Billy’s Beat on the Dallas Cowboys
Much to the joy of Dallas fans across the country, the Cowboys were able to pull off a stunning come from behind victory over the Detroit Lions 24-20, on the shoulders of stellar play from Tony Romo and Terrance Williams. Looking forward, the Cowboys will face the Green Bay Packers next Sunday in Lambeau Field, where they will look to make their first NFC Championship since winning the Super Bowl in 1996.
Romo to Williams
Once again, the Cowboys utilized an impressive passing game to complete their home victory, but this time a new face was the main target of quarterback Tony Romo. Terrance Williams, the former Baylor standout has been second fiddle to Dez Bryant all season, but against Detroit, he emerged as someone who can legitimately contribute to a playoff team.
While Williams has been a solid option all season, against Detroit, he became the replacement for Dez who was blanketed by coverage that held him to just three receptions. With the Packers (and their extremely thin secondary) on the horizon, Williams must be brimming with confidence, as his performance against the Lions ranks amongst his best games of the year. Look for the Romo to Williams connection to play a much larger role as the Cowboys make their push further in the playoffs, with teams keying in on Dez Bryant.
A Tale of Two Cowboys
In the first half, many of the Cowboys weaknesses, which they have done a great job covering up all season, came out against the Detroit Lions. Dallas’ defense, especially against the pass, has simply been awful all season. However, when your team has one of the best offensive lines in the league and DeMarco Murray, it’s easy to control the ball and the time of possession. No one was surprised when the Lions’ receivers torched the Cowboys’ defensive backs, but it was shocking to see Detroit dominate the Cowboys defensively like they did. In the second half, everything changed. The Cowboys began to put together lengthy drives, keeping Detroit’s offense on the sidelines, and putting points on the board, all while giving the defense time to rest. Against the Packers, Romo and Co. must have the sole goal of keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field, or they will certainly meet their doom against a vaunted Packers receiving core. Dallas will live and die this season by controlling the clock, and it was in full demonstration against the Detroit Lions.
Where Are The Stars?
For the Cowboys this season, much of the discussion has surrounded two of their biggest star players: Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray. However, against the Lions, it seemed as if the two never even touched the field. Dez only caught three balls for an underwhelming 48 yards, while Murray only mustered 75 yards, while one of his 19 carries resulted in a touchdown.
Murray is almost certainly hampered by the hand injury the limited his time towards the end of the season, but the Cowboys need him to be a serious contributor if they are going to control the clock against a high-powered Packers’ offensive attack. For Dez, there is simply no excuse. Next Sunday is undoubtedly the biggest game of his career and he will need to show that he is the All-Pro receiver he has been all season if the Cowboys have any chance of winning.
Without Dez and DeMarco in much better form, the Cowboys have virtually no chance on Sunday. Winning in Green Bay in January is no easy feat, and without major contributions from their two best players, Dallas will likely come up short.
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