Friday, October 3, 2008

Since Romo Took over

I know it seems like more starts in some ways and in other ways maybe not, but the Cowboys over Romo's 29 regular season starts have something that I think many in CowboyNation (myself included) have overlooked. The Cowboys have been a better road team than a home team. 8-6 at home. 13-2 on the road. Both losses were at Washington. In 2006, in only his second start, the Cowboys gave away a game like a gift to the Redskins who were struggling that year. Not that it was Romo's fault. The other road defeat came in last year's regular season finale, when the Cowboys were 13-2, having clinched the home field advantage in the NFC, and resting many key starters. Romo played for about half the game and it was the only road setback for the Cowboys for the year. What really contributes to the subpar home record in Romo's tenure was the loss of their final three home games in 2006, including that embarrassing loss to the hapless Detroit Lions. Now the Cowboys DID go 6-2 last year at home. One was a loss to New England (not an upset) The other home loss was a huge upset to Philadelphia. The Cowboys had hammered the Eagles in Philly 38-17 just month earlier.

And now they're 1-1 at home this year after outlasting the Eagles in week 2 and the 26-24 setback to the Redskins this past sunday. For whatever reason, in the two home games, the Cowboys, much like other times at home the past two years, have shown up basically taking it for granted that they're going to win, not only because they are better than the opponent, but because they're at home. That has to change.

I mean on the road, the Cowboys always seem to come out with something to prove right away. They come out as though they can't wait to get at the other team. They've been much more poised on the road, much more focused. Two comfortable wins on the road, and a struggle for one win at home over Philly, and the dissappointing setback last Sunday, when they had been 11 point favorites. They Cowboys are favored at home by 17 this Sunday against Cincinnati. Dallas needs to come out and assert themselves early on and they need to come out pissed about the one that they let get away last week. And not come out flat in the beginning and wait for the other team to make a mistake. And that brings up another thing. THe Cowboys are minus 4 in the turnover category and only have a couple of fumble recoveries. Eventually the turnovers will come for the Cowboys defense. But in the meantime, the offense needs to get back to the run-pass balance that they wound up not having against Washington, and not have any more turnovers. They ARE averaging 30 pts/game so far but imagine how much it would be with no turnovers and when the defense finally starts making the opponents turn it over more. And stops on third down need to be improved. The Redskins had the ball for a ridiculous 39 minutes and some change.

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