That and a satchel full of impressions from what ended up being an action-jammed season-opening Sunday night Cowboys' 45-35 home win over the Giants.
ITEM: If you're the agent for Tony Romo (15 of 24, 345 yards, three TDs passing and one TD rushing and a QB rating of 128.5) did you even bother to brush your teeth this morning before getting to the phone to call Jerry?
ITEM: No, I'm not going to pretend to be giddy over the vaunted "Phillips 3-4'' that allowed 35 points and 438 yards. No, I'm not going to play Alibi Ike by noting that the absent Newman and the absent Ellis were soon joined by an injured Jason Ferguson (now out for the season).
I am going to point out, however, that if you ever get into a shootout, it's nice to be able to fire 45 points worth of bullets.
ITEM: Faith Hill? Works for me.
ITEM: Do numbers lie? Shortly after the NBC voices told us that New York's 264-pound halfback Brandon Jacobs was virtually un-tackle-able, Al Michaels and John Madden supplemented that info by noting that Dallas' Marion Barber was not an effective short-yardage guy a year ago. As the NBC graphic popped onto the screen as "proof,'' MB3 popped outside on a 4th-and-1 from the 18 and eventually vaulted his way into the end zone for a touchdown and a 10-6 Dallas lead midway through the second quarter.
The numbers lied. MB3 was the truth. In fact, the "should we start MB3 over JuJo'' question continues to be moot, as both contributed in their roles. I'd like to see JuJo used more on the perimeter plays, but overall. … if they aren't upset by their roles, why should anyone else be?
Meanwhile, Jacobs left in the first half when he sprained a knee. So maybe he is un-tackle-able, but he ain't indestructible.
Somebody put up THAT graphic.
ITEM: Virginal play-caller Jason Garrett? I believe they call that, "playing to win.''
ITEM: Thumbs-up to an offensive line that really seemed to wear the Giants down on the run, and gave Romo loads of time. The Giants were hurt, exhausted, whatever. … Having to carry around 350 pounds of Leonard Davis for three houts will tend to do that to a man.
ITEM: I write this knowing that a bunch of sportswriters covering this game were prepared to make Brandon Jacobs proclamation ("We're going to Dallas this Sunday and whup their asses") into the theme of the game.
You will recall Chris Canty's reaction: "It's not smart. You're a running back, people are going to hit you. It's not smart." And you will wonder if Jacobs' exit had anything to do with his mouth.
But here's the real angle: Because it's New York, every quote is turned into something significant, when in the Real World. … well. … who cares what Brandon Jacobs thinks?
ITEM: Is Roy Williams improving as a player?
ITEM: The self-absorbed Tiki Barber, making headlines the last few weeks for ripping his old team, was mentioned by new NBC colleagues Madden and Michaels.
"I think if the Giants wanted to hear anything from Tiki Barber, they'd wish he'd say he is coming here to play,'' asserted Madden following the Jacbos injury.
"Yeah,'' added Michaels, "they'll send a plane for you.''
Um, fellas, I haven't checked with Tom Coughlin on this yet but. ...
Y'all wanna bet?
ITEM: Still waiting for T.O.'s emotional implosion?
He didn't have a ball thrown his way in the entire first half. At intermission, I'm told somebody on the staff was assigned to "babysit'' Owens, to assure him the second half would be better. (This in direct contrast to a regime that wouldn't even call the player by name). Result? A starring role in the second half, with T.O. grabbing three catches for 62 yards and two spectacular TDs.
I wish we'd all wait until Owens does something malevolent, rather than anticipate same.
ITEM: Tyson Thompson's kickoff-return fumble with 14 seconds left led to a NY field goal, which meant the Giants went from being down 17-6 to being down 17-16, all in the span of 12 seconds. Thompson goofed, the wedge blockers who allowed easy penetration goofed, and a semi-dominant 28:30 of football was all but ruined.
ITEM: Sam Hurd?
ITEM: You think rookie Anthony Spencer didn't impact the game? Go ask Eli Manning's discolored right shoulder.
ITEM: Why was the big red Salvation Army on the sideline? Is it Thanksgiving already?
ITEM: A tie for the most nauseating ads (assuming you think Jerry, Romo and Wade's work for the apparently energetic Pepsi Max was the best commercial): Bill Parcells doing the psuedo-press conference thing for Coors Light, and Taco Bell, with those things featuring cheese that apparently stretches all over consumers' faces. Parcells and his press conferences were never especially funny. And cheese stretching from people's mouths is just one step short of vomit doing the same.
ITEM: How long did it take for the Cowboys to miss Terence Newman? A matter of 90 or so seconds, as Plaxico Burress made a before-you-even-settled-into-the-Barcalounder-impression with his 60-yard TD catch.
To be fair, Jacques Reeves retaliated with an interception in the second quarter. But then, just before intermission, NY was in the red zone and Plaxico overwhelmed Reeves for a second TD to cut Dallas' lead to 17-13. Oh, and Roy Williams seemed as overmatched in coverage as Reeves did. Oh No. 2, Wade Phillips and others graded Reeves' work as "solid.''
T-New, get well soon.
ITEM: Jason Witten vs. Jeremy Shockey? Shockey gets the pub. And Witten scored just one TD all last season, quite an indictment. But I've always argued that they are similar players, except that Witten doesn't bring the Nut Factor. (Unless you count Mama Witten.) Anyway, by halftime, Witten had five catches and a TD – matching last year's 16-game total – and Romo's willingness to locate his roomie provided the Cowboys with a 17-6 lead.
ITEM: Ron Springs and Everson Walls. The late Crazy Ray tribune. The Eagles lose in Green Bay. The Cowboys give up a skillion points, but win an opener, against a division rival. A pretty sweet night, summed up by first-year head coach Wade Phillips, who knows how difficult these things are to come by, no matter the score.
"How about my offense!'' said Phillips, only half-joking and hugging a Diet Dr Pepper as he represented a team that doesn't have it's defense – or it's preferred soft-drink sponsor – completely ironed out yet.
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