Sunday against the Rams there was was no need for a comeback. There was no huge lead that disappeared. It was just 60 minutes of solid football from the Cowboys as the offense was able to take control from the start and the defense continued to impress as they shut down the Rams offense and created turnovers. The result was a 34-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams. True, the Rams are one of the worst teams in the NFL right now, but at the same time in order for a team to get on a roll it has to start somewhere.
“You take each of them individually,” Jason Garrett said. “You play 16 games and count them up at the end. What we’re trying to do is get better every week and take advantage of our opportunity on Sunday.”
That roll started with rookie DeMarco Murray who took center stage as he rushed for a Cowboys record 253 yards on 25 carries and scored once. The touchdown came early in the first quarter when Murray ran through a huge hole from his offensive line and found himself in the Rams secondary and scored from 91 yards out. Murray’s 253 yards rushing broke Emmitt Smith’s single game record of 237 yards against the Eagles in 1993. It also broke Tony Dorsett’s rookie single game record of 206 yards also against the Eagles. It was the longest run for the Cowboys since Tony Dorsett ran 99 yards against the Vikings in 1982. Phillip Tanner added 34 yards of his own on six carries and scored his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“I never thought in a million years that I’d ever have a day like this,” Murray said. “This is what I’ve been working hard for since my Pop Warner days.”
The Cowboys will most likely be without Felix Jones again this week. That means DeMarco Murray will once again be able to show that the Rams game was not a fluke and that he is the man for the job. They say everything happens for a reason and the Cowboys might have seen their future on Sunday with DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner running the ball.
Even Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett gave their congratulations to DeMarco Murray through their Twitter accounts.
“D.Murray congratulations on your performance today for the Cowboys,” said Dorsett.
“In order to be the best, you must be consistent for a long time. Hopefully this is the start of things to come.” said Smith.
As far as the passing game, Tony Romo only passed for 166 yards, but when the running game is as strong as it was against the Rams the passing game can take a backseat. Romo threw two touchdown passes as he found Jason Witten in the second quarter from one yard out and then Dez Bryant late in the fourth quarter from 20 yards out.
“It was nice to play a game like this,” said quarterback Tony Romo, who threw for just 166 yards. “We haven’t played in a game like that in a while where I felt like the game was decided toward the end. We did a great job in the run game. The defense played a great game. It just all came together.”
The Cowboys defense continued to impress as they held the Rams offense to just 265 yards. That includes the 40 yard run by Steven Jackson in the second quarter on their only touchdown drive. The defense also collected two turnovers as Abe Elam forced and recovered a fumble and Mike Jenkins intercepted his first pass of the season. The offense was then able to convert those two turnovers into 10 points.
“I thought we did well other than that one run,” Sean Lee said, referring to Jackson’s 40-yard scamper that led to their only touchdown. “We did a good job after that. We won the game, which is the most important. As a defense, we have to stop the run and we did that today.”
Rookie kicker Dan Bailey added two field goals in the game. One from 51 yards, which is a career long for him. Bailey has now made 16 straight field goals for the Cowboys and is 17 of 18 for the season.
“It feels good to hit a long one like that,” Bailey said. “They all count the same, of course, but that was a good kick. Hopefully they have more confidence in me now. But I know I just have to keep it going and keep focusing on each kick at a time.
The Cowboys are now 3-3 and sitting one game behind the division leading Giants. The victory over the Rams could be just what the doctor ordered and will hopefully send them on a run as the season continues on. Next up is an important visit to Philadelphia to take on the 2-4 Eagles who will be looking to save their season, but it could also be an opportunity for the Cowboys to hand their division rival a knockout punch.
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