There is that darn word again, huh, team, and even head coach Wade Phillips, who always has been into this team concept, emphasized how what took place Sunday afternoon "helps team atmosphere when guys feel like they are important to the team."
Let me count how many guys felt important on Sunday, while keeping in mind all 45 guys active on game day actually participated in the game:
The Cowboys scored five touchdowns against Seattle, and that list reads: Sam Hurd, Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton.
Then this: Of the 21 passes Tony Romo completed for 256 yards, 10 guys caught at least one pass, and that includes the first receptions of their NFL careers for rookie tight end John Phillips and rookie wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. That includes Hurd's first touchdown reception since the 2007 season opener.
When it came to running the ball, six guys touched the ball to comprise 113 yards rushing, the Cowboys' third straight 100-yard rushing performance and sixth in seven games. Get this, not since 1982 had the Cowboys coupled 10 guys catching at least one pass and six guys with at least one carry.
When it came to those three sacks, there was one each for Keith Brooking, DeMarcus Ware (fifth in three games) and Bobby Carpenter, who recorded his first sack since totaling 1½ on Dec. 16, 2006, of his rookie year, 42 games ago for the Cowboys.
And when it came to special teams tackles, check this out, four guys totaled nine tackles - each with at least two - and even Buehler got him a tackle on one of the few kickoffs that did not go for a touchback.
"Everybody is making big plays, everybody wants to make that big play," linebacker Bradie James said.
And no one, I mean no one is begrudging anyone else's success, and you know darn well what I mean. Didn't hear one guy ask if he thought he was not "targeted" enough times in the game or if Garrett failed to get him "involved" enough early in the game.
If you remember, the newcomer, Keith Brooking, warned you about this team stuff, saying he was impressed by how everyone on only his second team in 12 NFL seasons pulled for each other, how they were unselfish, but cautioned to check back after a few things went bad, and assured there would be some bumps in the road. There always are in a 16-game NFL season. (See the New York Giants.)
Well . . . .
There was a bump in the home opener, those four turnovers helping the Giants to 33 points and the win. There was the failure to get the ball into end zone on consecutive plays from the two-yard line at Denver in loss No. 2. There was needing overtime just to defeat the then winless Kansas City Chiefs.
Yet here the Cowboys are, 5-2, tied for first in the NFC East.
And if you need more proof of what is taking place, listen a little more to Crayton. He sees it. He sees how happy all the guys are on the punt return team after he returned two punts for touchdowns these past two games. Guys suddenly want to block a little harder, run a little fast.
Crayton might score, but as he says, "I tell them to meet me in the end zone."
And once again he got several key blocks on Sunday's return.
There was Ogletree, Alan Ball, Pat Watkins and a combo block from Deon Anderson and Sam Hurd, or as Crayton said, "They told me Kevin and Sam each got one. But before it's over with, everyone will tell me they got one."
And we're talking about bragging over a darn block.
To amplify all this, when Crayton came off the field with the ball returned for his second career punt-return touchdown in as many weeks, he tried giving the memento ball to Joe DeCamillis. You know, the Cowboys special teams coach who suffered the broken vertebrae in the practice facility collapse yet never missed a coaching beat following surgery to repair what could very well have been a paralyzing injury.
See, Joe's neck is stiff as a board, and he has not regained enough feeling in his right hand to shake hands. Still. We fist bump. And if you see him with his right fist under his chin, he's not contemplating. He's supporting his head since the neck and back just don't do enough on their own to get him through