With a 2-1 record, the 2011 Dallas Cowboys are already ahead of where many local pundits thought they would be. Predictions of a 9-7 season were the norm, a record which would likely not give the Cowboys a chance to make the playoffs.
Game 1 Loss to the New York Jets
In game 1, the Cowboys played on the road against a very good New York Jets team, and they came very close to winning it but blew a 14-point lead in the 4th quarter. Quarterback Tony Romo threw a last-minute interception after fumbling the ball during a previous goal line play in which he pretended he was former running back Marion Barber trying to bulldoze his way through a pile of bodies. It was a play reminiscent of those that the former coach of the Cowboys, Bill Parcells, feared most about Romo's decision-making ability in pressure situations. Fans of the Cowboys will remember Parcells' cautionary remarks when he was responding to criticism about staying with veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe as the starter, whom many thought to be on his last legs before he ever arrived in Dallas to play.
Romo: Worst Quarterback in History
Like every win and every loss in Dallas, the tendency is to overreact. During the following week, the local and national press jumped on the bandwagon in blaming Romo for the loss, despite the Cowboys having given up a blocked punt for a touchdown and a botched field goal attempt earlier in the game from extra-point territory.
Romo the Messiah: Victory in San Francisco
The following week, playing the San Francisco 49ers on the road, they pulled off a narrow victory in which Romo and kicker Dan Bailey both redeemed themselves. In a storybook scenario, Romo left the game with a broken rib and sat out much of it while old-timer quarterback Jon Kitna handled the Cowboys offense. That is, until Romo came running onto the field to lead the team to its first win of the season.
The following day it was reported that Romo had not only broken his rib, he had also suffered a slight puncture in his lung. It was played locally as an "outhouse-to-the-White-House" comeback for Romo given the bad publicity from the week before. Like I said, it's an overreaction city and always has been since the days of their earliest successes under coach Tom Landry.