Wednesday night wrapup: Romo rebounds, Ogletree blossoms


Jerry Jones didn’t get rich without occasionally getting lucky.

It was the money the Cowboys saved rather than the money they spent this offseason that made the difference in the opener, as bargain buy Kevin Ogletree stole the show.

Ogletree caught the first two touchdowns of his career, leading the Cowboys to a 24-17 win over the Giants in the opener.

After Laurent Robinson signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Jaguars, there was a gaping hole as the third receiver for the Cowboys.

But as they looked, they didn’t think much of Ogletree’s chances early on. The Cowboys didn’t bother offering him a deal as a restricted free agent, not viewing him as being worth the $1.26 million tender.

The gamble paid off, as they brought him back later on a one-year, $640,000 contract.

Ogletree finished with eight catches for 116 yards, and his third-down conversion at the two-minute warning might have been as significant as the scores. Miles Austin woke up in the second half, and Dez Bryant made plays early, which means the Cowboys can cross any receiver questions off the list for now.

And with Good Tony Romo dispatching Evil Tony after an early interception, it was a solid start for the Cowboys, who became the first team to beat a defending champ in the opener since the format was introduced in 2004.

Romo’s interception to Michael Boley was the kind of out-of-the-pocket blunder his critics use to bash him over the head. But as the game wore on, he made smart decisions throughout. He finished 22-of-29 for 307 yards, with three touchdowns to counteract the ugly interception.

Here are five more things we learned in the Wednesday version of Sunday Night Football:

1. The Giants looked more like the team that was floundering at 6-6 last year than the team that won the Super Bowl.

And while the league has leaned toward passing, it’s the Giants inability to run well that was their undoing.

First-round rookie running back David Wilson fumbled early, and didn’t get a chance to redeem himself. He didn’t take another offensive snap, and was even replaced on a kickoff return.

When cameras caught him getting emotional on the sideline after the fumble, it was obvious how distraught he was. Giants coach Tom Coughlin hates turnovers, and when he’s finished with Wilson, the sideline tears might not be the only ones shed.

2. The Giants were talking about Jason Pierre-Paul getting 30 sacks this year.

Cowboys pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware is the one on pace to do so.

While he doesn’t get nearly the run of some far less-accomplished teammates, Ware might simply be one of the three or four best defensive players in the game.

Ware had two sacks in the first half, giving him the early lead in a division full of excellent pass-rushers.

Ware (19.5), Jason Babin (18.0) and JPP (16.5) were second, third and fourth in the league in sacks last year, and will continue to present problems for the tackles in the division.

3. Speaking of tackles, Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith made the best one of the first half, even if it was illegal.

Smith was called for a horse-collar tackle on Michael Boley after an interception, and even with the half-the-distance that took it to the Cowboys 1-yard-line, the Giants had to settle for a field goal.

4. The Cowboys had offensive line issues walking in the door. They got worse in the first series, when center Phil Costa’s back tightened up and he had to leave the game.

That left Ryan Cook to take over in the pivot, five days after being acquired in a trade with the Dolphins, who were going to cut him.

New right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau struggled early, and when the Cowboys tried to build a little confidence early, the line failed them. A fourth-down conversion attempt was stuffed, and the Cowboys blockers looked to be on roller skates as they were pushed back en masse.

They got better as the night wore on, and they needed to. Keeping a clean pocket is crucial for Romo, who has a tendency to get flustered when he has to move side-to-side. But if they can keep him on his feet, and run the way they did in the second half (DeMarco Murray finished with 19 carries for 129 yards), there’s potential there.

5. Timing is everything.

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz dropped a pair of catchable passes in the first half (and a third later). Then as halftime hit, they went to a Time Warner Cable commercial featuring Cruz.

“People say I catch everything,” Cruz began.

Not anymore they don’t, Vic.

63 responses to “Wednesday night wrapup: Romo rebounds, Ogletree blossoms

  1. What no mention of the replacements??

    How great was the officiating tonight!? other than the one non call on cruz which was an easy one to miss I thought it was excellent. Plus id rather have one non call over 5 iffy barely touched the guy PI calls. The game wasnt slowed down a bit, in fact look its over in 3 hours. didnt see a bunch of meaningless yellow, what now periera?

  2. UH OH.

    Told you guys, Romo can make a star out of anybody. Austin, Robinson, now Ogletree outgains any two Giants WR’s put together and outscores them 2 TD’s to 0. Cowboys played a bad game and still pushed the Giants up and down their own field. Haters hate on.

