The Cowboys players all had one thing in common following their first win since franchise quarterback, Tony Romo, went down week two with a broken collar-bone vs the Giants. Appreciation.
The Cowboys players all had an air of new-found confidence following a 24-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on the road in in-climate weather. Tony Romo showed a little rust, but made up for it with his unique ability to rally his troops, make the right calls at the line and come through in the clutch.
The return of Tony Romo had a monumental impact on not only the offensive Cowboys players, but the defense as well. By sustaining long drives, which took as much as over 8 minutes off of the clock, they were fresh late in the game and able to play at a high level in the 4th quarter when it counted the most, and they held the Miami Dolphins to zero points; which sealed the long-awaited victory.
The Cowboys players all had similar things to say after the victory, and one couldn’t help but notice a glimmer in their eyes that showed something we haven’t seen since Tony Romo went down: HOPE.
Jason Witten: “We’re excited to have him back, he’s the leader of our team, he get’s us in to great looks, he’s a competitor, he makes a lot of plays for us, so,, I thought you saw him do that today at his best.”
“He’s the king of improvising, makes some great plays, it was great to have him out there.”
Jason Witten was held to only two catches in the game, and as Cas predicted in our pregame predictions article, Dan Campbell had a good idea of how to defend him and did an admirable job of it.
Darren McFadden: “It’s a great feeling having him out there, he’s a spark to our offense.”
McFadden had a stellar performance against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL; amassing 129 yards on 29 carries (4.4 ypc) and 3 receptions for an additional 20 yards. This speaks volumes to the effect Tony Romo has on opposing defensive coordinators in the way they play against the Cowboys offense.
In the previous games they loaded the box in an effort to take away the runÂ and dared Weeden or Cassel to beat them with their arm. It only took Romo burning them a couple of times for them to move away from that strategy and that opened up the run allowing the offense to fire on all cylinders.
Terrance Williams: “You can’t describe it you know, he’s just one of those guys. He’ll line us up on the ball and just call a play: it’s a lot better than just breaking the huddle and trying to see what’s going on and we just do the rest from there.”
Williams has to be among the most appreciative Cowboys players. He had his best game since the last time Romo was at the helm in week two when he hauled in 4 receptions for 84 yards (21.0 YPA) and a TD. On Sunday he had a similar performance hauling in 4 catches for 79 yards (19.8 YPA) and a TD. Williams hadn’t caught a TD pass since week 4 against the Saints.
Dez Bryant: “Just him being back gives everybody that much more juice, ya know. Umm I’m not tryin to put any pressure on Tony, it’s just showin how much he really means. It’s nothing against Brandon, it’s nothing against Matt, Ya know, um, Tony’s outstanding. He makes things happen. That’s exactly what he did today.”
“They gave a lot of different looks. They would either double me and Witt. or Bease and Witt and Tony would do what he always do, and catch them in it.”
Dez Bryant was not only battling through knee and ankle injuries entering Sundays match-up, but was still trying to get back in to the swing of things following his extended absence due to a broken foot. He was obviously one of the most inspired amongst the Cowboys players by Romo’s return.
“I know that relationship me and him have both on and off the field. It gave me that extra juice to wanna get back out there. I’m not gonna lie. Just seein him out there, I was like, I gotta get right, I just gotta get right.”
When Bryant was asked how he felt about his TD catch vs the Dolphins setting the all-time franchise record for TD receptions between a QB and a WR at 50, his response was not only intriguing, but pretty much anticipated by a player who was mentored both on and off the field by Tony Romo.
“When I got to Dallas, I was extremely star-struck with Romo and ya know um, it’s a great accomplishment ya know but, I’m in this moment right now and I will worry about that after the season.”
There are no guarantees that the Dallas Cowboys are going to make the playoffs this year, but if there is one thing we can gather from what the Cowboys players had to say: it’s that they “BELIEVE” they can do it having Tony Romo back at the helm. Belief brings hope. The first step in accomplishing any goal, no matter how much adversity stands in the way of it; is BELIEVING you can accomplish it.Â That Cowboys faithful, gives we the fans some hope.