Dallas Cowboys Lose to New York Jets in Season Opener

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Jets 24-27 on Sunday Night Football in a game that had almost as much drama off the field as on. Some of the drama came from the fact that this game was played in New York on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Other drama stemmed from the fact that this was Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett’s first game as the official coach of the Cowboys, by the meeting on opposite sides of the field by the Ryan twins-Rob as Cowboys defensive coordinator, and Rex as Jets head coach-with their father Buddy in attendance, and by the return of Plaxico Burress.

The Cowboys added a touch of drama when they won the coin toss, chose to receive the ball, and scored a touchdown on their first possession. It was decisive, and an encouraging sign for fans.

Likewise, the defense looked good in holding the Jets to a first possession three-and-out, another encouraging sign for a team that had struggled on the defensive side of the ball in the previous season.

But it wasn’t enough and there are still questions about the Dallas Cowboys. One is the play clock issue. Tony Romo consistently allows most of the clock to run down before starting the play. If you’re decisive this may not be a problem, but as happened in this game, it led to two delay of game penalties.

This is an absurd penalty to receive in a game, and to do it twice is absolutely without justification. If Tony Romo needs that time to get ready for the play, he needs to find a way to be ready quicker.

If he uses the time as a game strategy, it’s a bad strategy. As the game commentators noted, when you consistently run the clock to zero, the defense knows better when your play is going to start and can get a head start on you.

A second question I have also centers around quarterback Tony Romo: does he have a hero complex? You’re practically in the end zone, it is-or should be-an easy stroll in for a touchdown. So why, why oh why, does Romo keep the ball and run for the end zone rather than either throwing it away or even taking the sack?

Either way, you’d have still been in position for the field goal. Instead, you fumble and lose the ball. I think Tony Romo, who has made a really wild play or two in his time and “saved the day,” remembers being the hero when he ought to be playing smart football.

Dez Bryant, who looked good in the first quarter, had ongoing cramping problems in the latter portion of the game, and Mike Jenkins, who came into the game banged up, played valiantly, but got even more banged up. Neither of these were good signs.

All in all, although the Cowboys had the lead for the majority of the game, it wasn’t enough. The Jets had the lead when it mattered most: when the game clock ticked to zero.

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Jets in somewhat familiar style for people who follow the team, and showed some weaknesses that will need to be worked out before they become the team people once thought they were.


NBC 5 broadcast, September 11, 2011

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