  3. I thought the replacement refs were pretty good tonight, but the non-call in the red zone could have potentially changed the outcome of the game.

  4. Wow Tony Romo was on fire..Dallas media and give him a hard time but boy oh boy..He showed the NFL world that as long as his guys are with him on the same page, he can beat any team..awesome game

  5. I think it is very obvious that it is time for the Giants to cut Eli Manning, trade all of their future draft picks for the next 5 years to the Redskins for RG3 for them to have any hope to ever reach the Super Bowl again. Or not.

  6. >“People say I catch everything,” Cruz began.

    Not anymore they don’t, Vic.<

    Haha best line of the night! Cruz couldn't catch a cold right now. I know he's a great player but he looked awful tonight.

  7. Cruz is overrated he benefits, from playing with a great qb and a stud wr in nicks. Nicks is one of the best WRs in the game, this coming from a falcons fan.

  8. People are getting hot on ovaltree way to quickly. Everyone needs to remember his stats did come against 2 corners who wouldn’t even make top 5 on most teams but were forced into the roll due to the giants constant injures at corner

  9. Whenever the replacement refs are a non-story, as was the case in tonight’s Dallas-Giants matchup, you know that they did their job well.

  10. It will be a long season, with many ups and downs for both of these teams. The Cowboys will stumble at times, recover, and repeat.

    But for this moment, it’s nice to be able to say:

    Eat it, Cowboys doubters!

  11. Who doesn’t win in New York?? The Eagles havent lost there in 5 years, and even the Redskins and Seahawks won there last year. Worst team ever to win a SuperBowl, twice!!

  12. the 5 penalties on the Cowboys final touchdown drive actually HELPED us run down the clock, then Austin make a huge catch to finish off a rare drive that included 5 penalties; ten days to get these offensive linemen organzied and sychronized for Seattle; outta be 4-0 going into the bye week….. then the war really begins

  13. “By the way…Eli, DeMarcus….DeMarcus, Eli.”
    “Yeah, we’ve met.”

    Guess that kid is gonna be a Cowboys fan.

  14. Cowboys were the better team no doubt tonight. Refs did a great job and I saw no difference in their calls and the reg refs. Actually, I think they saw a few more calls than usual. Im liking this.

  15. Romo has always been a stats stud. He just hasnt won enough in some people’s opinion(dallas fans). He played a great game.

  16. Considering the Cowboys O-Line, and losing their Center…they did a good job against a really good Giants D-Line….

    No crying about officials…

    Let’s just see what happens kids….

  17. “While he doesn’t get nearly the run of some far less-accomplished teammates, Ware might simply be one of the three or four best defensive players in the game.”

    Ya think? Second fastest to 100 sacks in NFL history, only slightly behind Reggie White? AND can cover AND play the run as good or better than any other OLB/DE in the NFL? He’s like LT, only better and no cocaine and hooker addiction.

  18. Kind of a dull game. I don’t know if it’s me, that new stadium, the dumb day of the week, or just a stale game itself.

  19. Victor Cruz’s 3 crucial drops proved tonight that he’s not worth a new contract extension.

    Dallas CBs are taking notes from Revis, hold the receivers and most often, except for the blatant one in the endzone that resulted in a td anyway, u will not get flagged.

    Say goodbye to Felix Jones cuz Marco Murray is here to stay

    Where in the world is JPP?

  20. First, Ware is the best defensive player in the league, not just “top three or four.”
    Second, Romo does NOT get flustered “when he has to move side-to-side…” he excels at that! Have you ever watched him play, Darin? Because if you believe that old, tired anti-Romo crap, then you’ve been watching too much ESPN/NFL Network, and not enough tape of Romo.

  21. “While he doesn’t get nearly the run of some far less-accomplished teammates, Ware might simply be one of the three or four best defensive players in the game.”

    MIGHT?? How is that even in question after the last 3 seasons? It’s Revis/Ware and then everyone else, period. Don’t just look at the sack #’s, watch Ware in the run/screen game.

  22. Ware is the only player I’ve ever seen that I wanted my team to trade their entire draft to get. Sigh.
    He was also blatantly held several times and the announcers never commented event though they were running several of those plays back in slo-mo to point something else out about them.

