Does it feel real yet, Dallas Cowboys fans? Your team went into MetLife Stadium and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in a game that looked so familiar to the Dallas faithful until the end. Instead of blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead, Tony Romo and company held on to start the season 1-0. The difference between past close games in primetime and this one? Dallas had the ability to close it.
In recent years, the Cowboys have been horrible in primetime games and against the Giants, especially since those two foes usually came hand-in-hand. There are three reasons for that: 1-the Cowboys never had a running game that could hold a lead; 2-Dallas has never had a secondary that could stop Giants quarterback Eli Manning late in games; 3-New York’s defensive line has terrorized Romo because of his pathetic offensive line.
Well, at least two of those things were fixed on Wednesday night. The Cowboys built a lead behind 307 yards and three touchdowns from Romo and then milked the clock by feeding DeMarco Murray, who finished the game with 131 yards on 20 carries. A slew of drops by the Giants’ receivers – particularly Victor Cruz – definitely helped, but Rob Ryan‘s defense didn’t break after it bent, which is his philosophy to a “T.”
Romo was sacked twice and hurried several other times, but did a fantastic job of sliding away from the pressure, extending plays and moving the chains when it counted. The X-factor? Fourth-year receiver Kevin Ogletree threw one of the best coming out parties in recent memory, hauling in eight Romo passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning reception on third down with the game on the line.
After the game, Romo mentioned the “killer instinct” his team has been been missing, but it now seems the Cowboys have found it. Coupled with that is the fact that unfamiliar names helped win the game for Dallas, including Lawrence Vickers, Barry Church and Ogletree. This was a terrific win for Dallas and it leads one to think that perhaps this is a new era for the Cowboys. However, it’s just one game, so enjoy it, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch.