Big D was exactly that. They played awesome defense thwarting the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive arsenal, 34-14, at the Palace that Jerry built. Jerry Jones was a happy guy after the game, hugging players, shaking hands; he was all smiles. And why not. It was Dallas's first playoff win since 1996 and took some pressure off Coach Wade Phillips, a good man, who has hung tough through all the criticism. He's a low key guy, but a defensive guru. His defense believes his word is gospel and they played textbook defense last night.
I also liked the game that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett called. He really mixed the run and the pass well and kept the Eagles defense off balance.
Great running game and defense, and a solid qb is a tough combo to beat on any Sunday, or Sat. Night as was the case. This team will be on a high entering it's divisional playoff game at Minnesota next week. Should be a classic.
The ground game was superb. Felix Jones, running behind a line that is playing with a ton of confidence, ran for 148 yards on 16 carries. He had a beautiful 73-yarder for a td. This guy is awesome in the open field. Tashard Choice, who was coming off a mild concussion, ran for 42 tough yards on 14 carries. Marion Barber didn't play much with an injured left knee. With all three of those guys playing, Dallas is nearly unstoppable on the ground.
Tony Romo was excellent, completing 23-of-35 passes for 244 yards and two tds, one to John Phillips and another to Miles Austin.
But the defense was the story of the night. They caused four turnovers. Donovan McNabb was 19-for-37 for 230 yards and one td. Mike Jenkins had a beautiful int of a McNabb pass at the end of the game. The defensive backfield of Jenkins, Terence Newman, Orlando Scandrick and Gerald Sensabaugh were outstanding, covering up the Philly wrs, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, all night. Maclin had one big play, a 76-yard td pass from Michael Vick, but that was about it. The secondary knocked passes down and swarmed the Eagles' receiving corps.
And the front seven was outstanding. DeMarcus Ware, from Troy University, played like DeMarcus Ware. He had a huge sack, where, not only did he take McNabb down, but he had a beautiful strip that caused a fumble that Bobby Carpenter recovered. One of his two fumble recoveries. This Dallas defense is something else. This is like the Doomsday defense of old with Ed "Too Tall" Jones and Harvey Martin.
Great effort by the Cowboys. This sets up a huge matchup between Dallas and Minnesota next week at the Metrodome. Excited about that one.