Hey, Drew Pearson, what do you think of No. 88 now?
Two weeks ago, Pearson questioned Dez Bryant’s courage and character after the Cowboys lost to the New York Jets. Bryant missed last week’s game with a leg injury, but returned to the lineup, still gimpy, for the Monday Night Football game against the Redskins.
And his 4th quarter catch on 3rd and 21 saved the game.
What’s that I hear? Oh, it’s silence…from Pearson.
My buddy Jimbo from Mount Vernon says Dez Shmez, the real hero of the game was kicker Dan Bailey. The kid — at 23, he’s the NFL’s youngest kicker — shanked his first field goal attempt in Week 2. Shanked a chip shot. Embarrassing. But he kicked a clutch field goal to tie the game and then kicked the winning field goal in overtime. And last night he went six for six and accounted for all of the Cowboys points, including his clutch last-minute field goal to win the game. Jimbo even liked Bailey’s kickoffs — they fell short of the end zone but Redskin returners rarely netted 20 yards.
For my money, the biggest hero was quarterback Tony Romo. What he did last night was more impressive than his game against San Francisco in Week 2 — and I was ready to enshrine him in the Ring of Honor after that game. Recall that he came back in the second half with broken ribs and a punctured lung, rallied the team to a come-from-behind victory, beat the 49ers, and saved the season. Romo silenced his critics, the ones calling him Choker.
But, last night…wow. Romo started the game with broken ribs. He didn’t have his starting receivers. His third stringers don’t know a curl route from a statue of liberty play. Worst of all, he had to take snaps from a center who’d apparently attended an AC/DC concert prior to the game and temporarily lost his hearing, which made him snap the ball at the oddest times.
Romo had nothing left to prove after last week. He could have lost last night’s game and still been considered a hero just for playing through pain and performing well. But he rallied a depleted team to victory again.
Seeing him yelling at his players and barking orders reminded me of Troy Aikman. That’s a good thing.
As for the future, our first round draft pick offensive lineman Tyron Smith is a badass. Bailey might be the youngest kicker in the league, but Smith is the youngest player of all. He’s 20. The last time the Cowboys won the Super Bowl, Smith was in kindergarten. Think about it, babies born after the Cowboys last Super Bowl victory are now driving cars. Now we’ve got Bailey, Bryant, Smith, and other youngsters blossoming before our eyes.
Super Bowl here we come.