After the Romo interception, was I the only one that thought the thing to do was let the Broncos score immediately? I know the Romo interception is going to get the headlines, but I think Garrett missed an opportunity to give them a shot at winning.
David: Yeah, I'm with you whole-heartedly. Garrett has addressed the issue twice, and his main focal point is always the Denver third down that eventually sealed the game. Personally, I would have let Demaryius Thomas score the minute he came down the that ball on the first play of the drive. It would have given Dallas the ball back with 1:49 and three timeouts remaining. Yes, the Cowboys would have needed a touchdown, but it's not like their offense was struggling to move the ball. Professional football coaches and players don't think that way, however. There were too many variables, such as potential turnovers or stopping them short, involved to just give up on the drive. My strategy might have been more fitting for a game of Madden on PS3 than an actual NFL game. But it would have been interesting to see the result.
Rowan: You definitely weren't. It's been a hot topic since the field goal went through the uprights with no time remaining, as it should be. I think there's an element of not wanting your team to feel like you're giving up. Had the Cowboys allowed the Broncos to score a touchdown and they didn't come back and answer, Garrett would be left wondering if the Cowboys would have put together some sort of stand at the end. But yeah, I think they should have let them in, particularly with the way the game was going. Those are the gutty coaching decisions that sometimes have to be made. In hindsight, I think there were a couple instances on pass plays where the Cowboys could have let either of the Broncos' Thomas threats score and still gotten the ball back with timeouts left.
Will the offense that showed up in the Bronco game continue this season or can we count on a return to comebacks, curls and outs?
David:I don't think it's realistic to expect to see this every week. The Cowboys are going to play better secondaries, they're going to play in more hostile environments and they're going to have to deal with more effective pass rushes. It's also important to note that the Cowboys, like last season, were essentially playing keep up for much of this game. At one point in the second half, they trailed by 15 points, and the Denver offense didn't punt all day. In other games, against [embedded_ad] less prolific offenses, you're bound to see some ball control offense – short passes and more rushing attempts. It's good to know the explosiveness is still there, though.
Rowan: Well, I don't expect the Cowboys to score 48 every week, but this is the first time they've really took the top off a defense consistently. I think what you'd like to see is more of the vertical game translate in the future. In close games against offenses not led by Peyton Manning, I still think you'll see a lot of the short stuff and curls you probably don't like, but it's possible this game could jumpstart some of the deeper passing game for players like Terrance Williams and Gavin Escobar. There's no reason this offense should be held to 14 points or fewer, particularly considering some of the quarterbacks they'll be facing and needing to keep up with the rest of the way.