Monday, September 21, 2009
How to Silence 105,000 Cowboys Fans
Big stadium, big crowd, big celebrities, big score board, and a HUGE game for both NFC East teams. Jerry Jones was hoping that all of the hoopla he arranged for the opening of Dallas' $1,150,000,000 stadium would help his Cowboys pull out a win in both the stadium's grand opening and Dallas' season home opener against their long-time rivals, the New York Giants. But, the silence of 105,000 Cowboys fans, the largest crowd in NFL history, was proof enough that Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys just couldn't get it done.
Maybe it was the pressure that goes along with a stadium that was being compared to the Parthenon and the Roman Colisuem during the pre-game show. Maybe it was the heat and humidity contributing to the pressure and leading to players on both teams getting IV's during half-time. Maybe it was the turnovers, three interceptions by Tony Romo and a fumble that led to 24 points on the board for New York. Whatever it was, it became clear that no matter how much money Jerry Jones spent on his new stadium, he couldn't buy himself a team that could get it done last night.
Dallas had their opportunities. The Dallas defense shut down New York's running game in the first half and limited their production in the second for under 100 rushing yards total and they held New York in the red zone to 3 field goal's that kept Dallas in a game that could have been a blow-out. They just couldn't take advantage of these opportunities and when you leave time on the clock in the 4th quarter for Eli Manning to make something happen, he gets it done.
There are only 2 QB's that have more 4th quarter comebacks than Eli since 2005, Big Ben and his older brother Peyton, Eli has twelve. Something tells me he will get a few more this season. For all the talk about the Giants receiving core, and their reliance on their running game, the G-men had two receivers, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, that each caught passes for over 100 yards a piece. Eli never turned the ball over. Not to mention the Giants offensive line that gave Eli the time he needed to throw the ball down the field succussfully. Last season, Eli was sacked four times in each game by Dallas' defense led by DeMarcus Ware. Yesterday, Eli was never touched.
My friend refers to Eli Manning as EZ-E because he seems to become zen-like as the pressure builds. Hopefully, discussions in which people say they would rather have Tony Romo as their quarterback will end and the people who did say this out loud will hang their heads in shame the way Romo did on the bench in the 4th quarter during Eli's comeback. This victory, and Eli's performance, should silence his critics the same way it did all those record breaking Cowboys fans. I hope they enjoy the spectacle because it looks like they won't enjoy the way this season will end.