It sounds weird to say this game against the NY Giants was a must-win this early in the season, but it definitely was and the Cowboys showed up in vintage form. There were a ton of questions heading into this game and several were answered emphatically. We know about the big plays, the clutch plays; but, let’s take a look at the inner workings that lead us to 24-17 victory.
Two words here, Mike Woicik. All offseason, Garrett kept talking about the conditioning program, and everyone’s hard work. Conditioning was one of the key components that aided us towards the win. Woicik rejoined the Cowboys last season; however, with the lockout, his program didn’t really translate. Fast forward to this year, and the Cowboys looked faster, stronger, and they wore down the Giants in the 4th quarter. Beating up and wearing down the opponent, especially in the running game was very reminiscent of our strong 90′s teams. Guess what? Woicik was the man that conditioned those championship teams too. Wow. Murray looked fresh and running at full speed to the last snap, and Dez Bryant looked much improved.
The secondary looked and played better. Hello Jerome Henderson, let’s give coach some praise here. The secondary played physical and were in the receivers face at the line of scrimmage. What a difference, I was impressed by the coverage and sound tackling. Gone are the sorry half ass Newman tackles with his back. WR Kevin Ogletree had a coming out party, he had a solid offseason, but let’s also give credit here to receivers coach, Jimmy Robinson. Robinson’s magic in Green Bay is happening now here in Dallas. The receivers looked great, and I expect them to continue to blossom as the season transpires.
The offensive line looked scary to start the game, but they came around and did a good job against one of the best defensive lines, if not the best in the game. Livings and Bernadeau played well, and those upgrades look to be better than what we had last season. You can add the addition of Callahan as a great move this offseason too. I like the direction and potential of the offensive line. With more games together, the line will only get better. The secondary was revamped and every upgrade paid off big time. Carr, Claiborne, and Church are instant upgrades and the difference was night and day back there. Let’s give some praise to Bruce Carter, what a player, he’s going to be a good one. Carter is another upgrade that is paying off.
Not everything was perfect, there were some boneheaded penalties, but I think those will get corrected. We were able to overcome those, but the penalties were definitely the negatives of this game. Special teams never looked good last year, and didn’t look good in the preseason, and quite frankly, its probably the weakest unit we have right now. We give up way too many yards and we don’t gain enough, I don’t like our special teams. We have the players, but I just don’t think DeCamillis is the guy right now.
Let’s get ready for the Seahawks, they have a legit defense, and a deceivingly good offense. Go Cowboys!