I guess I underestimated Jason Garrett's impact on the team. While I have been impressed by him all week and I was already sold on him as the permanent head coach I didn't think he could do enough to turn the team completely around in one week. I don't know if I've ever been happier to be wrong.
It amazes me that the team playing against the Giants was the same team we saw against the Packers last week. The Cowboys played better in every way possible this week. And you could feel the difference in their energy and attitude from the opening kickoff to the last play of the game.
It is a shame that it took a wasted season for the team and the owner to realize that things needed to change. But if that gives the team a better shot at a legitimate title run next season then I guess that is what had to happen. Jerry Jones never would have fired Wade Phillips unless the team totally went in the tank. And they did.
This week on offense the Cowboys were hitting big play after big play. Dez Bryant is amazing. Every time a deep ball is heading his way I feel confident that he is going to come down with it. He has amazing natural talent. The offensive line was better than they have been all season. The running game was actually pretty decent for a change. And Jon Kitna had time to hit several big passes down the field. And Felix Jones finally looked like the guy from last season again.
The defense was still pretty dicey. The Giants moved the ball at will for the most part. But the McCann interception returned 101 yards for a touchdown was huge. And Alan Ball jumping a route to close out the game was awesome. But Alan Ball was still terrible and one play doesn't fool me into believing he should be on the field. The biggest defensive improvement was the run defense. While the run defense wasn't great it was the best it has been all season.
On special teams it is becoming obvious that David Buehler just can't get it done as a kicker. He seems to make about 2 out of every 3 kicks but the misses always come at big moments. Hopefully the Cowboys will address that problem in the offseason. Dez Bryant's impact on the return game is huge. The Giants punter was so scared of him he was kicking the ball out of bounds 20 yards short to prevent a return. And Dez nearly broke a kickoff return for a touchdown as well.
I hope this is the start of the turnaround we have all been waiting for since the season started. This game only means something if the Cowboys build on their success and start stringing together some wins. Detroit won't be a cake walk next week but they do give the Cowboys a good chance to start a winning streak.
Jason Garrett may not have convinced everyone that he should be given the permanent job yet, but I'm sure people are going to start taking him seriously now. And the best part about the win is that is validates the changes he has made. The players that were on the fence about him have to see now that the methods have resulted in success they haven't seen in a long time.