Last December, Tony Romo promised that he was going to "wake up tomorrow and keep living" after the Eagles thrashed the Cowboys 44-6. It seemed like a meek deflection at the time, but, nine months later, it's turned into a promise. Romo threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cowboys past the Buccaneers 34-21 in Tampa on Sunday.
His task was helped by the play of Buccaneers safety Sabby Piscitelli, who proved easier for Romo to take advantage of than any number of blonde singers/starlets/strumpets. Romo abused Piscitelli three times for touchdowns, the shortest of which was a 42-yard completion to Miles Austin. After the final score, an 80-yarder to Patrick Crayton, Piscitelli was likely looking for John Mayer to tend to his wounded heart.
The performance should be a boon for the oft-criticized Cowboys receiving corps. Roy Williams had the other touchdown and, as a group, the wideouts had eight catches for 263 yards. Marion Barber and Jason Witten turned in their customary strong performances, there were no turnovers and the offensive line allowed no sacks to make for a very strong all-around performance offensively.
Alas, there are two sides to a football team and the Cowboys defense isn't going to like watching tapes of their performance. The Buccaneers piled up 450 total yards of offense, didn't turn the ball over and didn't allow a sack. They also fired their offensive coordinator a week ago, which makes you wonder what the Cowboys will do against teams who know what they're doing offensively.
174 of those yards came via the ground. Cadillac Williams, last seen blowing out a patellar tendon in his knee for the second time, broke off several long runs through the guts of the Cowboys defense while Derrick Ward sprinted around defenders with ease to balance out the attack. Teams that can't stop the run in the NFC East don't go very far, which means Uncle Wade can't rest on the margin of victory during practice this week.
One other defensive trend that needs to end involves DeMarcus Ware. Ware failed to generate any pass rush whatsoever even though the Bucs were only using their tackles to block him one-on-one. He did leave the game briefly during the first half after a blow to the head, and while it's rare to hope that your star defender was suffering a brain injury it would be an explanation for his invisible performance in the pass rush.
That said, a win is a win and the Cowboys have some good things to build off of as they advance toward the opening of JerryWorld next Sunday night.