Now it’s a party.
The asterisks have to be removed. The “yeah-buts” no longer matter.
The Dallas Cowboys are 5-1, and everything we thought about them was wrong, I guess.
The quarterback who had the gimpy back, as we saw Sunday, can take a thunderous hit and lead the team to a touchdown on the next possession.
The running back who we thought would get hurt is running strong and plowing through tacklers.
The defense that we thought was an NFL laughingstock is having the last laugh.
The coaches can coach. The general manager is a genius. The football magazines were all wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Cowboys never flinched Sunday and came from behind to defeat the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, 30-23. And this victory wasn’t like the four previous ones.
This one can’t be shrugged away because the quarterback was Austin Davis or Ryan Fitzpatrick, or because Drew Brees was having a bad day.
“This is a good football team that we played, and they’re hard to beat here,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, correctly describing the challenge.
The Monday night hangover effect? Maybe. The Seahawks played in Washington and didn’t return home until Tuesday.
At times Sunday, they appeared listless and befuddled, including quarterback Russell Wilson.
But it’s been recent gospel that the notion of playing in the steady din of a sold-out Seattle home crowd, revved up on Starbucks, was supposed to overcome any travel hiccups that the NFL champs could encounter.
On the contrary, it was the Cowboys who had to overcome some hiccups — a blocked punt for a touchdown and two turnovers in the red zone that helped build an early 10-0 Seahawks lead.
But that’s when the Cowboys, who weren’t supposed to boast any roster depth, marched right down the field behind backups Gavin Escobar, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar.
That’s when quarterback Tony Romo, folded into a heap by a ferocious hit by linebacker Bobby Wagner, regained his breath and led the Cowboys on three consecutive scoring marches.
At first, the hit by Wagner, just as Romo released a pass, rang with inevitability. We armchair doctors always assumed that Romo, with his twice-surgically-repaired back, was one such hit from having his 2014 season ended.
Garrett, a career backup quarterback as an NFL player, said, “I didn’t get a great look at it. I did see him on the ground, and he didn’t look good.
“Having been in that situation before, you start doing this ...”
Garrett helicoptered his right arm, like a backup quarterback loosening up to go in.
But a funny thing happened to the Cowboys on their alleged way to being another CenturyLink Field victim.
“With a franchise like the Cowboys, it’s like sitting in a room that’s full of lighter fluid,” owner Jerry Jones said. “It just takes something to flip the match over in it. This could do it.”
Three times during the gray afternoon the Seahawks grabbed the lead. But each time, Romo and the Cowboys’ offense patiently worked their way back.
Dan Bailey’s 56-yard field goal rocket made it 20-20 near the end of the third quarter.
But it was the Cowboys’ final go-ahead drive, with Romo and Terrance Williams converting a third-and-20 play, that should silence the early-season doubters.
“It was a huge play,” Garrett said. “Obviously, there aren’t a lot of plays on the call sheet for third-and-20. But Tony’s got such a feel in the pocket when people are around him.
“I thought he did a really good job throughout this ballgame. He was patient. We were patient as an offense.”
Wilson passed for only 126 yards and threw no touchdown passes. The Cowboys’ defenders more than held their own when compared to what the championship Seattle defense did.
It’s been written that the Cowboys aren’t supposed to win any game where Dez Bryant only catches four passes. DeMarco Murray, whose career success had been stalled by injuries, wasn’t supposed to be able to rush for 115 yards against the mighty Seahawks defense.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, as it has turned out.
The Cowboys are 5-1. Forget everything that was written.
Now it’s a party. We were so wrong.