Broaddus: Romo In Control, Williams Among 12 Thoughts

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  • There was never a point in time during this game when I didn't feel like Tony Romo wasn't in total control. Even when the Saints cut the margin to two scores, there still was that calmness in the way that he was able to direct this offense. Mentally he had all the answers for what Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was throwing at him. Physically he was able to execute Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's  game plan to the letter. What was most impressive about Romo's night was his ability to take a page out of Drew Brees' book and work the ball to 10 different teammates in the game. As long as he continues that approach, this offense will be difficult to contain.


  • The Cowboys dressed four cornerbacks for this game against the Saints, which is a gamble I might not have attempted. I understand the desire to get an extra defensive linemen or linebacker on the 46, but when Morris Claiborne went out very early in the game with a knee injury, I have to admit that I was concerned about how Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Sterling Moore were going to hold up in this game with all the multiple wide receiver packages the Saints run. You have to be impressed that even down a man, these three corners were able to handle their responsibilities against one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.
  • If the Cowboys were going to win this game, I felt like Terrance Williams was going to have to an outstanding performance on the outside. I felt that Ryan was going to take Dez Bryant out of the game, and for the most part, he was able to limit Bryant's opportunities. Committing coverage to deal with Bryant was going to allow Williams to work against some single coverage, and that was exactly what happened. Williams was fed the ball early and was able to make Ryan and his defense pay for that coverage. Williams can be a little streaky in the way that he plays, but against the Saints, we all saw the type of talent that we should be able to see each week. He will continue to get better in all areas of his game.
  • If Jason Witten, James Hanna and these wide receivers continue to block at the point of attack, DeMarco Murray is going to knock off a bunch of 100-yard rushing games. Give Murray credit for the way that he is running the ball and finishing those runs, but for him to get into the second level there has to be lanes for him to get through because of his lack of a burst. These skill guys are doing an outstanding job of getting him in space, and that is why he is having the success that he is.
  • The proudest man in the way that Anthony Spencer played against the Saints has to be associate athlete trainer Britt Brown. It was five months ago that Spencer and Brown began their journey together in hopes that Spencer would once again return to the field. Through a tremendous amount of dedication, both Spencer and Brown can share a moment when at one time no one believed that this was even possible. Together they proved us all wrong.
  • I understand how each week Jason Garrett tells us about players that have position flexibility and how important that is to the overall depth of the squad. With Spencer now back in the rotation, if I were these defensive coaches I would leave Tyrone Crawford inside at defensive tackle instead of still playing him at defensive end. He is a much better player the closer that you put him to the ball, and he can take advantage of his quickness and power when attacking guards. Crawford had two tackles, a hurry on Brees and batted down a pass in the game – all numbers that he most likely would not have had at end.
  • I was not surprised that Sean Payton tried to fake that punt late in the ball game. I had a feeling all week that he was going to try and show the NBC audience what a brilliant coach he was by running trick plays. Give credit to Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and his unit for being in perfect position to make the stop.
  • Saints tight end Jimmy Graham had 11 targets, which resulted in eight receptions but only for 86 yards and one touchdown. For most tight ends that is an outstanding night at the office. Graham is one of those players that no matter how guys try and cover him, he is going to finds ways to make plays. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's plan to play him with different bodies was outstanding. Where the Cowboys had success against Graham was how physical they were with him in coverage. Even when he made catches there was a defender there to contest the ball or bring him down quickly. For Marinelli and his defense, it was a huge win for the way that they were able to defend one of the best mismatch players in the league. 
  • Brandin Cooks caught five balls for 31 yards and had two punt returns for 15 yards. If you asked me before the game what Saints skill player I was most worried about it was Cooks. I would have never believed that this Cowboys defense would have held him in check the way they did. I was positive that he was going to have well over a 150 all purpose yards but he wasn't even close.
  • It is unfortunate the injury suffered by Bruce Carter that has been outstanding at then Sam linebacker and will be a huge loss for this defense for likely an extended period of time. The way that I believe this defense will work around it is put Justin Durant on the strong side and once again use rookie Anthony Hitchens on the weak side. We could also see Kyle Wilber and Corey Toomer in the mix but Hitchens has proved to me that he deserves an opportunity to get back on that field until Carter returns. The kid has a nose for the ball and he is a solid tackler. 
  • I can't remember a game where the Cowboys defense tackled as well as they did against the Saints. Maybe the Eagles game that was played in Philadelphia in 2013 but this defense tackled well at all levels. Defensive line, linebackers and secondary it didn't matter. They managed to get bodies to the ball and when they got into position [embedded_ad] those Saints ball carriers were being brought to the ground. When you face a big play offense you can't afford to be a poor tackling team because they will make you pay within those misses. It was outstanding technique and effort across the board in that area.
  • You might have seen my bright Orange Nike shoes that I have been wearing to these games on twitter or DallasCowboys.com. I am proud to say that as loud as those shoes are color wise this football team is 3-0 with them on my feet. I promise you that next week against the Texans they will once again be right there.
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