IRVING, Texas -No one could've predicted a 252-yard rushing day for DeMarco Murray, and 294 on the ground for the Cowboys as a team, a little under three quarters of their total in the season's first five games.
But it was easy to see this was setting up to be a better day than the Cowboys had been having on the ground, and in a lot of other ways. The 34-7 win was what the Cowboys were supposed to do against a bad team.
The Cowboys had played a lot of good teams to start the year. They drew the Jets in an unwinnable 9/11 anniversary in which they somehow didn't commit a single penalty to start the season, then got better-than-expected San Francisco on the road, then-undefeated Washington, then-undefeated Detroit and the great Patriots. Finally, things are letting up.
The Rams were winless when they came in, and the left winless, with their huge average margin of defeat only widened. Up next is a crucial, and probably tough game at Philadelphia, but the Eagles at least are 2-4, not 4-2.
After that, Seattle at home. Then Buffalo at home. Then at the getting-worse Redskins. Miami for Thanksgiving. At Arizona. Meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, meh.
The Cowboys can make a major move here in the next month or so. No game will be a gimmie, obviously, but the upcoming schedule looks like a definite plus.
"You take each of them individually," Jason Garrett said. "You play 16 games and count them up at the end. What we're trying to do is get better every week and take advantage of our opportunity on Sunday."
Garrett will make sure to keep his message the same in both good times and bad, but there are sure to be more good in the coming weeks.
There is reason to believe the Cowboys are better than every team they will meet until at least December. They just have to prove it.
Against the Rams on Sunday, they showed the ability to meet expectations.
"We needed to win this game," Jerry Jones said. "We needed to be 3-3. We've got a team that can get out of contention with our recrod. But if we can be in contention, we've got a team that can be better."