In my Cowboys/Buccaneers preview blog I said I thought Romo would throw the ball 40 times. He threw it 39 times. And I thought the Bucs would give the ball to Martin 20 times. He had 19 carries. I also thought Romo would throw a pick (which he did and is getting pretty easy to predict) and he would get 300 yards passing. Romo finished with 283 yards passing.
Still a lot happened in this ugly game that was tough to predict and while it was a win, (score of 16-10) there were some negatives and some positives coming out of this game.
POSITIVES FROM BUCS GAME:
- Finally a TD from a RB running the ball. DeMarco Murray ran the 11 yards for a TD which Dallas hasn’t had that happen since Murray did it last season in a blow out against the Bills. This is very encouraging and overdue.
- Finally an interception. Sean Lee got the Cowboys first and only INT of the year. Lee seems at times to be making all the tackles so he will have to bring in the INTs too looks like.
- Finally a nice punt return. Earlier I blogged looking at the numbers, and called out the Cowboys dismal 1 yard punt return average. Dez Bryant had a 44 yard return in the game giving us hope that things may get better there. It’s the first big punt return for Dallas in a long time.
- Finally a takeaway provided by special teams. Orie Lemon just recently brought up from the practice squad, recovered a fumbled mishandled punt by the Bucs.
- Defense- The Cowboys defense held the Bucs to just 10 points so that 16 points would hold up as a win. Even with turnovers by the offense, the Cowboy defense minimized the damage. The Bucs were held to just 3 points in the second half.
- Special teams– In general the special teams had a very good game. Solid FG kicking, solid kick coverage and a nice 44 yard punt return.
Now for the things that will make Cowboys coaches and fans pull their hair out this season.
- FLAGS- Penalties are getting ridiculous. No make that beyond ridiculous. They finished with 13 penalties for 105 yards. And everyone on the offensive line seem to jump offsides at least once in the game. It wasn’t just one player at all. It was a home game so can’t blame the crowd noise on the road. FB Vickers had a holding call in the red zone which killed a good chance to score a TD.
- Romo turnovers– Romo threw yet another early game interception and then added two fumbles later in the game. Admittedly, Romo is not getting the kind of pass protection that he should get but still Romo must take care of the football.
- Offensive Line– Coming into the season we all knew Jerry Jones was trying to get by on the cheap on his O line and it showed against the Bucs. They had numerous penalties, allowed 4 sacks, and the Bucs’ Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma in college) completely manhandled the line. McCoy made Cowboys guard Nate Livings his b—, …..lets just say lady.
- Lack of Scoring– The Cowboys offense came into the game with a 15 point scoring average and stayed right on it with 16 points Sunday. Their lack of scoring is becoming a disturbing trend. The Cowboys have plenty of weapons on offense but so far it’s not coming together yet for a variety of reasons.
- What’s up with Witten??- The usually reliable star TE Witten has had numerous drops in the last two games. Is it related to the serious injury he suffered in preseason? He just doesn’t seem like himself.
It’s a win and Cowboy fans will take it. While a hard fought game was expected, the Cowboys have some things that they are going to have to address.