IRVING, Texas – Every week in every game, two things remain clear: the offense will start slowly and a furious second-half finish will allow the Cowboys to squeak out a win or fall just short.
The Cowboys finished at or below the 10-point mark at the half for the 12th straight game to start the season. Quarterback Tony Romo said there's a reason the offense finished with exactly 10 points at halftime for the fourth time this season Sunday against the Eagles.
"I know as a quarterback, just from my perspective, there's only so many coverages over the years you can see and show," he said. "It still comes down to blocking and tackling and throwing and catching and running. Early in the game, you don't necessarily always know exactly what they're playing that day. Once I get a beat on it, usually I can lock in and be pretty good."
He was better than pretty good once he figured out how he wanted to move the football. In fact, he was perfect. Romo went 10-for-10 for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, with two of the scoring throws going to wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Bryant might as well be the poster boy for second half success. That goes for the second half of the season, as well as the second half of games. In the Thanksgiving game, Bryant had just two catches for 20 yards at the half before finishing with eight catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with one catch for 14 yards at the half Sunday against the Eagles before ending the day with six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Romo said his passes to Bryant are dictated off coverage, but he can find ways to get Bryant involved once he sees how the defense is playing in the first half.
"If a team wants to do different things, then that's the case," Romo said. "I'll move him around as the game goes when I get an understanding of what they're trying to do."
The Cowboys have trailed at the half in each of their last three games, winning two of them. They've only led at the half in one of their last eight games.
"I think it's just sometimes early in the game I think we need to be able to do the little things to be able to let drives extend," Romo said. "We need to run the ball, we need to stay out of third-and-long, minimize penalties, then you've got to play good defense and keep the games close. If you do that, you can kind of gain the understanding of what they're doing defensively and attack them."