General Manager Jerry Jones gets some credit for yesterday’s last-second 20-19 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
That’s right, you legion of JJ haters, I said it. The man gets some credit.
But first, congratulations to the team for its thrilling road win in December with playoff hopes hanging in the balance. In the past, that’s a recipe for Big D (Big Disaster).
With three minutes left in yesterday’s game, the Bengals led by two points and had the ball. All they needed to do was make an extended drive against a wounded Dallas defense and kill the clock.
But linebacker Anthony Spencer blasted through the Cincy O-line for a crucial sack on third down.
The Bengals punted, and quarterback Tony Romo faced a long field with the game on the line.
Sure enough, he choked. He threw a pass directly at a Bengals cornerback.
End of game, end of playoff dreams, end of Romo’s career in Dallas.
But wait. The cornerback’s name was Terence Newman. And in another stroke of good fortune, the ball hit him in the hands.
Newman dropped it, the Cowboys kept the ball, and Romo led the team downfield for the winning field goal as the final second ticked off the scoreboard clock.
Newman has played well for most of his career, but he was an air-grabbing confusatron last season with the Cowboys. Jones has a tendency to hang onto players too long, but he gambled in the off season, nabbed two new starting cornerbacks, and sent Newman packing.
And that’s why Newman was in Cincinnati, muffing an interception and giving fresh life to the Cowboys.
Meanwhile, the stars of the game included running back DeMarco Murray and wideout Dez Bryant — both recent draft picks under Jones’ watch. The Cowboys stole Bryant with the 24th pick in 2010, and really, really stole Murray in the third round of the 2011 draft.
Other outstanding players that Jones drafted in the past two years: Sean Lee (second round, 2010), Tyron Smith (first round, 2011), Bruce Carter (second round, 2011).