IRVING, Texas – Here's a few random thoughts that have been on my mind here in the last few days as the Cowboys transition from a big win over the Eagles and now face the first of two straight AFC opponents.
I thought it was ironic that in the game Tony Romo surpassed Troy Aikman's touchdown record of 165 scoring throws, that he actually played a very Aikman-like game.
Ok, not comparing the two players at all because there won't be another Aikman in terms of what he meant for one franchise. But the way he played the game and his style of play, was somewhat how Romo played the other night against the Eagles.
On the national stage with his team pretty much backed up against the wall, Tony Romo delivered in a way we typically saw from Aikman. Romo had stellar accuracy, completing 22 of 27 passes, his yards weren't off the charts but 303 yards is still noteworthy even in today's passing game. Romo was a perfect 10 of 10 in the second half with three touchdowns. He used a solid running game to open up the middle and soften the defense. And when the moment was right to strike, he did.
Not saying Romo and Aikman are comparable in many ways, but just in Sunday's win over the Eagles, Romo had an Aikman-like game to help his team get a much-needed win.
No Quit in Philly
The way Sunday night's game went down was probably the best-case scenario for the Cowboys. While many people wanted to see a blowout win and the Cowboys put Philly away early, that rarely happens in division games, regardless of record. But you really don't want the Eagles to lay it down just yet. They're out of the race, but if they can somehow get a victory here in the last month, it'd help the Cowboys. The Eagles still have to play the Giants and Redskins, so as much as Cowboys fans might relish in the fact they're struggling, Philly still could help out the Cowboys, as weird as that might sound.
As the Cowboys take on the Bengals Sunday, it will be interesting to see a couple of former Cowboys defensive backs on the other side, particularly Terence Newman.
Many players often get remembered for how things ended up and not really for the body of work they displayed in their time here. I think Newman falls into that category. He clearly struggled last year and needed a fresh start on another team, but for the most part, he was a good player, just never was great and that's what the Cowboys and their fans expected out of the No. 5 overall pick. This year, Newman isn't starting for the Bengals but has received significant playing time. He picked off Peyton Manning twice in a game against Denver earlier this season.
Speaking of former high picks, Pacman Jones is still around and doing rather well for the Bengals as a punt returner. He ranks third in the NFL with a 15.3 yard average, including an 81-yard touchdown. Jones wasn't really here long enough to get to know him well, but I am glad he's got his life in order enough to stay in the league. He's too talented not to be on a team, so that's at least a good thing.
Conference No Matter Now
About a month ago, I made sure to point a few times that if the Cowboys were to stumble a few times down the stretch, you could only the losses came to Cincinnati or Pittsburgh. With the playoff race likely going down to tiebreakers, the record among NFC games will be clutch.
But now, at 6-6 and so many other teams in the mix, it really doesn't matter anymore. If the Cowboys lose to the Bengals and/or Steelers, it'll probably drop them too far out of the mix.
Now, maybe, just maybe 9-7 can get the job done for a Wild Card, and if so, then NFC record will be vital.
But at this point, it's probably a division title or nothing for the Cowboys.
Still High on AA
Maybe it's because I've seen him play in the Arena League, maybe it's because I think he possesses a trait this team desperately needs, or maybe it's because I just like the guy, but I do believe Anthony Armstrong will help this team. And I think he can help this year.
What I've always said about Kevin Ogletree, is that he does a lot of things fairly well, just doesn't do anything exceptional. I think Beasley is great at running routes and getting open, Dwayne Harris is pretty good at returning punts. Armstrong gives you pure speed.
And with that, I think we will see him incorporated into the offensive plans here pretty soon. If anything, that kind of speed can open up the middle even more for the other receivers. With Ogletree not likely to be back next year, I think he makes more sense to see these guys, especially Armstrong who is the team's fastest receiver.