Watching the championship games this past weekend was painful. Even though the Cowboys were manhandled by the Vikings it was tough to watch the Saints advance to the Super Bowl when only a month ago the Cowboys beat them on the same field. Both the AFC and NFC championships brought a lot of thoughts to my mind about the Cowboys.
1. Peyton Manning and the Colts made great in-game adjustments after having trouble early in the game. I know Peyton may be the best quarterback of all time but it was amazing to see the Colts adjust during the game and then proceed to dominate the best defense in the NFL. It really made me wonder why Jason Garrett and Tony Romo can't seem to make the same adjustments in the middle of the game.
2. Brett Favre and the Vikings paid the price for running up the score and celebrating like they won the Super Bowl against the Cowboys. I have to say I enjoyed watching Brett Favre get pummeled after what he did against the Cowboys. He may not have called the plays that resulted in touchdown passes late in the game against Dallas but he sure acted like it was the greatest moment in his career. He and Brad Childress got what they deserved. Some of the calls in overtime that went against the Vikings were highly questionable but I felt like it was payback for their bad sportsmanship against Dallas.
3. The Saints ran a lot of the plays against the Vikings that I expected Jason Garrett to run when the Vikings were generating a great pass rush. Screens and quick passes will beat a team overcommitting to rushing the passer, but Jason Garrett didn't call many of those plays when Romo was getting eaten alive by the pass rush.
4. The Vikings are a different team at home. Their pass rush was a lot less effective when they didn't have the advantage at the snap from the crowd noise. I really wonder if things would have been different if the Cowboys had been playing them at home.
5. Kickers are terrible this season. I don't know what is going on this year but the majority of the playoff teams are having trouble making field goals. I'm concerned that there will be a lot of teams in the market for a new kicker and not a lot of good kickers available. The Cowboys are aggressively pursuing kickers now and that is probably a smart move.
6. The Brett Favre interception at the end of the Vikings game scared me. He and Romo play a similar game and when the moment got big Favre reverted to his instincts. I hope were aren't watching a similar play from Romo in a big game in the future. Romo can play smarter football throughout the regular season but I hope he forms a habit that will continue when the moment gets big and he has to be smart.