By Bob Sturm , Special contributor Contact Bob Sturm on Twitter: @SportsSturm
Bob Sturm of Sportsradio 96.7FM/1310AM The Ticket gives his thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday:
1. Cowboys' objective was to stay healthy
And it appears that was accomplished without too much trouble as they put scratches on as many valuable pieces as possible. This game had high risk and no reward, so to see Sean Lee, Ezekiel Elliott, or Ron Leary play a snap would have been a problem. Instead, we saw a number of understudies perform to around predicted levels and the team got through the glorified preseason game with limited damage. The Cowboys now have an additional two weeks to get healthy and should enter the playoffs as healthy as any team in the league. That plus homefield advantage throughout the playoffs should put the Cowboys as NFC Favorites.
2. Tony Romo played and played well
Yes, it was just six snaps and yes, it was without ever being blitzed (or touched, it seemed), but that was very impressive work from the accomplished QB to go out there and sling the ball around with the velocity and accuracy he is known for. He put the ball where he wanted to and looked in control with calm and decisiveness to lead the team right down the field. I was confused as to why it was such a short dose, assuming he was playing to prepare for the post-season possibility rather than trade value, but we may never know the full motivation behind his appearance.
3. Doug Free struggled throughout the day
It has not been Doug Free's best season by any measure, but the offense has been so good that you seldom notice how difficult a time he has had in pass protection. That said, now with the stakes continuing to rise and options remaining quite limited, once can't help but notice that if there is a flaw that could really hurt the Dallas postseason run, it would be the tackle situation. Is Tyron Smith healthy? Then everything allows the Cowboys to help Free. If Tyron is playing hurt, then both flanks might be vulnerable to teams with strong pass rushes. And there will be a few ahead.
4. Randy Gregory continues to flash
It is fair to wonder about Gregory's ability to play in the postseason. However, if the young edge rusher is available, there is every reason to believe he can be a real factor in the postseason. Suddenly, with David Irving, Benson Mayowa, and Gregory, the Cowboys are quite long and athletic along the defensive line. Perfect for the playoff push.
(Related: Gregory showed value in finale, but will he be playoff-eligible? Appeal hearing will decide his fate)
5. Everything else was pretty underwhelming
If you recorded this game and are debating the merits of going back to watch it, I will recommend that you pass on it. There was nothing, with the exception of Romo's 2:49 at the helm that is worth seeing. The offenses were both pretty plain and punchless and the overall product was what we are expected to see in August. The game happened, the result is official, but the participants and viewers will likely not save much space for any lingering memories of the affair. The Cowboys wanted to get it over with and they did. On to the playoffs.