Did we over-hype the Cowboys?

Brett Favre was near perfect today in Minnesota. That is something I will get into more tomorrow—as well as detail one of his big plays on the chalkboard to highlight just how good he was.

But, watching this game today wasn’t it obvious that the Vikings were that much more physical of a football team than Dallas?

And, when I am talking about playing physical, we have to point at the offensive and defensive lines of Minnesota. Tony Romo was sacked six times, and outside of some good drives with the running game producing and moving the chains, the Cowboys quarterback looked overmatched, timid and confused every time he dropped back to throw the ball.

Maybe I bought into the Dallas hype from the last two weeks. They way they handled the Eagles up front in two straight games showed me they were built to win playoff football games and possibly make a run to the NFC Championship—and beyond.

However, that wasn’t the team I saw out there today. Instead, they were beaten off the line of scrimmage on offense and although they produced three sacks as a defense, Favre still had too much time to throw the ball and too much time to step up into the pocket—where he can take over a game.

How many times did we see Romo in 3rd and long situations—with no chance at making a play? Think about how Dallas started to make that late season push once they got by New Orleans. The big plays to WR Miles Austin and TE Jason Witten down the field. I wrote about it yesterday in Scheme Session. There would be opportunities for Romo and Witten to work the middle of the field against the Vikings’ Tampa 2.

But, not like this. Not when the QB is running scared because of the front four of the Vikings. Romo and the Cowboys were 3-12 on third downs today, and although the Vikings weren’t any better, they were able to get the ball down the field when the opportunities presented themselves.

For Dallas, we didn’t see those opportunities because of DEs Ray Edwards and Jared Allen—who owned the edge of this Cowboy offensive line.

I was surprised, as I thought the Cowboys were a physical enough football team to go on the road and possibly pull the upset.

But, after watching this game today, it was clear that they were soft—tissue soft—up front.

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