After the two teammates who disconnected last week connected this week, it was a third-string lineman and a third-string running back who ran the Dallas Cowboys past the New York Giants and firmly into their own playoff destiny Sunday night. Running behind beleaguered left guard Cory Procter, Tashard Choice clinched the 20-8 do-or-don't victory with a 38-yard touchdown with just over two minutes remaining.
But, let's face it, for the third time in three games Dallas' defense looked absolutely dominant. Even, dare I say, a little Doomsday-ish.
The Cowboys, led by DeMarcus Ware's three sacks and Terence Newman's two interceptions, smothered the Giants under an eight-sack heap. In its last three games, Dallas' defense has allowed 9, 13 and 6 points. Despite the offensive inconsistency, the defensive passion and production have some of us believing the Cowboys may actually survive December and play into January.
As horrible as Tony Romo was a week ago in Pittsburgh, he was twice that courageous last night. After taking a Barry Cofield knee to the lower back - courtesy of Procter's whiff block - Romo deftly lobbed touchdowns to Patrick Crayton and Deon Anderson as the Cowboys moved into the NFC's No. 5 playoff position.
Delicious: Saturday night's final game at Texas Stadium means something. A lot, actually. And if the Cowboys play defense like this again, they'll win it.
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In a game in which Faith Hill was hot, the refs were somehow cold (winter pants, guys?) and Owens was appropriately booed during pre-game introductions, after a first-quarter drop and again after a third-quarter fart-and-fall-down, the Cowboys' defense manhandled a Giants' offense strugg-guh-leeeeng without receiver Plaxico Burress and running back Brandon Jacobs.
But the game wasn't sealed until a third-and-9 in which Romo hit Witten and the tight end clawed his way for a first down. On the next play Procter helped open a gaping hole for Choice, who punctuated his first NFL scored with a "T.C." arm-signal celebration.
Choice, of course, was playing only because Felix Jones is out for the season and Marion Barber has been rendered human by a pinkie toe. And Procter is mostly stumbling around after injuries to Kyle Kosier and Montrae Holland.
As for T.O., he caught only three passes and resorted to calling out ESPN's Ed Werder in a post-game interview. I am sooooo over him. - Richie Whitt