10. How’s that for a pratfall of a start? Tyron Smith false-starts on the season’s first snap and DeMarco Murray fumbles on his first carry. Three plays and less than a minute into the game Dallas trailed, 7-0. And it only got worse. Much worse for Smith. In his first game after signing a $108 million contract extension, he had his worst game as a pro with two sacks allowed and two penalties, including a fourth-quarter leg whip.
9. With new play-caller Scott Linehan we were supposed to see a bigger commitment to the running game. And we did. Sorta. Murray carried 22 times (Cowboys are now 11-1 when he totes it 20+ times) for 118 yards. But the Cowboys went away from the run in the Red Zone. Murray only carried once inside the 5, and it resulted in a touchdown. But by then they trailed 28-10.
8. A lot was made of the abundance of Niners’ red in AT&T Stadium. Of the crowd of 91,174, I’d say it was 35-percent San Francisco fans. But, duh, they were wearing red. That color – I’m sure you’ve noticed – tends to stand out. It’s why we use red for stop signs and brake lights and fire trucks and lipstick and stuff.
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7. Only Cowboys’ player to not wear a helmet for pre-game introductions was Dez Bryant. He instead smiled and preened and flashed his trademark “X.” Not exactly as self-aggrandizing as Ray Lewis and his infamous dance, but no doubt Dez is convinced he’s a special player.
6. You know it’s bad when a dropped interception (by linebacker Justin Durant) prompts a mild golf clap from the fans that remain awake. Durant appeared to pick off a third-quarter pass, but lost control as he hit the ground. The resulting overturn into an incompletion actually benefitted the Cowboys, as the Niners had recovered his fumble for a first down but instead were left with 3rd-and-10.
5. Silver linings are what you want? Fine. Um, Lance Dunbar showed some wiggle. Bruce Carter produced a sack and knocked down a pass. Cowboys won the second half, 14-0. And, well, it’s only one game. Isn't it?
4. At 28-3, it was Dallas’ largest halftime deficit of a season opener in the franchise’s 55-year history and their biggest halftime hole of any game since RG3 and the Redskins embarrassed them by the same score on Thanksgiving 2012. Pretty sure today was what Jerry Jones feared when in training camp he warned of his team’s impending “uphill battle.”
3. As uncomfortable as the mood was inside AT&T Stadium – fans booed the team off the field at halftime – just imagine if the Cowboys had indeed drafted Johnny Manziel. I predict the “Johnny Football” chants would’ve started mid-second quarter.
2. Tony Romo was hesitant to run through open lanes. He threw a pick into triple-coverage. He threw a pick in the end zone. He missed a wide-open Dwayne Harris for what would’ve been an easy touchdown. And after throwing just 10 interceptions last season, he threw three in his first 14 passes of 2014. Romo’s got to be better. But after nine seasons as a starter, even his biggest fans – hand raised – have to start admitting there’s little evidence to suggest he will.
1. Jerry Jones: “Okay, I’ve reconsidered. You’re in the Ring of Honor!” Jimmy Johnson: “Um, no thanks. I’m good.”