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Second-Half Validation


"This is a great team win for us," he said with far more meaning than perfunctory cliché. 

Hey, this defense did what it should have done against the league's 29th-ranked offense, holding the Texans (1-4) to two field goals, just 232 yards, just 34 rushing and coming up with three take-aways - not to mention that game-opening goal-line stand from the four. 

Give cornerback Anthony Henry some player-of-week kind of love, finishing with one interception, five break-ups and eight tackles, going a long ways toward limiting Houston's leading receiver Andre Johnson to a pedestrian 75 yards on nine catches. 

Pat linebacker Greg Ellis on the back for that diving interception on a tipped ball by Bradie James with the Cowboys leading only 10-6, along with Terence Newman realizing no one had touched Ellis, taking the ball from him to run back another 12 yards to the Houston 23 and setting up basically the knockout touchdown - the 21-yarder to Owens. 

A special teams applaud for rookie Abram Elam for yanking Houston's Phillip Buchanon down from behind 45 yards later at the Dallas 40, saving the club four points and much momentum since the Texans settled for a half-ending field goal. 

How about Patrick Crayton catching one more pass today (five) than he had in the first four games (four). 

My gosh, I think I witnessed one of the best punts ever, Mat McBriar, digging the Cowboys, trailing 3-0, out of a serious fourth-down hole punting from his own 11 with a skyscraping 75-yard scorcher that angled out at the Houston 2-yard line. 

Throw kicker Mike Vanderjagt in there, too, not for his two Twenty-something field goals, but for the majority of his kickoffs landing at least at the 5. 

And Julius Jones, too, pounding out 106 yards rushing, as well as a season-long 33-yarder when hitting the "biggest hole I've seen since high school" to help total his third-straight 100-yard effort. 

Let us not forget Bledsoe, who managed the game in the first half without a turnover when things weren't going well and when some smart-aleck fans decided it was time to start chanting "Romo, Romo." Bledsoe finished completing 17-of-28 passes for 168 yards, two touchdowns, two sacks and a 101.5 QB rating. Most of all, no interceptions or tickets for loitering in the pocket.  

And I would be remiss not to mention Romo, who now has broken his passing maiden, completing his only two NFL passes, one a 33-yarder to rookie Sam Hurd and the second a sweet play-action fake, roll and lob to Owens from two yards out to give the Cowboys their final 34-6, margin of victory. But do us all a favor. Save the e-mails purporting Romo's 158.3 as good-as-it-gets QB rating as starting evidence. 

So there were a bunch of people who had a hand in this victory, including the likes of Marion Barber, who chipped in a 1-yard touchdown run, and James with eight tackles, and the offensive line for battening down the hatches in the second half to hold Houston sack-less after giving up two in the first. 

"We did what we had to do," Owens said. "Win at home and take care of business." 

If you are scoring at home, that's two more "we's." 

Valid use of the pronoun on this day.                                 

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