Frank Heinz, NBC DFW
10. Stars came out for tonight’s opener: Among the celebs were LeBron James, Hulk Hogan, Nolan Ryan, George Strait and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Even when he tipped his Cowboys cap as a peace offering, LeBron was roundly booed on JumboJerry. Because, um, we’re also Mavs fans. And we remember.
9. Jason Witten threw up on the sideline first half. Admit it, you almost vomited when Eli Manning had the ball, two minutes and only a six-point deficit. The Cowboys escaped when his dump pass to Darrell Scott violently caromed right to Brandon Carr for a game-sealing interception return for a touchdown.
8. The Cowboys have started a season with a home win just twice since ’98. Tonight and in ’07, also against the Giants.
7. DeMarcus Ware had one interception in eight seasons as a linebacker. He got one on his first snap as a defensive end, snatching a Manning pass on the first play of the season. Peyton = seven touchdowns; Eli = three interceptions.
6. Cowboys are now 2-8 in their last 10 appearances on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
5. Weird to say in the wake of him putting up 36 completions (third-most in franchise history), but Tony Romo and the offense were out of sync all night. He misfired with rookie Terrance Williams for an interception and Dez Bryant caught only four balls for 22 yards.
4. Last year it was Tyron Smith’s hustle that saved the Cowboys four points in their opening win in New York. Tonight it was DeMarco Murray’s sprinting that turned a sure seven points into three. After Ryan Mundy’s pick of Romo, Murray chased the cornerback down at Dallas’ 2 and the defense held New York out of the end zone.
3. Not a perfect night by any means. Home teams getting six turnovers should win via blowout. Romo took a hard hit to his ribs and will need x-rays, safety Will Allen took some horrible angles that led to long pass plays, and at one point Dez and head coach Jason Garrett had a brief but heated exchange as the offense stumbled in the first half. Teachable moments, I think we call ‘em these days.
2. Cowboys started ’12 by beating the Giants and it propelled them to … well, 8-8. Not sure where this season is headed, but I’m certain of one thing they’ve already achieved: The New York Giants are no longer undefeated in Arlington. In fact, the Cowboys are undefeated at re-branded AT&T Stadium.
1. Okay, Monte Kiffin. I believe. You and your vaunted “Tampa 2” defense came to town promising more turnovers. And tonight you created five – three interceptions and two fumbles. Can we call those (Big) Apple Turnovers? Somewhere in ‘Nawlins Rob Ryan is scratching his gray-haired head. And I can guarantee this: The Cowboys will exceed my 9-7 prediction if they get a total of six turnovers per game.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.