Jets happy with win, but have lots of work to do

Rex Ryan watched the game film of the New York Jets’ comeback
win over the Dallas Cowboys and saw some good things on the screen.
The final result being at the top of the list, of course.

”We still won,” the Jets coach said Monday. ”So, I think
that’s the main thing.”

Sure, there were plenty of good moments in the fourth quarter as
the resilient Jets engineered a spirited rally from 14 points down
to win 27-24.

”And then there were some,” Ryan said of the rest of the game,
”where it’s like, `Whew!”

This one wasn’t pretty, and the Jets know it. They also realize
there’s lots of work to be done before their next game Sunday
against Jacksonville.

”The good thing about it is we made the corrections with a
`W,”’ nose tackle Sione Pouha said. ”We know that we can do way
better in all facets of the defense.”

The Jets allowed 390 yards of offense to the Cowboys, a number
Ryan called ”painful.” Tony Romo was on his way to a terrific
night, throwing for 342 yards, and taking advantage of some blown
plays and missed tackles.

”It was good news, bad news,” Ryan said. ”We have to get
better and you give Dallas a lot of credit because they made a lot
of plays both offensively and defensively, but we made enough plays
at the end. Our defense was at its best at the end of the game, in
the fourth quarter. So, that’s a good thing, but we made some
mistakes. That isn’t who we are.”

Ryan clearly was not pleased with his defense, despite some huge
plays – such as Jim Leonhard running down Jason Witten to prevent a
touchdown, and Darrelle Revis’ interception that led to the winning
field goal. He announced that game balls from the win would go to
Plaxico Burress and LaDainian Tomlinson on offense, and Joe
McKnight, Isaiah Trufant and Nick Folk on special teams.

And, on defense? None.

That’s a rarity for a coach who prides himself on stopping
offenses. Ryan wants to see them be better, even if it angers his
defensive players.

”That’s good,” Ryan said.

The Jets were particularly vulnerable against screen plays
Sunday night, and opponents will surely try to capitalize on
that.

”It’s definitely a copycat league,” Leonhard said, ”and the
stuff you struggle with the week before or once you get later in
the season, everything you struggle with up to that point, teams
come back to. We definitely have a lot of stuff to clean up.”

They’ll also have to get more pressure on the quarterback,
although they had four sacks of Romo, including a game-changing
play in the fourth quarter in which he tried to run the ball in at
the goal line but Mike DeVito caused a fumble that Pouha
recovered.

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie had a rough game, getting beat for
two touchdowns, including one in which he appeared to have an
interception until the ball was ripped out of his hands by Miles
Austin as the two rolled in the end zone for a touchdown.

”It’s an offensive league,” Cromartie said. ”It already says
in the rule book that if we tie, it’s going to go to the offense. I
felt like I had the ball. I felt like he didn’t take it until he
tried to roll me over. I thought we were supposed to review every
single touchdown, but I guess we didn’t review that play.”

One thing the Jets did a terrific job of was playing a clean
game. They were called for no penalties, compared to seven for the
Cowboys. That was one area the Jets have worked hard on since last
season, when everyone in the organization would do pushups
depending on the number of penalties the players committed in
practice.

”That’s a point of emphasis this year, trying to knock those
penalties way down,” Ryan said. ”I think we are a talented team
and if we can eliminate those mental (mistakes), eliminate the
penalties, eliminate the self-inflicted wounds, if you will, then
we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Oh, and there was one more game ball Ryan was giving out: to
himself ”for winning the Ryan Bowl again.” Rob Ryan, Dallas’
defensive coordinator, has lost to his twin brother in consecutive
seasons; last year Rob was with Cleveland. But, for the most part,
Rob’s unit did the job in keeping the Jets’ offense in check Sunday
night.

After all, the Cowboys held New York to just 45 yards rushing,
with starter Shonn Greene gaining only 26 yards on 10 carries.

”They had a good beat on our running game,” Greene said. ”You
know, a lot of blitzes and a lot of stunt and stuff we had never
seen, so running the ball was kind of tough.”

That had the Jets throwing a lot more than usual as Mark Sanchez
was 26 for 44 for 335 yards – one off his career best. Not that
Ryan’s ”Ground-and-Pound” running philosophy is going to take a
back seat to an air attack anytime soon.

”I definitely don’t want to be that,” Ryan said. ”I don’t
want those numbers to ever be like that, but games are
different.”

Yep, and sometimes you win ugly. And the Jets will take them
however they come.

”For three years now, one thing you can say about this team, it
doesn’t lack fight,” Ryan said. ”We might not win every game and
we might not play great every game, but this team is going to give
you what we have.”

Notes: Cromartie was the primary kick returner, gaining 51 yards
on three returns in a role that could become more frequent this
season. Ryan said special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff’s plan is
to rotate Cromartie and Joe McKnight. ”Both of them are speed
guys,” Ryan said. ”But, Cromartie could be exceptional back
there.” … Ryan said there was ”nothing huge,” in terms of
injuries.