There’s a saying golf that goes, “it doesn’t matter how, but how many.” You could say something similar when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys‘ 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 of the NFL season.
Something along the lines of, “it doesn’t matter if it’s pretty, as long as it’s a ‘W.’”
While both teams will have plenty to work on in the wake of this incredibly ugly game, one team emerged 2-1 and feeling a lot better about itself, while the other is 1-2 and wondering just exactly happened.
Even though Dallas was forced to play cornerback Brandon Carr at safety when Tampa Bay went to three-wide receiver sets, the Buccaneers continually refused to test the Cowboy secondary with deep throws. There seemed to be no method to this madness, even though Carr had not played the position since he was a senior in high school. Josh Freeman was “Captain Checkdown” most of the day when he wasn’t handing the ball off to Doug Martin for minimal gains. Until the Bucs made a late push to kick a field goal, they had gone a whopping eight consecutive drives with a punt. Somebody’s “got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do,” as Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy.
The Cowboys weren’t a lot better offensively. Tony Romo turned the ball over three times and was constantly under siege behind an offensive line that made every Cowboy fan remember why that unit was a huge concern heading into the season. DeMarco Murray did have a touchdown but was basically bottled up all day. Dallas had an incredible 13 penalties for 105 yards and still found a way to pull it out.
The Dallas media will undoubtedly roast the Cowboys for coming out flatter than a punctured tire and then turning the Cowboys Stadium turf yellow with penalty flags. But this city should be well past complaining about the aesthetics of a game. The bottom line is that a win – no matter how ugly – is precious. Do they have a whole lot to fix before hosting the Chicago Bears next Monday night? Of course.
But those preparations will be a lot more pleasant with a 2-1 record.