Cowboys 33, Giants 20: My Top 10 Observer-ations
10. It took all of one play to smack you in the kisser with the fact that these were not your same ol' Stumbledoofus Cowboys. Bruised ribs and all, cornerback Terence Newman tackled Mario Manningham for a 2-yard loss after a catch on New York's first play. Against the Packers last week that play went for 5+ yards time and again.
9. Loved interim head coach Jason Garrett's aggressiveness. After Bradie James snuffed Brandon Jacobs on a crucial 4th-and-1 at Dallas' 42, the Cowboys didn't sit on their 13-point lead but instead threw deep to Dez Bryant, who continues to re-define what it means to "attack" the football. Wow.
8. Is Gerald Sensabaugh the most confused, crappy safety in the history of the Cowboys? Last week he engaged in finger-pointing with Alan Ball and on Sunday he gets into a verbal/physical altercation on the field with Newman. When in doubt, blame the common denominator.
7. The 2009 Tennessee Titans started 0-6, inserted Vince Young at quarterback, won five consecutive games and got their record to 7-7 before a Christmas night loss eliminated them from the playoffs. Anyone buying a similar Cowboys' comeback? Naw, me neither.
6. If the Cowboys were 7-2 instead of 2-7 we'd have ourselves a new kicker at Valley Ranch today. The only thing more confounding than David Buehler's missed 34-yard field goal was his ugly kickoff out of bounds.
5. Maybe it's just me - usually is - but something seemed to be going on with Fox's Troy Aikman yesterday. He was unusually rough on the Cowboys from the start and generally dismissive of the short-term prospects of long-time buddy Garrett. Troy's got the perfect life in and out of the broadcast booth, but I smell something fishy.
4. Garrett institutes a coat-and-tie dress code on flights to and from games and Marion Barber shows up in jeans and no tie. Weird, especially from a team captain. Barber doesn't start, but has himself a decent little game. Garrett downplays the alleged benching and denies Barber violating dress-code policy. Love to hear Barber's explanation but he rarely - if ever - talks to the media.
3. The Cowboys actually beat the Giants on the road with a defense that included Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Jeremy Clark, Josh Brent and Bryan McCann, who set a franchise record with a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown. And to think, McCann was undrafted out of SMU and cut by Dallas in September. How can a guy be a better player in the NFL than he was at SMU?
2. Instead of inexplicable penalties and tipped interceptions, it was nice to see the Cowboys on the receiving end of bone-headed stuff. The Giants produced three turnovers, eight penalties, had a long touchdown pass negated by a hold of Stephen Bowen and then saw Eli Manning ultimately fumble away shotgun snap that worm-burned past him.
1. Not sure if Garrett has already changed the culture, but at the very least he's altered our Monday morning mood. Did the light bulbs go on the night the lights went out? Stay tuned.
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