But the first game of the Jason Garrett era was a lights-out success at the New Meadowlands. The Cowboys looked like the dominant team most expected them to be all season in a 33-20 win over the Giants, a team many recognize as the best in the NFC.
"The players responded," owner Jerry Jones said. "I'm so proud they responded to the coaches, to the meetings and that's what our fans expect. It's a great feeling. This is a really tough place to play in their new stadium, this was our first game here so that was special as well. The last few weeks we have had have been a disappointment."
Garrett had some difficulty containing his excitement over the achievement. He grew up about 40 miles from the stadium and his father, Jim, was there watching the Cowboys dismantle the Giants. Garrett is 1-0 as Cowboys head coach, but that doesn't erase that the Cowboys, 1-7 when Garrett took over for Wade Phillips last week, are miles away from shouting distance in the NFC East.
"It was a good day for us for a lot of different reasons. One of the things that we emphasize to our players is come to work each and every day. Be great on Wednesday, be great on Thursday and Friday and that gives you a chance to be great on Sunday," Garrett said.
Wide receiver Miles Austin said the Cowboys took a hard-edge approach and got back down to business in practice this week. Garrett had the team in full pads — and said he likely will most Wednesdays — for his first ever practice as head coach.
The proof, Garrett can say, is in the pudding. The Cowboys had 427 total yards, the running game was effective and quarterback Jon Kitna sparked a big-play offense that didn't run into mistakes or commit a gaggle of penalties. The opposite had been the norm this season.
Not even late-game power outages, one which left the Meadowlands pitch black for a few minutes, could slow down Dallas' victory parade.
"We got together on Wednesday morning and said, 'Hey, it starts now. Let's have great days, let's be as good as we can be each and every day. Let's go about doing things the right way, everything we do, really every time we do it, and that will give it the chance.' I think our players understand that that's what we have to keep doing," Garrett said.
CowboysHQ Top Stories
Jerry (And Dez) With Cowboys UpdateCowboys owner Jerry Jones took time with our friends in the G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan to talk about Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, and "Typical" Terrance Williams. And then we talked…
CowboysHQYesterday at 11:29 AM
Cowboys Exclusive: Dez Bryant Gives AnswersStarcast Cowboys Exclusive - Dez Bryant Gives Answers To Fish ... Beyond The ClusterFest
CowboysHQThursday at 12:38 PM
Cowboys 100: Facts + Figures for 49ersThe Cowboys' showdown with the 49ers is right around the corner, so whet your appetite for football with our facts! Ever wondered what Garrett's record is without Romo and Dez?…
CowboysHQThursday at 5:19 AM
Cowboys Dez Hairline Fracture: The LatestCowboys receiver Dez Bryant says 'I might' when it comes to playing this weekend, even though the MRI has revealed a hairline fracture of the tibia in his right knee.
CowboysHQWednesday at 12:59 PM
5 FishTips: Cowboys Winning Gameplan Review5 FishTips: The Cowboys Winning Gameplan In Review
CowboysHQWednesday at 4:20 AM