FRISCO, Texas – No one was happy after the Cowboys bombed in their season opener, not even them.
Sounds like maybe some of you walked off the ledge after the Week 2 victory over the New York Giants, though was not a resounding enough win to satisfy most.
And as for being 1-1 after two games, meh, half are pleased, the other half wanting nothing less from the youngest team in the NFL than 2-0.
But here is the rub after the first two weeks of the season: There are only two teams in the NFC sitting 2-0 and five in the AFC, for a total of seven out of 32. And only one division has more than one 2-0 team, that being Kansas City and Denver in the AFC West. The two teams in the NFC at 2-0 are the Rams and, of course, the Bucs. You figured that without Jameis Winston suspended.
And how 'bout this: Four teams already have settled for a tie, which is OK if you are the Vikings and Packers at 1-0-1, but not so great if you are the Steelers and Browns at 0-1-1, although, come to think of it, the Browns probably figure that's a heckuva lot better than 0-2 again
So, it's not as if a whole bunch of teams got off to rousing starts.
As Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said at some point Wednesday morning in reference to the Cowboys having seven receivers on their 53-man roster, "It's pro football. It's Week 2."
· Seven Is Enough: Common sense would say no way a team can keep seven wide receivers on their 53-man roster. But the Cowboys are thinking outside the box bringing in former wide receiver Brice Butler. They basically are kicking tires, trying to find different combinations and types of receivers, and with Butler, at 6-3, he represents their tallest receiver, and at least one with a two-year history with QB Dak Prescott. Plus, Butler is not costing them an arm and a leg, and since they waited to sign him this week and with very little signing bonus, his contract is not guaranteed.
· That's Hitch: The Cowboys sure hated to lose versatile linebacker Anthony Hitchens in free agency, but the Chiefs priced them right out of the market with a five-year, $45 million deal that included a $14 million signing bonus. We'll, after the first two games the Chiefs certainly are getting their money's worth with Hitch.
Starting at one of their two inside backer spots in the Chiefs' 3-4 defense, Hitchens has record 26 tackles, 14 against the Chargers and 12 this past Sunday against the Steelers.
· On Your Mark: The Cowboys must hope their defensive performance is more than a two-game trend, since they are off to a much better start than last year. So far, the Cowboys have given up a total of 29 points, 14.5 points a game. Last year the Cowboys gave up 45 points in the first two games, 42 scored by Denver. But then it was 17 to Arizona in a win and 35 each to the Rams and Packers in losses, leaving the Cowboys 2-3 after five games. Now the Cowboys did finish the season 9-7 with the eighth-ranked defense (total yards), but when it came to points, far too many. Remember the 21-12 loss to Seattle? That was the fewest points the Cowboys gave up in their seven losses, giving up at least 27 in the other six. No wonder when remarking to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on Wednesday that his guys sure have gotten off to a good start, he almost predictably responded, "They are just doing what they should be doing." No let-up in Rod.
· Neighbors: Probably should have noticed this sooner, but this is no coincidence. The locker next to rookie Leighton Vander Esch is an empty locker to the right of one Sean Lee. Certainly a good guy to shadow for the rookie. Reminds me of rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who had no problem with his locker right there by Jason Witten. Followed him like a new-born puppy, figuring that guy will show me how to do the right thing.
· More Butler: The wide receiver said he received his first call from the Cowboys the Monday after the season opener, VP of player personnel Will McClay telling him, "We're talking about you." So he got a couple of workouts in. Then after the second game, Washington and Jacksonville showed interest before the Cowboys decided on Tuesday to get the deal done. And he signed, no matter what he had said when he left in free agency. "Week 1 Sunday I was in the grocery store with a grocery list, and like, this is not where I'm supposed to be," he humbly said. Yep, no time to get real choosy.
· Sensible Shots: Condolences to the family of Leon Simon, the folksy, common-sense radio talk-show personality on KLIF for so many years who passed away this week at age 78. Leon began as "Leon The Barber," and all I could think of was, because of his street wisdom his cuts should have cost extra for those willing to listen . . . As a rookie, first-round draft choice Taco Charlton played 401 snaps. After two games this season, he's already played 106, putting him on pace for 848 over 16 games . . . Week 2 #s: Lots of complaints still about Dak Prescott and his 87.7 QB rating. Those still with a lesser rating include Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck and Jimmy Garoppolo.
So just remember, please, it's pro football. Week 2.