Dallas Cowboys

Giants 31, Decemberboys 24: My Top 10 Observations

10. This, my friends, is exactly why I wouldn't have Wade Phillips back as my head coach next season or any season. Simply put, he's just too soft. Nick Folk misses a field goal in three straight games and Wade just shrugs and says "I ain't worried." Says he won't even begin to consider David Buehler as an option. Jimmy Johnson, as if you need to be reminded, would have been auditioning kickers at Valley Ranch last week, to at least send a cattle-prod motivational message to Folk. But instead of a pre-emptive strike, Phillips gave his slumping kicker an unwarranted vote of confidence. No shocker, he missed another kick this afternoon. Duck-hooked his drive out of bounds, actually. Bottom line: The Cowboys have a loss, and they also officially have a kicking problem.

9. I realize he had a record-smashing day with 41 completions, 55 attempts and 391 yards passing, but a couple of Tony Romo's decisions were worse than doubling down on 12 in say, um, Vegas. Down 31-17 with still 4 minutes remaining, he missed a wiiiiiide open Roy Williams for what would have been a touchdown and an interesting finish. Couple plays later on 4th-and-2 he throws to Marion Barber standing at the line of scrimmage, tackled for no gain. 'Splain please?

8. Jason Witten deserves credit for ... Sorry, we know what we got in Witten. What in the hell do we have in Felix Jones? I dunno, he just looked tentative. Right? 9 touches for 19 yards does not equal "Home Run Hitter."

7. Biggest play of the game to me was Brandon Jacobs' 74-yard catch-n-run. One play after the Cowboys took a 17-14 lead, the Giants called a play designed to gain 4 yards. Anthony Spencer was a step slow and exactly no one helped him. Not sure how nobody caught him.

6. Okay, I give. Steve Smith > Orlando Scandrick. Hard to imagine it was this season that some of us considered Scandrick a better player than Mike Jenkins.

5. I can take his false starts and live with his occasional tripping penalty, but Flozell Adams' cheap-shot shove in Justin Tuck's back just before halftime was embarrassing. Dirty. Awful. Unacceptable.

4. Blame Domenik Hixon's back-breaking 79-yard punt return on Patrick Watkins. He lost containment from his left flank position, allowing Hixon to start left and then cut back right to an open field.

3. Raise your hand if you're getting a little tired of Marion Barber's act. He not only over-celebrates 4-yard runs - Really? Pounding your chest and once raising both arms in some sort of perverted triumph? - but his fumble on the screen pass late in the first half was inexcusable. Granted, Leonard Davis totally whiffed on his block attempt of Mathias Kiwanuka, but Barber needs to be less look-at-me-tough and more protect-the-ball efficient.

2. Trailing 10-0, the Giants were ready to quit. Unfortunately the guy with his foot on New York's throat was linebacker Bobby Carpenter. With 3:14 remaining in the first half, Carpenter blitzed and got both hands on Eli Manning. But he somehow failed to sack Manning, who flipped an impromptu pass to tight end Kevin Boss for a 16-yard gain and a spark. Three plays later the Giants scored. Game on. Carpenter sacks Manning there and we might have seen a different game.

1. Las Vegas, anyone? On the flight, you can tell me again how this is a different year and a different team and a different December. Because that looked all too familiar.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt

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