How does the great Rob Ryan defense let up two touchdowns with a little over five-minutes to play? I’ll tell you how, by continuing to blitz with an injured secondary leaving little or no help over the top. It also did not help that DeMarcus Ware was offsides on what would have been a 2nd and 22 instead of a 1st and 5 that ended up being the game winning drive.
Both quarterbacks left it all on the field and neither deserved to lose, but Romo lost again even though he orchestrated another drive with no time outs and less than a minute to play to have the Cowboys tie the game up and send it into overtime. It looked like they had; much like last week when it looked like they won. Instead Tom Coughlin called a timeout as the game tying field goal sailed through the uprights. Like a bad dream the Giants blocked the second attempt and went on to win 37-34 and put the Cowboys on the playoff bubble, however the Cowboys play the Giants again on New Years Day, Tampa Bay this week and Philly at home on Christmas Eve. Things look good for them.
It’s yet another frustrating loss for the Cowboys who have lost all their games under Jason Garrett by an average of 3.3 points not including the Philly game from this season where the Cowboys lost by 27. I did not include that because that one loss this season was the total amount of points the Cowboys lost their eight other games under Garrett. That Philly loss was an anomaly for the ‘Boys under Garret, who has his team playing they way they need to win games. Romo has never looked better and has kept them in every game this season. If the last two weeks field goals had counted you could argue the Cowboys would be 9-4, instead of 7-6. Oh well, can’t go back and stop Garrett from taking an unnecessary time out or have the offensive line actually block Jason Pierre-Paul, a true defensive game changer for the Giants.
This game was everything you expected it to be, except for the Cowboys blowing a 12-point lead with only five minutes and some change to go.
Romo had the game won if he had just lofted a pass a little higher to Miles Austin that looked to be a touchdown as he was behind the defense, and probably would have sealed the Cowboys victory.
Winning three in a row is very doable with this team, especially since their offense is as healthy as it has been since the start of the season. The key is going to be the play of the defense.
Garrett needs to sit Ryan down and tell him to ease up on the blitzing because Eli Manning figured it out quickly because he’s a smart QB. He dropped further back and was able to buy time for his receivers to break open in the injured Cowboys secondary. If you go back and watch the game the Cowboys could have had eight sacks easily if Manning had stayed in a normal pocket, but he adjusted.
I imagine for a less seasoned quarterback such as Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman will have trouble against the complex packages that Ryan will throw at him this coming Saturday and will lead to some turnovers.
The game that will be the most interesting will be the Philly game, since his defense looked ridiculously bad earlier this season in a 27-point loss. I imagine he will force Vick to make more decisions with coverage packages versus blitz packages that left the Cowboys venerable over the middle of the field the entire game. The last time the Eagles pasted the Cowboys the Cowboys came back and destroyed them two games in consecutive weeks at the end of the regular season and round one of the playoffs.
The Cowboys still control their own destiny and the Giants still have to deal with the Cowboys again at the end of the season as well as the Redskins and Jets. The Cowboys might be back in first next week as the Redskins beat the Giants once this season already.
One thing for sure, it’s good to see Romo living up to the billing, let’s go Cowboys.