The Cowboys finally showed a pulse which brings big news to all of us Cowboy fans. In reality they played with more than a pulse, the Cowboys played with great intensity, smarts, and composure.
The Bucs scored 9 points, but none of those were gimmies. They earned every single point because the Cowboys defense fought on every play. Garcia will probably be the first player to see the trainers because he got hammered all game long. Ware didn't score a sack for the 1st time in 10 games and maybe that was a good thing because he had become a little undiscplined in his technique against the run. Ware did have 2 penalities called against him. One was obvious and the other one was doubtful. Jenkins finally played like a 1st rd. choice in the secondary. The defense finally played up to their potential and kept Dallas in the game, especially in the 1st quarter. The front 7 controlled the line of scrimmage and good things will happen because of that.
The offensive game plan was great and stayed within the limits of what Brad Johnson can do. Even though the timing wasn't there on some throws. Most importantly, he didn't throw an interception. That is solid football due to making great decisions. Just as important OC Garrett stayed with the money man, Marion Barber. Barber was awesome in all facets of the Cowboys offense. The offense only had 1 penalty and that was on #76, Flozell Adams and allowed a couple of sacks. Eric Williams (ole #79) is starting to become a positive influence on the RT, Columbo. Columbo showed aggresssiveness and nastiness that as of late the Cowboys had been lacking on offense. The Cowboys had a key contribution from Roy Williams and I have the feeling that it is only the beginning. Just like the defense, the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage and teams that do these on both sides of the ball will win the game.
Special teams finally didn't take a play off! Kickoff coverage didn't allow a return past the 25 and the return team did break the 25 on one of the returns. There still needs improvement on punt coverage. If it wasn't for the new punter that made an awesome open field tackle to prevent TD. Heck, it was the best hit that I've ever seen by a punter or kicker make. Some folks could consider it the spark that woke up the Cowboys. Crayton did a fantastic job on punt return by calling a fair catch on a couple of occasions. However, the Cowboys do need to improve the rush when other teams are attempting a field goal. It is almost like if the Cowboys are willing to give the other team 3 pts no matter how long the field goal attempt is.
Whatever Coach Phillips did this past week, he needs to do it again for the remainder of the season. Because watching the pre-game shows on CBS and FOX there are enough suiters that want his job. Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher are both licking at the chops to take his place. The Cowboys need to continue to play smart, intense, and composed and they will continue to play well and win games even without Romo.