Cowboys-Giants: Some Thoughts on Another Opening Night Beatd HOLY CRAP THEY WON!
Jason Witten. Occupation: Man.
What a win for the good guys. The Bi-Ringed Mouth Breather from the Bayou finally got his comeuppance, Tony Romo executed like a champ when it mattered, DeMarco Murray was DeMarco Murray, and the defense held up its end of the bargain by keeping the Giants' offense at bay much of the game. Now let's go to the tape for a few observations and some postgame trophies.
Premature Emasculation: If you were lucky enough to catch the pregame, you were treated to the completely relevant sounds of No Doubt, replete with Gwen Stefani and her trademark Scottish mudflap. How does NBC decide the musicians for their Sunday Night Football broadcast? By locking a group of mid-20s girls in a room with a case of Boones Farm and scented candles? NBC has now rolled through the following acts during pregame/opening: Pink, Faith Hill, and now the aforementioned No Doubt. I'd rather listen to "5-Star Combo" on repeat than suffer that cochlear pummeling.
Jason Witten, PHD (Pretty Hardass Dude): I would hate to be the person forced to deliver a medical opinion to Jason Witten. I bet that before they told Jason about his status, the doctors drew straws to see who'd have to break the news and be subsequently thrown through a window.
The D Rizes Like The Fenix: Let me tell you why this Cowboys defense has me knee jerking like a freshly-branded Clydesdale: The fact that Demarcus Ware had two sacks on top of living in and around Eli Manning's general area. The fact that Bruce Carter looks like the very legit yin to Sean Lee's yang. The fact that Brandon Carr flung his arm off of Domenik Hixon late in the game with such disdain, you'd think he's been suiting up for the star-clad lads for a decade. The fact that Rob Ryan is Kenny Powers in about 15 years.
There is still plenty of work to do (getting bailed out by Victor Cruz helped), but that was a pleasant surprise.
Round 1 of Manning vs. Romo; Romo Wins: Aside from a hurried pass directly into coverage for a pick, Romo owned Manning in every statistical category. With a passer rating of 129.5 (a perfect rating is 158.3), Romo played the Giants D like a cheap xylophone. First and 30? Let me go ahead and throw a Skywalker to Miles Austin for a touchdown. Even though the offensive line tried to shoot the wheels off drives one penalty at a time, Romo fought through and found the open receivers. He even flashed some of those deceptive wheels on a couple of keepers. I hope he did something much more unsavory than sign the wall of the locker room.
And now let's dish out a few awards:
Fill-In of the Millenium: Ryan Cook. Remember how well Cook played during the preseason? Of course you don't; he was playing for the Dolphins until last Thursday. He received his playbook on Friday, which was co-authored by Jason Garrett and Merriam-Webster. Less than a week later, he's pressed into duty on the second offensive series after Phil Costa's gimpy back started acting up again. I'd be shocked if he even knows the names of the rest of the lineman. The fact that Romo didn't get annihilated by that insane Giants front seven is a miracle.
Guy Who's Already Off The Fantasy Waiver Wire As You Read This: Kevin Ogletree. After three seasons of zero touchdown football, Ogletree picked a nice time to ramp up his fantasy production. With a beefy 114 yards and two scores, Dallas' Ochocinco led all receivers in sheer stats. It wasn't just the numbers though, it was the situations. Several of Ogletree's grabs came on third down early when the Cowboys' ground game was still finding it's rhythm. In case you were wondering, his contract is up after this season, so expect the Jags to break out the spotted checkbook to give KO his payday this summer.
Best Special Effects: NBC's CGI crew for their shockingly life-like piece, "Bob Costas." There's no way that is Bob Costas up there doing the pregame interviews. That soft, cherubic face and finely manicured mop must be 70 years old by now. I'm convinced instead that it's Andy Serkis in a body suit with motion capture balls dotting his face like Hellraiser, voiced by Bob Costas from inside an iron lung.
The dark clouds that have sat over Jerry World have dissipated for one week. It'll be interesting to see if the Cowboys can make it a streak up in Raintown next week against the suddenly-chic Seahawks.
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.