The Cowboys rebounded from a tough loss against the Giants and beat the Carolina Panthers 21-7 on Monday night in front of another packed house in their new stadium.
Tony Romo rebounded from a lackluster performance last week when he threw three interceptions, and completed 22 of 33 passes for 255 yards, but most importantly he had no turnovers.
With Marion Barber out with an injury, Felix Jones started and finished with 94 yards on just eight carries. However, Jones would later come out of the game when he suffered a left knee strain on a 40-yard run in the third quarter. The Cowboys turned to Tashard Choice, who stepped in and pounded the ball on the ground finishing with 82 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown in the third quarter that put the Cowboys ahead 10-7. Choice also scored on a two-point conversion run.
Give plenty of credit to the defense who finally flexed their muscle and sacked Jake Delhomme three times, two of those coming from rookie Victor Butler who showed off his pass rushing skills, and the other came from nose tackle Jay Ratliff who delivered another spectacular performance.
Dallas held Carolina to just 271 yards and held down the fort until the offense finally took the lead and held it. They only allowed 73 rushing yards. It was great to see them bounce back after they coughed up 430 yards to the Giants last week.
The highlight for the defense was when Terence Newman returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game and seal the victory.
Special teams have really stepped up their performance of late, and they continue to show some occasional flashes of brilliance.
I’m not going to get too crazy over this win…
Let’s face it – this was the Carolina Panthers who are now 0-3. We all know that Romo and company can beat bad teams like this. The problem for Tony Romo is overcoming the stigma that he is not a big game quarterback. He had a chance to debunk that growing concern last week, but instead he only strengthened his critic’s argument. Romo must somehow figure out how to keep from cracking under the pressure of a big game, especially against a division rival like the Giants or Eagles. Until we can beat those teams consistently, it’s going to be just another up and down season that could keep us out of the playoffs again.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys needed to deliver a win for the new stadium, and that’s exactly what they did. With the 21-7 victory, the Cowboys have now beaten the Panthers for the eighth consecutive time and haven’t lost to them since 1997. I applaud them for their strong effort and look forward to an even stronger effort next week against the very tough Denver Broncos who are undefeated at 3-0.
Let’s Go Cowboys!