Well folks, today I finally get to write about something good, and something that has to do with the Cowboys. And they’re the same thing! Of course, I’m talking about Dallas’ first victory of the season. This one game gave me false hope for the rest of the season (temporarily, at least), as I imagine it did to countless others.

Here are some highlights from the first half of this one.

This game took a little while to get going, with neither team scoring in the opening quarter.  A couple of second quarter drives, including a 13 play, 80 yard possession that took over seven minutes, gave Dallas a seven point lead going into halftime.

Things got better for Dallas offensively in the second half, particularly in the late third quarter and going into the fourth.  One big reason for that was the play of Roy Williams.  Yes, Roy Williams actually had a good game, his first of the 2010 season, and, honestly, his best game as a Cowboy.  He had two touchdown grabs in the second half, the second time he’s had multiple end zone trips since Dallas acquired him from Detroit in 2008 for, regrettably, four draft picks, including a first and third rounder.

Roy Williams scores one of his two touchdowns against Houston.

I was intrigued when Dallas picked him up, but I didn’t think, and still don’t think, the cost was justified.  It wasn’t as bad as the Vikings trading for Herschel Walker, but it was pretty lopsided considering the player they were getting.  I will give him credit for his performance on this day, though.

For the first time since I started recapping this past season, I don’t have to list the reasons why Dallas lost (hurray!).  Instead, I can point out why they won.

For starters, the Cowboys actually won the turnover battle in this game.  They forced three, including two Matt Schaub interceptions, while managing to commit none.

Dallas’ defense also played better (not great, but better) in this game, particularly against the pass.  They did give up 241 yards (not accounting for lost yardage on sacks), but the longest pass play on the day was just 26 yards.  Andre Johnson didn’t do much damage, as he only had 64 yards on four catches.  Considering Schaub went crazy-go-nuts against Washington the week before (to the tune of 497 yards and three td’s), I’d say 241 isn’t too shabby.

Keith Brooking (right) presumably apologizing to Matt Schaub for sacking him.

Also, Dallas managed to sack Schaub four times, while holding the Texans to just 1-3 in the red zone.

Now for a couple of gripes about this game.  While it didn’t kill them this time, Dallas continued the trend of being one of the more penalized teams in the league, tallying 8 for 49 yards in this one.  This team had a serious lack of discipline while Wade Phillips was in charge.  Another complaint is that, while the offense managed over 100 team rushing yards, they only averaged 3.7 yards per carry.  Again, it didn’t hurt them, mainly because Tony Romo had such a good performance, but it still needs improvement.

So, my issues with this game are relatively minor compared to the first two games.  That’s partly a product of the fact that Dallas played better, but also because it’s easier to find fault after a loss than a win.  I’ll enjoy that luxury while I can, because it gets a whole lot uglier from here.

Record to this point:  1-2

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