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Dallas Cowboys are Finding Themselves Again With 35-19 Win Over Detroit

The Dallas Cowboys finally won a game in the $1.2 billion stadium built for them in the 2010 by taking the Detroit Lions on with determination and confidence from their last week win over division rival, the New York Giants.

Dallas had its biggest victory this year by scoring five touchdowns and holding Detroit to only 19 points in a 35-19 win that gave Dallas its first winning streak of the season.

Any hardcore fan should notice there is a difference in the team now with the way they executed. The Cowboys look like that team that won a playoff game last year instead of a team that was 1-7 just two weeks ago. I have to confess that at one point while I was watching the game, I was thinking, 'Here we go again.'

After the first quarter when Dallas got the early lead on a Dez Bryant touchdown reception, they took too long to deliver another strike to Detroit. Detroit started gaining momentum scoring ten points, and then when Leonard Davis committed a hold in the endzone for a safety, my eyes started rolling.

That's what I mean when I say the Cowboys are finding themselves again. How many times last year or the previous two years before was Dallas behind or losing momentum, and the fans are wanting to cover their eyes, did they stop the collapse from happening or came back to win the game? This team can make clutch plays, win key games when the score is close, and even comeback to win at time.

This team can do that, but they didn't earlier this year when they kept losing and losing. This team was down 12-7 and all the momentum was with Detroit and what does Dallas do?

They came back, and stopped the Lions and forced a punt. Then came the play that changed the game around 180 degrees. Bryan McCann, an undrafted rookie from SMU who had been on the practice squad takes a punt back for a touchdown after the ball had been whacked from touching the endzone into the field of play by Lions defensive back, John Wendling.

Now, to be clear on the rules, you can advance a punt after it has been knocked into the field of by an opposing player. Once he picks it up, he cannot turn it over as well so it was a free play on his part. The ball was not downed, it had been batted back into the field and he just took it forward 97 yards for a touchdown.

Last week, Bryan McCann had a 101-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Giants. This is his second game-changing play in as many weeks. I think it is safe to say that he's going to be considered for a roster spot next year.

That play ignited three more touchdowns, and the 4th and one quarterback keeper that Jon Kitna, a 38-year-old man, ran 29 yards for a touchdown. That is the longest quarterback run from scrimmage since Danny White had a 48-yard run back in 1980 in Cowboys history.

The Cowboys are playing harder, are more disciplined, and despite some penalties, they are not burying themselves in mistakes that cause them to lose.

Dallas also forced turnovers. Terence Newman had an interception that really put the game out of reach for Detriot, and Sean Lee forced a key fumble that jumped into Jason Hatcher's arms. Dallas scored easily from there with a four play drive that took 2:07 off the clock and concluded with a three-yard touchdown catch by Miles Austin.

Austin had only two catches for seven yards, but they both were for touchdowns. Dez Bryant had three catches for eight yards and one touchdown, Roy Williams had two catches for 20 yards, and the leading receiver was tight end Jason Witten with four catches for 48 yards.

Jon Kitna was 18/24 for 147 yards and three touchdowns to go with 40 yards rushing on four attempts and the 29-yard touchdown run. Kitna was really gutsy out there. He was not afraid to put his body in danger in order to help win the game, and I have to give a lot of respect to him for that. A lot of quarterbacks wouldn't do that.

All three running backs had carries, and they combined for 26 attempts, 94 yards rushing, and no touchdowns. Felix Jones had 11 carries for 51 yards, but a costly fumble that led to a touchdown for Detroit. You can't fumble the ball in your own redzone, it just is unacceptable.

Barber had 13 carries for 36 yards, and a long 24 yard run which reminded be of his Pro Bowl self in 2007 where he'd bang into guys and stumble while he ran, but still got to where he needed to get. His performance was key to persevering the win.

The Cowboys had three sacks in the game too. Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware shared one, and Jason Hatcher and Stephen Bowen both had one.

The biggest thing about the Cowboys is that they looked like they were having a blast down there and I can say from experience that winning football games is easier when you are having fun out there. And you can't just push a button on a guy's back, and "Presto!" He's having fun. It just doesn't work that way.

Dallas will be playing this Thursday for Thanksgiving, and I'll be watching the game and doing my absolute best to have you posted. The Cowboys need to defeat the Saints because believe it or not, the Cowboys came make the playoffs still with some luck. They need to keep winning to a 9-7 record in order for it to happen though.

Now, do I think it will happen? I wouldn't bet on it because it is so hard to win eight games in a row even when you're the reigning Super Bowl champs. No one has won eight games consecutively this year either. Is it possible? Yes, but its improbable.

The next thing you have to wonder is how much credibility does Jason Garrett have now as a head coach? I can't think of an interim head coach who won his first two games as a newbie. It just doesn't happen, but Garrett has pulled it off, and he has six more games to prove he deserves the job.

If anything about what I've heard about Jason Garrett is true, then I can tell you that he will provide a tremendous argument for the job now that the players are playing. I did not think he would do so well because I did not have faith in the players and the fact that the offense, which he is in charge of, had struggled throughout the year.

Well, he proved me wrong, and he may prove me wrong by winning the job as head coach.

Overall, this is a big win, and hopefully Dallas can get another one against the Saints on Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkey and have fun watching football.

James Williamson's extra thought: I've got "Luck be a Lady" by Frank Sinatra stuck in my head. Hopefully that lady is with the Cowboys.

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