Let me start with a personal note. I have always been one to enjoy a few beers as I watch my favorite team play, but I haven’t been doing that this year, because I wanted to watch the game as absolutely clear headed as possible, in order to write about it the next day.
However, after two early interceptions, I decided it was time to go back to what’s worked in the past. So I grabbed my frosty Dallas Cowboys gel mug and poured freely.
Now, on to yesterday’s game. I have often heard football called a game of inches and it was never more apparent than yesterday, when Dez Bryant’s dramatic game winning touchdown was called back because his hand touched a few inches out of bounds before he landed in the end zone.
If only he could have landed on his rear without reaching out with his hand to brace himself. Oh well, it is what it is and some great performances were lost in a game that only counts as another loss.
The fact that they came this close to winning, after six turnovers, is a testament to the talent on this team, but it is also a testament to their lack of discipline. If this is not the most undisciplined team in the NFL, they are close to it.
We continue to see stupid mistakes, like the ones Dez made when he did not run the route correctly and caused an interception, as well as his fumble on the punt return. It also appeared to me that Dez could have added more yards to his fifty five yard catch, if he continued on down the sideline, instead of running towards coverage in the middle of the field.
Kevin Ogletree continues to show he is nothing special, despite his one good game in the opener against the Giants. And Felix Jones continues to struggle with hanging onto the ball. The defense, once again, played well enough to win, but the offense made it nearly impossible.
So, where do they go from here? It’s not like my suggestions will carry any weight with the team, but I will offer them anyway. The Cowboys got a head start on what I am suggesting by using Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris on punt returns after Bryant’s fumble. But they didn’t go far enough.
If the problem with Dez is that he tries too hard to make things happen, then he shouldn’t have been out there for that last punt return of the game. The bottom line is that the coaches can work with the players to try to ensure proper focus on the job at hand and protecting the ball, but ultimately it is up to the player to perform.
If they have players that continue to not get it, then they need to sit them down until they do. Based on that philosophy, the following actions should take place. Dez needs to be the third receiver with limited routes to run and Ogletree needs to keep the bench warm.
The starting receivers should be Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris. Let’s see what Harris can do with extensive playing time. They should also find a way to get Beasley into the mix as a slot receiver. Felix needs to sit and, if DeMarco Murray still can’t go, Phillip Tanner needs to start, with a healthy dose of Lance Dunbar added in.
The window on this season is closing quickly and I fear that more of the same will cause it to be completely shut very soon. So why not shake things up and see if it helps?