  23. buddybowl69 says:
    May 18, 2012 2:38 PM
    The Giants are a dynasty like no other. They will win every game from here on out, no competition at all. All are welcome to jump on the bandwagon and ride it to eternal victory. All other fans are fools, and will be rooting for substandard teams that will be laid awaste of the mighty Giants dynasty.


    Well, well, well… I see the Giants have gotten an excellent head start on their ten losses to come this seasons with an abysmal offensive showing last night. Remember when I told you I would be here to rehash your idiotic comments every week as the Giants crumble? That’s right. See you next week with another of your moronic comment and another Giants loss. Sleep tight.

  24. So the Giants looked like a 9-7 team? Imagine that… This entire offseason everyone convinced me they were the best team in the NFL because they won the Super Bowl.

  25. If Victor doesn’t turn it around fast he’ll go back to being just some other dude in Patterson, NJ.

  26. “Keeping a clean pocket is crucial for Romo, who has a tendency to get flustered when he has to move side-to-side.”

    He was only tied for the league lead in outside-the-pocket TD passes with a certrain Aaron Rodgers.

    Just look at some of the highlights of this game alone and you’ll see that this statemant ist just wrong. He shook off defenders multiple times and he went 22/29 with the line that you rightfully deem to be a little suspect in the first half.

  27. The fumble, drive killing drops by receivers – I’d say, in a lot of ways, the Giants beat themselves in this game. What do you think, Justin Tuck?

  28. Stop with all the Romo’s window is closing stuff. He played great last night. I know that is a great deal of electronic white space to fill but noise like that isn’t the answer.

  29. Superbowl champs*(Lock out season) lose opener at home against division rival. I’ve been saying all off season, they will not make the playoffs, again.

  30. Not a fan of either team, but I was very impressed with the Cowboys. Their defense looked excellent for the most part (minus a few big plays including a pass that should have been intercepted by Carr if he had played the ball correctly). Romo looked shaky at first but ultimately looked like a superstar.

    He outplayed Manning and made some incredible throws (30 yards for a first down and he hits a timing throw with Miles Austin for a touchdown.

    I’m excited to see where both teams go from here. I’m just excited for football to be back!

  31. Looks like some of those ‘Golf Sessions’ with Aaron Rodgers are paying off for Romo. He looked good last night.

  32. yelix says:Sep 5, 2012 11:43 PM

    I thought the replacement refs were pretty good tonight, but the non-call in the red zone could have potentially changed the outcome of the game.

    Give the Giants that touchdown and the extra 4 points. The Cowboys still win. Get over it

  33. More relief then elated. A win here will give this team alot of confidence. Giants gave up 300 yds passing and 130 yds rushing. The middle of the field was WIDE open all night and Bradshaw will not be able to carry the load himself. The Giants will miss Diehl and Jacobs as the season progressed. The Giants should be VERY concerned.

  34. Long time NYG fan here…wow, they sucked last night. That Tryon kid needs to go, I don’t care if you have to bring in some retired, half crippled old replacement, but he cannot cover worth sh-t. To me, the most upsetting thing about the game was the gmen’s o line, which was beyond bad. Until the last desperate drive, Eli had no time, and my god the run blocking was pathetic, all game long.

    Ya know, I have been rooting for this team since Allie Sherman days. At the risk of sounding crazy, (and yes I know about the two super bowls and about Coughlin’s record being as good as Parcell’s) I have never, ever liked Coughlin as an offensive coach. I actually end up wanting him fired every year, but he pulls their asses out of mediocrity just in time to save his carcass (and miraculously pull a Super Bowl win out twice), and after he won this past one, I resigned myself to him dying of old age on the giant’s sideline. But my god, every series in the first half its run Bradshaw twice into the line, then have Eli get hurried/sacked on 3rd and long. You can’t run an offense this way when your line sucks, can’t run block or protect. This may be a really long season for us, I’m afraid. On the bright side, maybe I will finally be rid of the red-faced, puffy and petulant Coughlin and that zero Gilbride…

  35. Yes, those penalties helped Dallas run down the clock.

    I have had this thought this for years… what prevents a team from false starting on purpose play after play after play to just run the clock down? I don’t see anything in the rules to prevent this. They had 4 penalties on a crucial drive that helped them run almost 3 extra minutes off the clock! They were ahead, so what prevents you from just doing it over and over and over and over again? At some point do they not start the clock again after holding or false start penalties? i don’t think so… I’m surprised a coach has never tried this tactic.

  36. You claim Romo gets flustered if he has to move around yet two of the three touchdowns came as he moved around.

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