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Broaddus: Romo At Best When Team Needed Him
In the NFL, a win is a win regardless of who it’s against. If you beat the Broncos, to me it’s just the same as beating the Vikings, who were 1-6 at the time. At the end of the year, they will add them all up, and if you’ve won enough, you get to keep playing. If you haven't, you’re probably looking for a new coach.
Today was a victory for the Cowboys, but it also could have been a loss, and it wasn't because of the quarterback, who wouldn't allow it to happen. Tony Romo played his absolute best when his team needed him the most.
Offensive coordinator Bill Callahan made the decision very early in this game that he was going to put the outcome in Romo's hands for him to win or lose. Whether it was the way the Vikings were playing run defense or Callahan had seen something in the way that their secondary was performing, he continued to ask Romo to make plays for him by throwing the ball.
What this Cowboys offense has proven the last several weeks is that it is never easy, but on that final game-clinching drive, it gave us the appearance of what we thought it should be. When the protection is there (and there were times it wasn't), this quarterback can still make plays.
Adrian Peterson rushed the ball for 140 yards on 25 carries, which in itself was expected. What wasn't expected was 52 of those yards came on just one carry, which means on the other 24 carries, Peterson only had 88 yards.
Peterson was largely held in check by the Cowboys defensive line, but the real tip of the cap needs to go in the direction of Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Justin Durant, who were outstanding. To handle Peterson, you have to get bodies to him and tackle him before he gets started. There were several times today when all three of these linebackers were right there to make that happen. From my seat, the Vikings inside three really had a hard time dealing with Lee. There were few times where they were able to get a body on him before he could get to the ball. When you play against great running backs, you better have even better play from your linebackers, and on Sunday, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and his crew did.
If there is something that we need to keep an eye on going forward until Morris Claiborne returns to the lineup from injury, is how these coaches will continue to use B.W. Webb in the slot. On Sunday, it was a difficult matchup for Webb having to cover Greg Jennings, and there were times where the Vikings were able to take advantage of that. With Scandrick having to play on the outside, that left Webb with one of the hardest jobs in football.
With Webb, you have a talented player, but one without a great deal of experience, and on Sunday, it showed. This week, the coaches will correct his mistakes and he will get more reps in practice because next week is an even better challenge.