The game started for the Cowboys about as well as you could hope. The Cowboys drove right down the field on a 13 play, 98 yard drive for a touchdown to take the lead 7-0 on another great Dez Bryant catch. But then the offense went to sleep. While that was happening the Lions kept grinding out first downs and eventually took the lead while the offense sputtered and handed them the ball in scoring range right before the half. And then the offense even scored for the Lions when Leonard Davis held in the end zone resulting in a safety early in the second half.
But then Bryan McCann changed the game. The Lions were forced to punt on their next possession. Dez Bryant was the returner but the punter nailed a great punt that bounced inside the 5 and was batted away from the end zone by a Lions player. McCann smartly scooped up the ball and began racing up field. The Lions seemed stunned as he raced down the sideline and scored giving the Cowboys a 14-12 lead.
From that point on it was a new Cowboys team. The Cowboys got the ball back on a fumble recovery after the kickoff and quickly scored again. Although the Lions did score again to pull within 21-19, the Cowboys dominated the rest of the game to win 35-19. It was an amazing turnaround.
And I give all the credit to McCann and his blockers on the punt return. Jon Kitna played horribly for about 2 quarters after the great opening drive. Even his screen passes were off target. The offensive line was horrible during the same stretch of the game. The Cowboys were back to getting tackled for a loss on first down running plays.
But after the return by McCann the offense was incredible. The line started blocking much better and Kitna started finding open receivers down the field. When the line blocks the Cowboys offense is tough to stop even without Romo at quarterback. There are simply too many weapons to defend.
The defensive line did a much better job today getting pressure up the middle. The Cowboys got pressure on Shaun Hill consistently and forced several errant throws in addition to their three sacks. And even though Calvin Johnson did score a touchdown, most of his receptions were for short gains. The defense played much better than last week after they allowed nearly 500 yards of offense against the Giants.
So now the talk will start to center around whether the Cowboys can run the table to make it to 9-7. Well, let's see what happens against the Saints and Colts in the next two games before we get carried away. There is certainly momentum building and Jason Garrett has obviously re-energized the the team. I'm just going to enjoy the ride after the awful first half of the season.
It has become clear to me that Jason Garrett is the man for the job at head coach. I can't believe this is the same team who lost 45-7 against the Packers just a few weeks ago. They are battling back from adversity and making big plays in key situations. I never thought a head coach could make such a difference but clearly the coaching change has sparked the Cowboys. Maybe the national media will finally wake up this week and realize the head coaching job is Jason Garrett's to lose.