The Dallas Cowboys and their fan base are having to stew for two weeks over the poor performance in the team’s loss to the Chicago Bears at home on Monday night football. The team has struggled over the past 3 weeks, and many fans have their own opinion of what the problems are. They are pointing to the offensive line, quarterback Tony Romo, head coach Jason Garrett, wide receiver Dez Bryant, team owner Jerry Jones, lack of a running game, or some have called out defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the defense.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the offense that is ranked almost last in points scored, and the fans have reason to be pessimistic. But I do believe that the defense should be a source of optimism. If you take away the punt blocked return for a touchdown in the Seattle game, the two field goals that were setup by Dallas turnovers in the same game, and the two touchdowns that were returned from Romo’s interceptions in the Chicago game, then technically the Dallas defense is only responsible for 61 points that the opponents have scored through 4 games. That is an average of 15 points per game, which would be ranked in the top 5. The Dallas defense also ranks in the top 5 in opponent’s yard per game average. Fans should not be giving up on the defense just yet. As far as the offense goes….
Sound the alarm! This year no one is playing consistent football or clutch football except for wide receiver Miles Austin. He is the only one on offense that deserves a passing grade through the first quarter of the season. The offense needs to work on the mental mistakes such as turnovers, penalties, missed assignments, and dropped passes. If they can play sound football, and not give the other team a short field to work with, I think the defense can keep the Cowboys in most games which will give them a chance to win most games.
The next 5 games are going to be brutal for the Cowboys. They must go on the road to Baltimore and Carolina, then come home to face a Giants team ready to avenge their opening day loss to the Cowboys. Afterwards, the Cowboys go back on the road to Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Cowboys will probably have one or two ugly losses in this stretch. One of those ugly losses could be the first game after their bye week at the hands of a super bowl caliber team in Baltimore. If Dallas can somehow manage to get two wins out of these next 5 games, then their record would be at 4-5 going into a much easier stretch of games including many home games. It is not a pretty record, and one many fans may not be happy with. But this is a key mark that Dallas needs to be at to have any shot at the playoffs.
As Dallas works out the kinks in their offense, they need to keep it simple. Take care of the ball, run the ball, and let the defense keep them in games. This should help them get into position for a playoff run.