Sullivan: Being Wrong on Elliott & Romo, Wilcox's Play Among Thoughts

Some of the thoughts that run through an oversized, bald head:

  • There is nothing more dangerous in the NFL than a desperate team. Except maybe a desperate team at home at one of the three toughest places to play. Then throw in a future Hall of Fame quarterback on the opposing team. This win was Daddy Warbucks winning the lottery. There was no reason to expect it; there was no reason to need it. The Cowboys would have been just fine at 7-2.

Instead, the rookie backfield, unconscious, seemingly oblivious to pressure and history, announced to the football world that this isn't a fluke. It's not a fleeting moment in time. Through nine games, this is the most accomplished team in franchise history. First eight-game single-season winning streak since 1977, which was probably the most dominant team the Cowboys have ever placed on the field. This is the ride of a lifetime, and compared to last season, this is trading in a tricycle for a Rolls Royce.

  • Zeke Elliott became the fourth player in NFL history with at least 114 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 95 receiving yards and a scoring catch in the same game. Among the other names on that list is Jim Brown. That's kind of fitting because by season's end, the conversation of great rookie backs is going to include Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, Brown and Elliott.
  • I was wrong on multiple fronts and want to be transparent. Thought Elliott was a luxury pick. Also thought a few weeks ago that Tony Romo would be given his gig back when healthy. Wrong and wrong. The latter should no longer be a story, either. This is so obvious, and you know what? There are worse things in the world than being 8-1 with the most talented backup quarterback since Steve Young.
  • What a football game. First game of the NFL season with seven lead changes. I think Mike Tomlin is one of the premier head coaches in the league, top-five, but not sure of the game plan in terms of the early two-point conversions. Sure, if they convert he looks like a genius, but they went 0-for-4, and they didn't exactly have some slam-dunk plays drawn up.
  • The two toughest football players of my 33 years watching this game, 20 years covering it, are Jason Witten and Ben Roethlisberger. Both are first-ballot Hall of Famers also. If not, change the voting process immediately because it failed miserably.
  • J.J. Wilcox just played the game of his life. He's been the most underappreciated member of the defense all season, playing a lot more snaps than anyone realized even before Barry Church went down. Wilcox is crunching anyone within his radius. It's like everyone has been stealing his lunch money for years and he grew six inches and gained 30 pounds during the summer, and watch out, the first day of school is going to be payback. Dude has been looking like Steve Atwater the last month or so.
  • There was a better chance of Jason Witten turning the football into wine than him breaking loose on that last catch, which makes that facemask one of the dumber penalties in recent memory. They also missed the one on Cole Beasley the play before, which sometimes would be excusable except for the fact that his head spun around like the *Exorcist *girl.
  • Stunned that more quarterbacks don't run that fake snap play. Not a member of the Cowboys front seven moved. Also, with all due respect to Joe Buck, many signal-callers have tried it since Dan Marino 20 years ago or whenever it was.
  • Game ball honors to Dez Bryant after finding out his father passed away less than 24 hours before kickoff. He played with a peacefulness, a calm, kept his emotions where they needed to be, and deserves all the credit in the world for his performance. He's probably the key factor to this team winning a Super Bowl or coming up short.

Also, while we're here, all that talk about Dak Prescott and Bryant is ridiculous. At training camp, heck maybe before that, Bryant was the first one vocally talking about what a beautiful ball the rookie quarterback throws. The two talk all the time. There are no chemistry issues. Just media filling the airwaves and word counts.

  • DeMarcus Lawrence broke out in a big, really scary way for the rest of the Cowboys' opponents. If he stays healthy, here's a guarantee he averages at least a sack per game over the remainder of the season. He was everywhere against the Steelers, my count was four quarterback hurries, two tackles for a loss and a sack.
  • Really hard to fathom the Steelers are 4-5. Thought they were among the elite, a top-five team entering the season. They can make a run, but this is surprising, much like the NFC East being the lone division to have every team with a winning record through Week 10.

Check out Jeff Sullivan's column each week in *Dallas Cowboys Star Magazine. Find out more at You can also follow Jeff on Twitter, @SullyBaldHead, or email him at*

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