Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cowboys credible with 37-21 win over Falcons

By: Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys needed to earn some creditability from somewhere.

They beat Tampa Bay in the opener, big deal. They knocked off Carolina, but that was in their second game in the new $1.12 billion Cowboys Stadium. In the first, they lost to the New York Giants.

In Kansas City, they needed overtime to win. Sad.

Sunday afternoon as the sun was peeking through, the Cowboys beat a quality team, the Atlanta Falcons, 37-21.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who hadn't been sacked in four weeks, was sacked four times. He was picked off twice and he fumbled twice, thanks to the Cowboys' pass rush.

Nothing, it seemed, stopped the Cowboys on this late Sunday afternoon.

Patrick Crayton, who was irked at the coaches for not telling him he was getting benched, clinched the game with a 73-yard punt return for a score with 8:38 to play in the fourth quarter.

Even Crayton was smiling on that one.

Tony Romo found a new No. 1 receiver, and it didn't cost the team that much.

Miles Austin had six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He should have had a third touchdown, but he dropped the ball out of bounds on his way to the end zone. In his last two games, Austin has 16 catches for 421 yards with four touchdowns. That's the best two-game stretch for a Cowboys receiver since Lance Rentzel had 368 combined yards in two consecutive games in 1967.

These Cowboys are now 4-2 and feeling good about what they've just accomplished.

Next is Seattle, a team the Cowboys should beat. If that happens, the Cowboys will be 5-2 heading into a two-game road trip to Philadelphia and Green Bay.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips talked all last week about a win-is-a-win regardless of how it looks.

Sunday's was impressive and a good one.