An Ugly Win At Philly – Here’s The Truth About The 2015 Dallas Cowboys
After last week’s improbable last second comeback win against the New York Giants, the second consecutive game against a division foe, the Eagles, was expected to be somewhat of a shootout, both emotionally and physically. The defection of DeMarco Murray to the City of Brotherly Love and their cocky college coach seeking NFL success, Chip Kelly, coupled with the Cowboys stud wide receiver, Dez Bryant, being out for an extended period of time, was thought to be enough to provide the basis for a national Must See TV production.
What the nation saw was the type of ugly football production usually reserved for NFL bottom feeders, the scum suckers. A record number of penalties, injuries galore and a general specter of gridiron ineptness combined to provide a hard to watch struggle that mercifully (merciful for
Cowboys fans, that is) ended with a Cowboys win, 20-10.
What was not merciful, yet just as ugly for Cowboys fans, was watching the face of the team, Tony Romo, leave the game with a broken collar bone in the third quarter. Surprisingly, Romo’s backup, Brandon Wheedon, provided the true highlights of the game, going 7 for 7 with a 42 yard touchdown pass to Terrence Williams to seal the victory for the ‘Pokes.
So, after two consecutive weeks of not quite the highest quality football in the Cowboys illustrious history, here are some conclusions that, at this time, are thought to be safe to make about the 2015 version of the Dallas Cowboys.
The stamp of Jason Garrett is definitely imprinted on this team.
They are focused and they remain focused. After winning all 8 road games last season, they win their first road game of the season against a division opponent, namely their opponent considered by most as their chief rival for the NFC East crown.
A by-product of that focus is a mentally tough team that doesn’t panic at adversity during a game.
This mental toughness has led to physical toughness. Rather than being impervious to injury, this toughness allow them to meet the physical demands and adversity during games by continuing to play in a manner that leads to victory rather than capitulating physically to their opponents.
In case you missed them, here are the words of Garrett after the game:
“The biggest thing that we talked about is you have to keep fighting. You have be relentless out there. Regardless of what has happened to this point, you play this play and keep coming. It was a great example by our defense. Tony goes down and they drive the football. They have us on our heels a little bit. But guys kept battling. For Sean to make that play and not allow them to cash in on that drive I thought was a significant play in the game.”
On an individual basis, it is obvious that Shaun Lee is back, maybe better than ever. As Bill Parcells would say, he’s a football playing dude. He was everywhere against the Eagles, leading the team with 14 tackles, 2 for a loss and an interception in the end zone to end an Eagle drive. It will be interesting to see him combine with Rolando McLain when he returns from suspension in three weeks. Greg Hardy will also return at this time.
In the mean time, Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli had this to say about Shaun Lee, ““He’s just a great player. He’s just a cleaner. He cleans everything up for us. Cleans everything up.”
And Jeremy Mincey? “He’s just poised. I love seeing poise in the huddle. He was poised and focused and not frustrated. ‘Hey man, let’s get lined up and do what we do.’ He controlled it and everybody
did their thing.”
And what does Shaun Lee have to say about all this praise? “The coaches came up with an unbelievable game plan. The defensive line did a great job in the run game directing the run, and a lot of times I was free to run to the football because the defensive line did a great job.”