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2-1: the run, the defense, and a hometown win

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Star-Telegram/Ron T. Ennis

Tony Romo dodges Tyler Brayton in the second quarter as the Carolina Panthers play the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tx., Monday, Sept. 28, 2009. Star-Telegram/Ron T. Ennis.

It's Tuesday, and I'm with Tony Romo. This week's better than last week.

It ended like this:

STAR-TELEGRAM/RODGER MALLISON

Pursued by Panthers wide receiver, Steve Smith, Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman (23) runs an interception in for a touchdown in the second half as the Dallas Cowboys host the Carolina Panthers in Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, on Monday September 28, 2009. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)

and the final score was 21-7, which ... looks better than it might've been, 'cause sacks and penalties cost the Cowboys at least one touchdown in the first half, maybe two. But then came the 2nd half -- and for a wonder, Jason Garrett

stuck with the running game.

Not that the win came for free. Last week's loss (first 'real' game in the new house, that was, and we had a committee effort in it) cost the Cowboys the services of Marion Barber III with a strained quadriceps (by the way, I can say firsthand: those hurt) and this week Felix Jones left the game with a sprained knee, probably to be out next week.

But there were good things that happened for the first time this season too, like this:

STAR-TELEGRAM/RODGER MALLISON

Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins (21) pulls in a ball out of the hands of Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammed (87) for a second quarter interception as the Dallas Cowboys host the Carolina Panthers in Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, on Monday September 28, 2009. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)

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