Down 28-3 at the half to the Washington Redskins at home on Thanksgiving.
and I thought this season couldn’t hit another low.
Face it, these Dallas Cowboys do not have what it takes to make a late-season charge by winning four out of their last five games. Heck, it is very probable that they could lose four of their last five and wind up 6-10, the same record that they had in 2010 when quarterback Tony Romo went down in the first quarter of the year and was replaced by Jon Kitna.
Coaching, toughness, and leadership, you name it and the Cowboys lack it on the field on game day. It is inexcusable to be unprepared for the annual Thanksgiving game that the Cowboys have been a part of for a long time and one that Romo had flourished in until Thursday. Now it was not all his fault of course, head coach Jason Garrett abandoned the run as soon as Robert Griffin III launched his first touchdown that gave Washington a 7-3 lead that they would not relinquish. DeMarco Murray being out has certainly made this offense one-dimensional in every aspect of the world, but Garrett abandons the run as soon as their is the first sign of trouble on the horizon–or in this case, the scoreboard.
It is a symptom of the bigger problem: he cannot handle playcalling duties on the offensive side of the ball and as a head coach. We’ve all heard it before, fans have been clamoring for change since Dallas failed to crack 25+ points until a loss to the Ravens in week 6. This simply is just not a team that instills fear into any opponent. Sure, the Cowboys have Dez Bryant and Miles Austin and a first-ballot HOF’er in Jason Witten, but those weapons are useless unless you have someone who can utilize them to their full potential on a WEEKLY basis. Bryant has emerged in the last month and has been putting together the best football of his career, but Austin has been battered and bruised and eliminated as a downfield threat altogether.
The root of the offensive problem lies with the line, of course. As I was watching the game between New England and the Jets Thanksgiving night, it made me incredulous to watch the clean pocket that the Patriots offensive line gave Tom Brady on mostly every play. Brady has never been known as a mobile quarterback, but he doesn’t need to be when he has a nasty line blocking would-be pass rushers and giving him time to dissect defenses. That is the thing, nobody on the Cowboy line is what someone would call “nasty.” Call me crazy, but I miss Flozell Adams and Leonard Davis and even Marc Columbo. Sure, those guys weren’t the greatest or the most athletic –they were a far cry better than this crop, though– but they had an element of nastiness that is missing from this group. Adams leg-whipped Giants linebacker Justin Tuck one game, and I can remember numerous times where Davis got into tussles after the snap with defenders. Nobody has that personality on this team’s line. Doug free is a turnstile and has been a waste of a contract since he received it, Tyron Smith can be that guy, but he is in the top five in the NFL in holding penalties so he has other things to fix before he can focus on being a mean lineman. Jeremy Parnell, Derrick Dockery, Ryan Cook, Phil Costa, none of those players are in any way franchise players who can be relied upon week after week.
The Cowboys should beat the Eagles this weekend, they are in way worse shape than Dallas and head coach Andy Reid is counting down the days until he is fired –or quits– so he can move on from that train wreck of a team. That may be the pot calling the kettle black seeing that Dallas isn’t exactly the model of team unity, but at least this team isn’t having locker room problems with players talking badly about other players, etc..etc. But if Dallas does win Sunday night, does it change the outlook of a season that in my opinion was lost when Sean Lee went down? He was the heart and soul of a defense that has the look of a group that is just trying to hold back the storm, and Lee’s backup Bruce Carter also going down for the year with an elbow, it seems like only a matter of time until the defense shatters.
A lot of people didn’t expect anything more than mediocrity this year, but the ways in which the Cowboys have lost have done nothing to make me think that this coaching staff can turn it around for next year.
Faith is at a premium these days when you are talking about the Cowboys.