The Dallas Cowboys have started a winning streak! Yup, for the first time since last November, the Cowboys have won back to back games. How excited are you Cowboys fans?
I’m sure you can sense the sarcasm but the reality is, and will always be with this flawed team, a win is the only thing that matters. Yes, it is a maddening team to root for and there are questions about how good this team is, but will you care if they continue to win ugly?
This season for the Dallas Cowboys has two recurring themes; they either win ugly or they lose ugly (aside from opening night). I don’t know about any of you but I prefer to win ugly.
If you’ve been paying attention you know I’ve been saying it for weeks, this Cowboys team simply isn’t very good. It’s not a knock on them. Well maybe it is, but we see major problems with this team every week. Problems with drops, mental mistakes and questionable coaching decisions are no longer issues for the Cowboys; they are an identity. Yet they sit at 5-5 and everything they want to accomplish is still in front of them. Pretty amazing if you ask me!
For as much as people want to complain about how poorly the Cowboys have played today know this: for the second straight week, they found a way to win in the fourth quarter. At a time in the game where the Cowboys have had trouble finishing, they’ve now finished two weeks in a row. Bash Jason Garrett all you want but his teams haven’t given up and have battled to finish games all year, it’s only the past two weeks where they’ve found ways to win.
That was the Dallas Cowboys coming back from being down by 10 points in the fourth quarter.
That was the Dallas Cowboys defense who made key plays in the fourth quarter. They had a couple of sacks, a fumble recovery and a big goal line stand in the fourth.
That was the Dallas Cowboys who gave up the lead with just over a minute to go in the game and fought back to tie the game at the end of regulation.
And that was the Dallas Cowboys who found a way to win in overtime.
I know they got the benefit of a few calls but you tend to get those when you’re being aggressive. You can say they beat two bad teams but who cares; they don’t give wins back in the NFL. You beat who is on your schedule, and the opponent doesn’t matter. For the 2012 Dallas Cowboys the only thing that matters is finding a way to win. They need to find ways to believe in themselves and that’s exactly what is happening right now.
This team is not ready for a serious playoff run, If we’ve learned anything through 10 games this season, it’s that. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t get better this year or make the playoffs; all it means is they aren’t Super Bowl ready yet. Winning games like they have the past two weeks will serve them well this year and in future years, so you better believe these wins are important.
I’m not giving up on the season and neither should you but we need to be realistic. The offensive line was a mess before they lost Phil Costa, Ryan Cook and now, Tyron Smith. The players they brought in this year to help the offensive line are good quality backups, not starters. The quest to upgrade the offensive line needs to continue this off-season and it will.
Tony Romo can get the ball where it needs to go, but he just needs the time to do it. We saw today the evolution of Dez Bryant becoming the Cowboys number one receiver and we saw how dynamic the combination of Romo to Bryant can be. We heard Romo say this week how Bryant has come “full circle” and in the past few games we’ve seen the trust grow.
There are positives to winning no matter how ugly it looks. The Cowboys coaching staff needs to be given their due today because of the adjustments they made. We already know about Garrett’s teams not giving up and the offense did play with more urgency in the second half.
The adjustments by Rob Ryan also worked. His defensive calls were way too soft in the first half and the Cowboys brought a lot more pressure in the second half and the results spoke for themselves. The defense harassed Brandon Weeden and it made a big difference from the first half when he was allowed to sit back and survey the field.
As bad as it looked in the first half and as mad as most of us were, the adjustments by the coaches for the second half should have made you equally happy. We all wish they didn’t wait so long to play good football and that’s on the coaches too, but the NFL game is about adjustments and the Cowboys coaching staff made the right ones.
We all wish wins came easier for the 2012 Dallas Cowboys but they’re 10 games into the season and the way they play isn’t a trend, it’s who they are and it’s led them to 5-5. There is no question they need to play better but after seeing the way they play and their “style,” let’s be happy they’re finding ways to win games rather than lose them.
The Cowboys, for as bad as they’ve looked for most of the season, are still in position to make the playoffs. Instead of focusing on how bad they are, let’s pay more attention to what winning means for the future.
The bottom line is we would all rather win ugly than to lose in any way, shape or form. Why not be happy for the win and know it means there are better things to come?
We all know the Cowboys aren’t perfect, so perspective is needed. As are wins, which the Cowboys now have gotten two weeks in a row. Let the streaking begin!
you can follow and contact Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi