Good Til The Last Drop

In an immensely entertaining game, the Dallas Cowboys won their home opener on Monday night, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 41-37 in a barnburner of a game that had just about a little bit of everything.
  • Kick-return for a touchdown?  Check.
  • T.O. big bomb for TD? Check.
  • Half-a-dozen lead changes? Check.
  • End-zone fumble resulting in TD? Check.
  • 50+ yard field-goal? Check.
  • Mind-numbingly stupid discarding of the ball before you cross the endzone — but that doesn’t come back to haunt you b/c the refs blew the call?  Check.

This game had that and plenty more – and by the “last drop” I mean the mismanaged hand-off between Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook with about eight-and-a-half minutes to go.  The Eagles were clinging to a 37-34 lead, with the ball fairly deep in Dallas territory.  The two teams had just exchanged long, defense-killing drives for TDs in the 3rd and early 4th quarters, and the Eagles had a chance (with a TD) to get a potentially game sealing two-score lead.  However, the Cowboys fell on the mishandled exchange and drove the field to take the lead for good.  Each team had a couple of opportunities (for the Eagles to score again, and for Dallas to salt it away), but I really think the game ended there.

Some observations and questions:
  • Tony Romo saved himself from being another Eagles-game goat.  He fumbled a score away in his own endzone, and threw a bad pick in the first-half that also lead to Eagles points.  In the second half, he calmed down (and perhaps more importantly had better protection) and lead a couple of solid scoring drives.
  • I’m trying to decide if T.O. had a good night or a so-so one.  He had 89 yards, but almost all of it on 1 play.  He had 3 catches the whole night, and none in the second half.  Winning solves everything, but he’s got to be a little ticked he was upstaged by Jason Whitten.

  • Generally, I thought as-good-as-a-loss-can-be for the Eagles.  Solid offense, opportunistic defense (though one that was gassed in the 4th quarter), indicates that wipeout of Rams was not a fluke.

  • Did it seem like the Cowboys decided to tackle everyone by the facemask in the second half?  They really hurt themselves with those penalties, I thought.

  • So, are the Cowboys still the presumptive NFC representative in the Super Bowl?  They looked pretty damn good, but were certainly beatable.  The Giants and Packers also have opened up 2-0 (as have the Cardinals (!) and Panthers) – it could be a wide open year?

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7 thoughts on “Good Til The Last Drop

  1. I have never seen someone drop the ball before crossing the endzone. What an idiot! He is sooo lucky they still scored. I was sure rooting for the Eagles. I hate the Cowboys.

  2. It was a really exciting game, particularly in the first half. I too was bummed that the hated Cowboys won, but they did seem to be playing slightly better (some of the Eagles' play calling was baffling, and we still don't seem to know how to deal with a hurry-up situation) and I watched the game with a feeling of "we might pull this one out at the end…" moreso than a "of course, we're the better team…" even as the lead went back and forth. It reminded me of that game last season when the unbeaten Patriots were playing the unbeaten Colts and it felt like a tight tug-of-war to see who would make that one mistake to give the other side the edge.

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