Wade Phillips has received plenty of venom in Off Asides because his ability to motivate players is largely suspect. However, his decision to knock Patrick Crayton down the depth chart was a great move. Crayton has been the Choke King for years and deserved his demotion. It apparently lit a fire in him because he caught a touchdown pass and ran a punt back for a TD yesterday.
Way to go Crayton, and way to go Phillips!
Back in August, we were trying to figure out what to call the tight end tandem of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. “Shock and Awe,” “Shake and Bake,” and “Smash and Dash” were suggested tags to describe the dynamic duo that was expected to amp up the Dallas offense.
The Cowboys offense has been damn good this season, but no thanks to MartyB, who hadn’t done much of anything until he caught a few short passes yesterday. Still, the name “Shock and Yawn” is more apropos for the Witten and Bennett duo so far.
Roy Williams better watch out or he’s going to be the team’s fourth receiver before long. Austin has already surpassed him, Crayton got his game legs under him, and Babe Laufenberg has appointed WR Kevin Ogletree a star in waiting. Meanwhile, Williams continues to underachieve.
The beginning of Sunday’s game between the Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons was a nail biter. I called Jimbo, my football fanatic friend from East Texas, to see if his wife had to call in paramedics to give him CPR.
“The first ten minutes of the game were so discouraging that at one point I decided I wanted them to get blown out so Jerry Jones would fire Wade Phillips,” Jimbo said. “Something happened though and the defense sparked the whole team. The pass rush made a good QB in Matt Ryan look like the second year player he is.”
By game’s end, Big Jimbo was loving life, back in the Tony Romo fan club, and feeling good about the future:
“Romo was much more accurate and he showed that playmaking fire that made me a believer to begin with and that I haven’t seen this season much at all. The offense is so much better with Felix Jones in the lineup. The guy is simply special. Miles Austin continues to impress me with his running after the catch. He is obviously a strong dude. And special teams were great all around. It looks like Crayton may play better with something to prove.”
Of course, a worrier like Big Jimbo isn’t going to sleep soundly just yet. The negatives he took away from the game included “any sideline shot of Phillips during the telecast. He looked particularly baffled while holding the red challenge flag on the Romo fumble (okay, I throw it where?)”
Mike Jenkins made a statement that he is one bad-ass dude in the secondary, and Terence Newman continues to flounder. Newman used to be our best secondary player, but he’s looking more and more average each week. And yesterday he caught a punt and ran 11 yards the wrong way.
Seeing Miles Austin streak down the field wearing No. 19 brought back memories of another No. 19 for the Cowboys – Lance Rentzel. Of course, the phrases “out pattern,” “touch and go,” and “deep post” have different meanings for Rentzel.
Game balls: Austin on offense, Jenkins on defense, and kickoff specialist David Buehler for putting every kick into the end zone this week.
Bench the Bum Award: Crayton (if benching him makes him play this good, Wade should bench him again).