Everette Brown #71 of the Dallas Cowboys strips the ball from Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings at AT&T Stadium on November 3, 2013
10. If nothing else, under Jason Garrett the Cowboys are resilient. Since mid-2010 they’ve lost 14 games by three points or less, in overtime or on the game’s final drive. In the game after those heart-breakers, Dallas is now 10-4.
9. Cowboys caught a break. Yes, by playing the Vikings. But also via Blair Walsh’s missed extra point. I think the long review of Adrian Peterson’s scintillating touchdown run sort of iced him. The Vikings would have needed only a field goal on their final drive to force overtime. Instead, Christian Ponder heaved a wobbly Hail Mary that didn’t even sniff the end zone.
8. Tony Romo is now 22-4 in November. I know we’d like him to be as sparkling next month. But gotta admit that’s pretty impressive. And impossible to explain.
7. Jerry Jones promised to visit the field again this season and he followed through today. Of course, it was before the game. And it was to pose for a couple photos with this year’s Thanksgiving Day musical act – Selena Gomez.
6. I know he was burned badly in San Diego, but no way Bruce Carter is worse than Ernie Sims at linebacker.
5. Cowboys scored 14 points in :10, which has got to be a franchise record for quickest scores. Jason Witten’s touchdown catch was followed by a botched kickoff return, and then George Selvie’s strip of Ponder which was pounced on by Nick Hayden. Don’t ask me to analyze Hayden’s celebration, because I can’t. Was he playing a guitar or putting out a five-alarm fire?
4. It ain’t all burgers ‘n beer in the AT&T Stadium press box. Today Jerry served us … Edamame Hummus. Serious. And, truth be told, not bad. Speaking of ambience, Cowboys improved to 5-7 with both the doors and roof open in Arlington.
3. When he really needed to be, Dez Bryant was good. Came up with a huge play – a 34-yard catch-and-run that fueled the final drive. Before that, Dez was … Dez. Maddening. Frustrating. Immature. And, sure, “passionate.” He dropped a similar pattern with open field in front of him. And then there was the inexplicable unsportsmanlike penalty for yanking his helmet off while arguing an interference call. Dez Bryant turns 25 on Monday. He only acts 5 some of the time. Said Romo, “I got on him pretty good for that one.”
2. Cowboys have experienced a gauntlet of the NFL’s best offensive players. Peyton Manning got them for 414 passing yards. Calvin Johnson caught passes for 329 yards. And today Peterson ran for 140 yards and the epic 11-yard touchdown run in which he carried four players into the end zone.
1. For all the haters who like to claim that Romo “always” chokes in the clutch, sorry. You’re just flat-out wrong. Other than a drop by Terrance Williams and a savvy throwaway that doinked a ref, he was perfect on the game-winning nine-play, 90-yard drive climaxed by an improvised 7-yard scoring strike to Dwayne Harris with 42 seconds remaining. At least for one Sunday, clutch Romo superseded choke Romo. Whew.
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.