The news about Sean Lee this week was terrible. But I think there has been a very big over-reaction taking play since we all found out that Lee is out for the season with a toe injury. The season isn't over. The Cowboys can still win without Sean Lee.
I don't want to minimize what Sean Lee meant to the defense. He has become the best player on the defense. Yes, better than Demarcus Ware. But every team in the league deals with injuries. The good ones find a way to win despite injuries. Of course, this implies that the Cowboys are a good team. I'm not sure I'm ready to say that yet.
But I think an injury like the one to Sean Lee has a way of unifying a team. The defense can't sit around waiting for Sean Lee to make a play anymore. The offense can't expect the defense to be as dominant as they have been at times this year. Basically, this injury forces every player on the team to step up their game.
I think we are all about to find out what Bruce Carter is made of. So far he has been operating in the background as Sean Lee dominated the game and the headlines. But Bruce Carter is another version of Sean Lee. He was predicted to be a sure-fire first round player before a knee injury knocked him out of the first round. He is two years removed from his torn ACL. Which means he should be rounding back into top form. I think he is about to show us how good he is.
I think the offense is finally rounding into form. Yes they are still missing DeMarco Murray. And Phil Costa is out for at least 4 weeks with a dislocated and severely sprained ankle. But it seems like the pass protection problems from early in the season have been corrected. And the run blocking has at least improved to the point that you can expect positive yardage on the majority of the running plays. This week will be a big test for the pass protection now that the Giants are rolling. I think they will hold up enough to give Romo the time he needs to make some big plays.
The wide receivers have all been hot and cold all season long. The only constantly good performer has been Miles Austin. But you can definitely tell that Jason Witten is finally operating at 100% again as he has returned to his pro bowl form after an atrocious start to the season. Dez Bryant still isn't making the big time plays in the clutch moments but he definitely has a much better feel for the offense now than at any point in his career. My big worry is Kevin Ogletree. I really hope that Jason Garrett is planning to give some of the other receivers some of Ogletree's plays this week because I am tired of seeing passes hit right between the 8 and the 5 on Ogletree's jersey and fall to the ground.
I know that logic says that the Giants should win this game. But the Cowboys are entering the point in the season where they usually start rolling before their December swoon. And the Giants have been barking all week long and seem surprisingly overconfident heading into this game. I am actually very happy to see the Giants come into the game on such a roll because I think they are getting a little complacent.
We are going to see a great game out of Tony Romo. I think he will throw for over 300 yards and at least 3 TD's. And the defense will do just enough to allow the Cowboys to win a high scoring game. Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, with help from Ratliff supplying pressure up the middle, will force Eli Manning to turn the ball over a couple of times. I pick the Cowboys win the game 30-24. I know it sounds crazy but I really believe the Sean Lee injury is going to make everyone pick up their individual play which will result in a better team performance.