Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday. It is a day filled with good company, good food and good football. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted his team to treat the Thanksgiving Day game like it was the Super Bowl. But the Cowboys started the game like it was preseason. The Cowboys almost spoiled my Thanksgiving Day, but they narrowly escaped with a 20-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Here are my thoughts on the game.
After a delicious Thanksgiving Day meal, I was all set to watch the Cowboys play the Dolphins. A victory would top off my meal better than homemade pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the Cowboys' rough start had me reaching for the Pepto-Bismol. Two interceptions by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo told me that this was not going to be easy. The Cowboys were lucky to be trailing 3-0 after one quarter. My appetite was gone.
Big Receiver, Big Problems
Big receivers pose big problems for the Cowboys' defense. In Week 4, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson victimized the Cowboys with his height. On Thanksgiving Day, Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall used his size to dominate the secondary. Marshall caught one touchdown with Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman draped helplessly on his back. The Cowboys will need a consistent pass rush, or teams will expose their secondary. We saw the Dolphins do it. Imagine what a team like the Green Bay Packers will do.
The Cowboys found a true stud in rookie running back DeMarco Murray. He was a workhorse on Thursday, rushing for 87 yards on 22 carries. He also caught four passes for 41 yards. Murray once again gave the Cowboys a balanced offensive attack. He may not flashy, but he gets the job done
Total Team Effort
You have to like the way the Cowboys won this game. With less than five minutes left, the Dolphins looked to run out the clock. But the Cowboys' defense forced a three-and-out, and gave the offense a chance. Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant returned the punt 20 yards to the Cowboys' 36-yard line. Two pass plays to tight end Jason Witten and runs by Murray put the Cowboys in position for a game-winning 28-yard field goal. It was good, and the Cowboys come-from-behind win was complete.
Character Building Wins
The past two games have been character building wins for the Cowboys. They have won with effort, execution and clutch performances. Overconfidence is not a problem for the Cowboys. They know they have to get better. But getting wins in the process is a boost.
The Thanksgiving Day victory over the Miami Dolphins was a very satisfying win on my favorite holiday of the year. The Cowboys are now 7-4. They have more than a week to prepare for their next game in Arizona. But first things first, it is time for that pumpkin pie… with whipped cream.
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Edwin Torres has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since the days of Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach. He enjoyed watching the Dallas teams of the 90s dominate opponents on both sides of the ball. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.