Wowboys 17, Deadskins 0: My Top 10 Observations
10. I'm not ready to pronounce it Doomsday III just yet, but that's some impressive defense being played by your Dallas Cowboys. The team's first shutout in six years on the heels of holding the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints to a combined 37 points? Two games against the Washington Redskins without allowing a single touchdown and last night they only crossed midfield twice? Only the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens have allowed fewer points? Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips take a bow. It is indeed fixed.
9. Think I'm in the minority on this one, but I love me some NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth.
8. Best I can figure, Cowboys can win the division and host a playoff game by beating the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in Arlington. With a win they finish anywhere from No. 2 seed to No. 4. With a loss, they're the No. 6 seed and would play every post-season game on the road.
7. Next time you think you've had a rough year, call up Cowboys' assistant coach Joe DeCamillis and let him tell the tale of breaking his neck, undergoing an emergency appendectomy and dealing with Nick Folk. Joe D will stay in Washington until at least Wednesday, but I'll betcha a nickel he's on the sidelines Sunday in Cowboys Stadium.
6. My one gripe about the defense - in particular the scheme - is that it's never, I repeat never a good idea to have DeMarcus Ware drop back in pass coverage. When you have one of the game's all-time best pass rushers, why get too cute?
5. I'm a Keith Brooking fan. I embrace the fact that the Cowboys are playing with more emotion. But I'm sorry, his pre-game "We're gonna bloody their noses!" schtick smacks of contrived, over-acted theater. A little embarrassing, no?
4. Big difference in Tony Romo 2009: When he moved around in the pocket and finally lofted a perfect touchdown pass to Roy Williams in the first quarter, he searched and probed with the ball safely tucked under his arm, not dangling out inviting a fumble. Subtle, but dramatic. I've said all year he's a Top 5 quarterback. Anyone with me now?
3. 17-0 is impressive and all, but you and I both know that could've/should've been 31-0 or more. The offense botched the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, there were dropped passes by Williams, Miles Austin, Martellus Bennett and Sam Hurd, and the short-yardage offense - yes, I'm looking at you Marion Barber - is abysmal. If the Cowboys can't convert 3rd- or 4th-and-1 - Barber was 0-4 in the second half trying to get one yard - they're not going to win a playoff game. I'm all for imposing your will on your opponent, but not sure why offensive coordinator Jason Garrett chose to run consecutive plays at behemoth Redskins' lineman Albert Haynesworth.
2. The Cowboys don't have the cohones to do it and I'm not even sure if shaking up the lineup is a good idea at this point, but wouldn't you like to see Williams benched? He dropped two more passes against Washington and now leads the NFL with 11 by my count. After a drop in New Orleans he boasted to have the best hands in the league and last night he responded to a gaffe with a giant smile. What gives? Your kicker got cut for similarly blatant miscues.
1. So a win Sunday against the Eagles would clinch the NFC East and guarantee a home playoff game. That enough to atone for 44-6?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.