Tony Romo passed for a NFL career best 353 yards and threw three touchdown passes as the Dallas Cowboys got their 2009 season off to a good start with a 34-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Raheem Morris went down in defeat in his debut as Bucs head coach.
The Cowboys easily covered the pointspread as -4 road favorites, and improved to 16-12 over the last three years when laying points. Tampa Bay dropped to 17-17 over the same timeframe as an underdog.
After the game Roy Williams, who will be counted on to take up the slack from the loss of T.O., couldnt resist a wisecrack at his former teammates expense:
“Career-high passing yards? Without T.O? “No, it’s good. It’s good for him. It’s good for this team. It was a team effort. Everybody contributed.”
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said he wasnt surprised:
“They are playmakers, and we knew that going in. But until you do it, the naysayers are going to say: ‘Hey. You don’t have this or that.’ But I think we do.”
Romo, meanwhile, preferred to focus on the victory:
“You don’t think about yards. You’re not judged off of yards. You’re judged off of winning and losing at this position.”
Raheem Morris spoke of the defeat in his regular season NFL coaching debut:
“Obviously, we’re disappointed. But there were a lot of good things on offense.”
Perhaps the brightest silver lining in the dark cloud of the loss was the performance of Cadillac Williams. Williams appeared fully recovered from serious knee surgery and rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber suggested that the final score wasnt indicative of the way his team played:
“We had our chances. The final score is definitely not indicative of how good we played at times. Those big plays absolutely destroy you football team.
The Cowboys will open their season at their plush new $1 billion plus stadium this Sunday, hosting the New York Giants. Theyll remain at home the following week as they welcome the Carolina Panthers to Texas. The Bucs will head to upstate New York to face T.O and his new team, the Buffalo Bills. Theyll return to Florida the following week to take their turn hosting the New York Giants.
Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and respected authority on sports betting odds comparison. He writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.