The Dallas Cowboys offense on Monday night was pure ugly. The kind of ugly you hope you don’t wake up next to in the morning. It was a narrow victory against the Washington Redskins, when Dallas should have blown them out. The offense’s inability to get in to the endzone was frustrating and doesn’t bode well for this Sunday’s game against the undefeated Detroit Lions. Let’s address the issues, both good and bad, one by one. First, the bad:
Center Phil Costa: What happened? This guy beats out a Pro Bowl player in Andre Gurode for the starting position during the preseason. Then in front of a world wide audience on Monday Night Football he turns in the worst performance by a center..possibly in the history of the National Football League. This dude’s stock is dropping faster than Netflix. I’m not over-reacting here. I understand it was just one game. And Costa will have his chance to redeem himself. I just want to know what happened to him so I can avoid it in my own life.
Tight End Martellus Bennett: If you read my previous article (click here), then you know I’m not very high on Bennett. He may have the height and the athletic ability, but lacks passion, heart, or the drive to succeed. This was never more evident then in last night’s game. Bennett was called for holding which took away a long Felix Jones run. He also dropped what should have been a “gimme” touchdown pass. Seriously, he had seven inches on the guy and he didn’t go after the ball. It was as if Bennett expected the ball to float into his hands. Again, no effort. No heart. I can’t wait to see this guy suck on another team next year.
Wide Receiver Kevin Ogletree: I’ve always like what I’ve seen out of Ogletree. But last night, I was starting to question his intelligence. Some of the things he was doing out on the field made him look like an idiot. I’m not saying he is one, but he didn’t look like a high graduate out there. He didn’t look like a elementary school graduate out there. I know. I know. It’s just one game and he did make a clutch catch near the end. Again, Ogletree will have more chances. But the bottom line is I don’t think he’s the receiver I was hoping he was. At a minimum, we all can agree he did not step up like we needed him too. Maybe it’s just not in him.
Tackle Doug Free: I get that Free has to protect Tony Romo at all costs, especially when he’s hurting. And that’s why he was called for holding a couple times. Fine. But Free seemed over-matched for much of the night. Of all the players to worry about on the offensive line, Free shouldn’t be one of them. It’s just something to watch for.
Running back Tashard Choice: Choice had a rough night. But I think the idea that he could be a better starter than Felix Jones is going out the window a bit. Choice lost me when he ran out of bounds late in the 4th quarter on 3rd down, essentially giving the Redskins an extra timeout. That kind of mental mistake would have been blown up in the media if Dallas had lost. How do you trust Choice as your starter if he has no idea what the situation in the game is?
Wide Receiver Jesse Holley: The hero of Week Two. Jesse? Jesse? Anybody seen him? Being a one-hit wonder is not going to help the movie deal for his life story.
Head Coach Jason Garrett: When is it alright for me to start questioning Coach Garrett’s play-calling? He does a wonderful job as Head Coach, but I’m not sure he’s the best offensive coordinator. In comparison, I thought the Shanahan kid called a decent game for Washington. But maybe it’s too soon to distinguish between bad play-calling and bad offensive execution. I’m just saying, some of his calls are a little baffling. And sometimes there a little too predictable. Again, just something to watch for.
Now for the positives:
Running back Felix Jones: Where have you been? Boy, did we need him Monday night. It’s obvious that Washington’s defense tired out form all that blitzing on Romo. And Jones took full advantage. I hope this trend continues…not the blitzing of Romo though.
Wide Receiver Laurent Robinson: This kid was the best wideout we had Monday, outside of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. He made some big plays for us. If Ogletree can’t recover, Robinson has a legit shot at being our number three receiver soon.
Quarterback Tony Romo: Romo must feel like a senior at the freshman prom. With an inexperience offensive line and receiver corp, he was having to directing traffic after ever huddle out there. Nobody knew where to line up or when to snap the ball. But somehow Romo pulled out a win again. Two plays stand out to me. His scramble to get Dez Bryant the ball late in the 4th quarter. And his impromptu pass for a two yard gain after Phil Costa snapped the ball ten yards past him…again. Those plays by Romo were special.
The Dallas Defense: They are the main reason we won this game. If they didn’t hold back the Redskins offense or cause the turnovers they did, Dallas doesn’t win that game. Sean Lee and Anthony Spencer were especially vital. But so were names like Victor Butler and Abram Elam. What a great team effort out there.
Kicker Dan Bailey: What can I say? The kid was clutch. He set an NFL rookie record for made field goals in a game. Too bad kickers in Dallas are all judged on a game-by-game basis. Maybe he’ll stick with a team a long term after Dallas eventually cuts him.