The Dallas Cowboys are again firmly entrenched in the dreaded month of December and we haven’t yet seen the true identity of this crop of Cowboys emerge. In fact, the only consistent thing about the 2012 ‘Boys is that they are, well, inconsistent. It is always a mystery right up until kickoff which team will show up. Will it be the Cowboys who started out the season by dominating the New York Giants in their house to open the season; or the bunch that barely outlasted the hapless, hopeless Philadelphia Eagles in Cowboys Stadium? That being said, there are a few pros and cons that have become apparent as the season winds into the home stretch.
Much maligned as he is, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has now surpassed not only three-time Super Bowl winner Troy Aikman, but Captain Comeback himself, Roger Staubach in the touchdown department. While this milestone is certainly not to be taken lightly, Romo would most likely trade any accolade we could name for some of the championship hardware the aforementioned QBs posses. It is debatable whether or not Romo is an elite quarterback. However his ability to pull a play out of thin air has kept the Cowboys in many a game and looking around the league at some of the quarterback woes in the NFL, keeping Romo at the helm for the foreseeable future will undoubtedly be a priority as contract time rolls around.
Although a foot injury has limited running back DeMarco Murray’s production, when healthy he provides a much needed lift to what has become a dismal Cowboys’ ground game. Coming into their recent clash with Philly, Dallas ranked dead last in the league in rushing. We can’t help but wonder if Marion Barber is sitting under a palm tree somewhere laughing his dreads off. The fiasco in the Cowboys’ backfield started when the powers that be in Big D decided to fix what wasn’t broken and switch Barber from closer to starter and eventually to scapegoat. Since then, Dallas’ run game has failed miserably. While there is still a glaring need for a third down back, Murray can solve most of the running woes if he can stay healthy and get some blocking up front
That brings us to the cons of the current Cowboys…
The patchwork offensive line that Dallas has assembled has made Tony Romo’s ability to scramble more valuable than the art collection in Jerry’s Palace. Even so, Romo has been running for his life or lying on his back with a confused lineman standing over him more than we care to recall. We can only hope that come draft time, the Jones boys will look at some film of the great Cowboys teams of the past and realize that no matter how much star power is on the field, offensive success starts up front with the big guys.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory has been a growing trend in Dallas. Instead of finding ways to win, Dallas seems plagued with ways to swing momentum in their opponent’s favor. Case in point, the icing of our own kicker that sent the Cowboys home for the playoffs and the Giants on a path that eventually led them to Super Bowl victory in 2011. Blown leads and digging themselves into huge holes have to be replaced with consistent play from the opening kick to the final seconds of every game for the Cowboys to develop the confidence it takes for a successful season.
As we buckle up for the remainder of the 2012 season, we can be sure of only one constant about this group of Cowboys. They will keep us on the edge of our seats until the clock hits zero.