Welp, despite leaving an hour earlier this week, I missed kickoff again. Next time, guess I leave an hour earlier than /that/.
Great start out of the blocks for Poe, but when they settled into the traces, it was a dogfight all day. Watched Fisher on a few plays, and he's clearly got stuff to learn, but the good news is that he didn't appear to get completely handled. Sure, he needed help, but against that front, I think most guys need a bit of help.
A number of folks in my section were grumbling about the pass-heavy playcalling, but post-game talk on the radio was speculating was suggesting that Charles wasn't in as good a shape as we'd hoped. Could be. Regardless, Smith needs to dial it in better with his receivers, he showed a tendency to loft them too high, especially with Dex.
The D wasn't exactly dominant, but they did keep Romo from getting into a rhythm, for the most part. Everyone pretty much took care of business, and they did win the turnover battle. If they had fewer penalties, the margin would have been greater.
Speaking of penalties, were these replacement refs? The head guy was barely intelligible over the stadium speakers, at best. The fix is still in against Hali, as even for as far up as I was sitting, some of the holds on him were obvious. So was a hold against someone else (Poe? TJax?) on a play where Romo escaped a sack. When a guy with aging eyes can see the jersey stretch of row 29 in the 300s, catty-corner across the field, and the refs miss it entirely... Speculation in the parking lot later was that Dallas had more of the questionable-type calls go their way, but the one that mattered, the PI call on the last series was a fair exchange. Still, I'd like to have some of what they appeared to have been smoking.
Unlike last year, crowd noise was a real factor. Last year, the noise was pretty much limited to 3rd downs, but today, many downs got the noise. Not all of them, but if they keep this up, that will improve. We're a bit out of practice, I guess. The big thing was that about midway through the 3rd, the crowd could smell blood in the water, and things cranked up a good bit.
The crowds meant that my halftime run for soda and a snack took too long, so while the concessions service folks weren't slow, they could stand to step it up a notch or three. That, or I need to leave a bit before the end of the half, but it seemed to me that things could still happen, today.
All in all, this one kept me figuratively on the edge of my seat, and literally standing for most of the game. All three phases of the game still need work, but the good news is that it appears that they have the talent and leadership to do so.
Finally, is it just me, or is this Underwood chick a major step back from Faith Hill in the opening sequence for SNF?