Monday, December 15, 2008

Cowboys Win

In thoroughly convincing fashion, dismantling the NY Giants 20-8. The win came mostly on the strength of the Cowboys' unstoppable pass rush, which sacked Eli Manning eight times (and which now leads the entire NLF in sacks, over even the vaunted Pittsburgh defense.) The Giants' defense played a solid game as well, nearly knocking Romo out of the game more than once, but they were unable to prevent touchdowns to Deon Anderson and Patrick Crayton, as well as a lights out touchdown late in the 4th by Tashard Choice (yeah I know...who? But for two games in a row he's looked like this team's primary running threat.) The offense looked sluggish at times, especially in the 1st and 2nd quarters when Romo's throws seemed to wanting in accuracy. The lack of a running game and the Giants' pass rush didn't help. But they looked better than the Giants, who were lucky Manning wasn't injured on any of those many sacks. The pass rush gets the credit for the dominant performance, but there were several of those sacks that came as a result of Manning having no one to throw to downfield, and Newman snagged two interceptions (one late in the game, but another where he did a fine job of jumping the route.) Overall it was a nice, quality win over a good Giants team, and exactly the sort of thing that they need going into games against Baltimore and Philadelphia.

I have to say, as exciting as touchdowns can be, to me nothing is more exhilarating than a fantastic defensive effort. It's one thing to outgun your opponent, and quite another to frustrate his every attempt to move the ball. Nothing is more demoralizing than completely shutting down the opponent's ability to move the ball consistently, and force his defense to come out to the field time and time again until your offense eventually wears them down. And nothing covers mistakes or sloppy play like a fine defensive effort. It wasn't enough last week against Pittsburgh (you can only make up for so many interceptions) but it was more than enough last night. And if this defense plays like that week in and week out, there's absolutely no reason this team can't make a late run deep into the playoffs.

All in all it was a fine game, and I'm quite excited to see them against Baltimore this Saturday night.

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