Some of you remember the chick flick, “How to lose a guy in 10 days.” Much like that movie, watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday reminded me that this game was about to be lost in a number of ways. Overall, their game planning was spot on, but somewhere during the show, the mistakes piled up and time ran out.
- Time management – How many more times do the Cowboys lose a game because of the clock? Last Sunday, they were looking at a first down situation, on the 33 yard line, with 30 seconds, plus a timeout, and they ran one play. One would think that they practice this type of scenario each week. There are two-minute drills in college, so one would assume they know about this in the NFL. If not, please contact June Jones, SMU’s head coach or Gary Patterson, TCU’s head coach. Both would be willing to help.
- Penalties – What is the over/under on the total number of penalties the Cowboys will commit in 2012? As has been written, daily, by any number of sports writers; this team is notorious for playing against the league rules. It is common knowledge that they will do one or more of the following on any given Sunday: illegally shift, unlawfully put hands on faces, falsely start, aggressively hold, personally foul, and any other outlawed rules. To date, the Cowboys defense has a total of 33 penalties for 238 yards; while the offense has a total of 46 penalties for 330 yards. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t a recurring theme every single game.
- Lack of discipline – Who is going to discipline the Dallas Cowboys? Rob Ryan, the Defensive Coordinator, looks like a man who will not put up with shenanigans, but the defense continues to make mistakes. Bill Callahan, the Offensive Coordinator, (has anyone even seen him this season?), appears to be in title only. Jason Garrett, aka red Jesus, reminds many of little Opie Taylor. Let’s be honest, these men, coaches and players alike, need some butts kicked. See #2.
- Lackadaisical effort – Does no one feel a sense of urgency? Spending time whining to the referee, lollygagging back to the huddle; no sense of urgency whatsoever. The Cowboys knew the game was still theirs to win, plenty of time to put a W on the record books. Instead the offense, as a collective unit, decided to waste precious seconds which ended up costing them the game. See #3.
- Dropped passes – Who is going to take up the charge of catching the ball? Jason Witten did just that in the Ravens game. The other wide receivers – butter hands. Is it really that difficult to secure a football? It looks fairly easy on television, especially when the ball hits you square in the chest. Wear gloves, don’t wear gloves, spend some time practicing – whatever it takes.
- Underachieving players – Are the Dallas Cowboys a bunch of overpaid, underachieving prima-donnas? On paper, this is a talented bunch of athletes. They are in the top tier for most positions among their peers. On the field, the veterans are making rookie mistakes that not even the rookies are making. This also goes back to #3 and #4.
- Injuries – Will there ever be a day when there are no injuries? No, injuries are part of this brutal game, unfortunately. DeMarco Murray, first string running back, was a workhorse in the first half. He went down right before halftime and did not return to the Ravens game. This is really no one’s fault, but can and does affect the outcome. Phil Costa, greatly missed in the first four games, returned and helped the offensive line out immensely. The key to getting around the injury situation is to have plenty of depth on the roster.
- The head coach – Is Jason Garrett the answer? Watercooler talk around the nation is that he may not be the savior Dallas was hoping for. Fans are starting to get nervous about his ability to take the Cowboys to the top. A lack of motivation, no sense of urgency, little emotion; all signs of a boring, incompetent coach. See #’s 1, 3, 4, and 6.
- Costly turnovers- Why do turnovers always come at inopportune times? Tony Romo, Cowboys quarterback, played nearly flawless in the Ravens game, but tied at 10, the Cowboys were driving down field, when Romo threw an interception. Momentum switched back to the Ravens. He is human and mistakes happen; however, not each and every game. At least it wasn’t another Chicago Bears five turnover fiasco.
- Jerry Jones – When will Mr. Jones step away? Never. That’s what it looks like anyway. He enjoys the money over winning too much, apparently. It’s so bad that he’s making ridiculous rap commercials about cheap pizza. He sold his soul to the devil when he purchased the Dallas Cowboys and until God, Himself, steps in, this team will not succeed.
There it is – 10 ways the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Will we continue to see the same list of problems this Sunday? Let’s not!