Time For Cowboys To Start Scoring Big

No more of this 13.7 points a game, as they averaged during Romo's three-game absence. Really by the grace of a higher being, they beat Tampa Bay, 13-9, to win one of those three.

The Cowboys were averaging 29.2 points after six games, and while you say they still were only 4-2, I say they lost one by two points and one in overtime when special teams gave up 13 points, including the game-winning touchdown after Romo broke his finger.

And while this isn't all on Romo's shoulders, or as offensive line coach Hudson Houck says, "We all got to play better," certainly a noticeable amount is.

"We just got to make plays," Houck said, knowing offense is this team's calling card.

Absolutely, because that's who the Cowboys are these days. And don't bore me with this grind-it-out, NFC East-style baloney. The Cowboys' best defense is their offense scoring points. And that will never be truer than come Sunday against this Washington team.

Yeah, yeah, the Redskins are 6-3 and second in the NFC East. Yeah, they beat the Cowboys the first time around, 26-24. But they still are offensively challenged, no?

The Redskins average 19 points a game. Their highest outputs of the season are the 26 scored against the Cowboys - 12 of those on four field goals - and the 29 against the Saints, who give up 25 points a game. Yep, they have six wins, but get this, their largest margin of victory this season is eight points - blasting those big, bad Detroit Lions, yep, their only win by more than a touchdown.

Hey, hand it to the Redskins. They have played efficiently, and rookie head coach Jim Zorn has figured out a way for this team to manage an inexperienced quarterback, yet score just enough points to win.

But check this out: While the Redskins convert third downs at an OK 36.4-percent rate, they are but 26.6 percent when the down-and-distance is third-and-five or more. Get the picture?

Plus, they only have three plays of more than 31 yards this year, all catches by none other than Santana Moss (67, 53, 50), that 53-yarder the first time around against the Cowboys. The Cowboys, well they have 13, but only two in the past three games.

So here's the deal: The Cowboys must make the Redskins play out of character. They must make them chase the lead, not sit there playing this cozy offensive style, throwing quickly underneath, relying on the run and then about five times a game going deep - the safest pass there is to throw in the NFL. Reading a recent story about the Skins, former NFL quarterback turned TV analyst Ron Jaworski said heading into the Pittsburgh game that Washington had thrown 76 percent of their passes no more than 10 yards down the field.

The Redskins, sure enough, want to slow dance come Sunday. The Cowboys need to boogie, get out to a quick lead and force Campbell out of his cozy game of pitch-and-catch. Defense is good, but offense for the Cowboys is a necessity - their best defense.

To be that, the Cowboys offensive line must be brutally physical. Pansies stay home. Pass protection must be at a premium. Marion Barber must understand four yards a carry is far better than dancing around looking for more and only getting two. The Cowboys receivers must be physical, too, none of this moaning about being jammed at the line of scrimmage with a safety hovering over the top. Stuff that jam right down their throats and catch the slant or back-shoulder fade under the safety. No whining. And if Terrell Owens is all that, then get him the ball.

Romo said while sitting back watching over the past month he could see some things needed to be rectified, and points out the offensive staff has figured a few things out as well to improve the offensive output, aside we assume from getting him back on the field.

Like maybe finding more ways to get Owens the ball?

"You possibly can say that," Romo said.

OK, let me say that then.

So here we are, nine games down, seven to go, but all the hard work in the off-season, all the personnel moves, all those two-a-days during training camp, and this 2008 season might be coming down to

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising