ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28: Cornerback Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on September 28, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
It is this type of vague, dismissive criticism that must have made the Dallas Cowboys' 20-16 win in Philadelphia last night that much sweeter; this is particularly true of the secondary, who has played--with a couple exceptions, perhaps--lights-out football over the team's win streak, which now stands at four games.
Mike Jenkins growing, putting together a fairly stellar sophomore season; Gerald Sensabaugh, bringing a new sense of security at safety; Terence Newman, covering like old and hitting like new; Orlando Scandrick returning to form after his demotion, the result of an ugly start to the year; even before the Philadelphia game, things were looking up.
Yet all anyone could seem to think of was the Giants game which, granted, was a deplorable loss and an ugly performance by the secondary. Perhaps now, the proverbial worm will begin to turn, in the images of the big-time sports-media world.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin--both great receivers, of course, and likely the receivers set to make a "ton of big plays," as referenced by Dungy--combined for five catches and 73 yards. Running back LeSean McCoy led the team in receiving with 61 yards, 45 of which came on a screen.
Dallas conceded the short pass throughout the game, opting to guard against the deep threat; and guard it they did. McNabb tried to hit Maclin deep, late in the third quarter, only to be picked off by Jenkins, setting up a game-tying Nick Folk field goal.
Sensabaugh added an interception and led the team in tackles with six.
"We took it personally that no one was giving us any respect," Jenkins said. "We've been shutting receivers completely down, but people weren't talking about it. I think we made a statement tonight. To come into their house and walk away with a win ... I think it's a big statement."