed to stop it. Whether that's a result of fatigue or of bad game-planning is unknown. What is known is that the Cowboys are in an early hole in the division. The way the team is playing right now, I don't necessarily like their chances moving forward. If Romo becomes less turnover-prone and the pass defense can get a couple stops per game, then they'll be in good shape.
Marion Barber and Felix Jones (despite that awful fumble) looked very good. The receivers kind of came back down to earth, but I think that's mostly (about 90%, actually) a function of Romo's terrible play. The offensive line played well, from what I could see. There wasn't a whole lot of pressure on Romo, and it wasn't like Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka were teeing off on him. So I'm not sure why Romo made as many ugly throws as he did.
Next week, Carolina comes to Cowboys Stadium. They're 0-2 and though they looked better against Atlanta they're not a top-tier team. So hopefully I'll be here next Monday night to celebrate a win.