Dec 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass during the second half against the Washington Redskins at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA Today Sports

Dallas Cowboys Miss Playoffs Once Again

I don’t know how the weather is in your neck of the woods. For those of us who bleed blue, there is a dark cloud hanging overhead and no silver lining is in sight. When Tony Romo floated what proved to be the Dallas Cowboys final offensive play of 2012 into the waiting arms of Rob Jackson, he once again became the scapegoat for a terrible ending of a bad year. If the Cowboys are ever to hoist the Lombardi trophy again there is a lot to be fixed in Cowboy-land and it doesn’t start or end with the quarterback position.

Romo’s three interception performance against the Washington Redskins Sunday night was impossible for even his most stanch supporters to defend. When the dust clears, though, we have to take a look at the big picture and realize that the entire culture of the Cowboys has to change. The most obvious and welcome move would be for Jerry Jones to hire a GM to manage football operations. We all know Jones wants to win and the status of the Cowboys as the NFL’s most valuable franchise, despite their lack of success in recent years, proves he can market the heck out of his team. Sadly, we also know that the chances of Jones turning the day-to-day football operations of his team over to someone else are about as good as the chances of God swooping down from heaven to watch his team play in person.

Since that option is off the table, we can move down one step on the ladder to Jason Garrett. As if icing our own kicker in 2011 against the Cardinals and sending the rival Giants to Super Bowl glory wasn’t enough, we have been left with too many headscratchers to mention in this freshly ended season. Poor time management, strange offensive play calling and a lack of discipline that led to too many penalties in critical situations are marks that have to be erased if Dallas is going to become a dominant football team. Garrett’s handling of his team in the face of the tragedy that resulted in the death of one player and the arrest of another should certainly be commended. That situation aside, though, there is a severe lack of  leadership in the Cowboy’s locker room. In other words, the Cowboys need someone who can lead with an iron fist and light a fire under their collective butts when crunch time arrives.

There were numerous breakdowns on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys this year. We have to hold back some criticism of the Cowboys defense because of the numerous injuries they sustained, starting with Sean Lee way back in September. What we can’t defend, however, is why year after year goes by without any solution at offensive line. Tony Romo once again spent the better part of the season running for his life while the big beefy guys up front were standing around looking dazed and confused. We can only hope that problem is finally addressed in the long, cold off season. If not, #9 will be pressured into more costly decisions when 2013 rolls around and the revolving door at running back will never end.

As for the much maligned Mr. Romo, he certainly deserves his share of the blame for a loss that once again sent an NFC rival to the playoffs and the ‘Boys home for the winter. That being said, with our aforementioned offensive line woes, we can’t think of anyone who could do a better job than Romo in keeping the Cowboys in position to win more often than not. Unfortunately for Cowboy Nation, the “not” in that equation often comes at the most inopportune moment.

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  • kurumba

    If Garrett is to stay then hiring guys like Norv Turner as Offensive Co-Ordinator and Lovie Smith as Assistant Head Coach & Defensive Co-Ordinator would be a real upgrade. Smith in particular would be a major upgrade over Ryan.

  • kurumba

    Let’s all be real. Dallas had Ware crook, Lee, Carter, Brent, Ratliff, Coleman, Scandrick & Barry Church out. Old Denver Shanahan knew this. Two thirds of the defence missing. Yet with two or so minutes left Dallas still had a shot despite Dez also being out. With so many fill in defensive players all Old Denver Shanahan had to do was run Fast Head Morris 50 or so times. But wait.. Here comes the evil bruising Seahawks with almost a FULL SQUAD of battle hardened thugs. Fat Head Morris will struggle badly in this game as will Chicken Legs IV because Seattle is battle tested and battle hardened. Further Seattle has defeated Brady & Rodgers and belted San Francisco their arch rival. So Seattle will hardly fear Morris & Chicken Legs IV who they will further bang up. Old Denver Shanahan’s offense is highly predictable. It is ALWAYS based on a big ground game a fact which plays directly into Seattle’s hands. Seattle has the #1 takeaway defence. Old Denver Shanahan is trying to emulate what he did at The Broncos. Elway was impotent at the Championship level until Old Denver Shanahan found Davis in the 6th Rd, much like Fat Head Morris. Fat Head Morris should be aware that his life span is likely to be very short as Davis only lasted a few seasons in Old Denver before Shanahan’s obsession with RUN RUN RUN drove him to severe injury. Given this fact plus the reality that Dallas were minus MULTIPLE key defensive starters [including two of the best young LBs around] leads me to conclude that Old Denver Shanahan’s reign will NOT last very long. They also have NO FIRST RD PICKS in upcoming drafts and Salary Cap Penalties to deal with thus adding salt to the imminent wounds.

  • Bruce

    Start with being honest, this was a 6-10 team with an 8-8 record only because Cincinnati and Pittsburgh presented them with gifts. The supposedly miracle finishes had less to do with the team than with the opponents.

    Many years ago Mr Romo declared that his career would not be defined by whether or not he won a championship or something to that effect. That statement told me that he did not have what it takes to be a champion. He still comes across to me as more interested in himself than in the team.

  • jwkhutto

    Hmmm. Aikman had Michael Irvin to throw to, Emmitt to hand off to, an offensive
    line that didn’t suck and block like turnstiles, a Daryl Johnston to block for
    Emmitt, a defense that consisted of more than ONE badly banged up All Pro. Romo
    has Ogletree who can’t run routes, a Demarco Murray who can’t stay healthy, a
    Dez Bryant who can’t stay healthy, a defense that can’t stay healthy. Hmm, maybe
    the Cowboys need to fire their strength and conditioning coach, fire Doug Free,
    fire Ogletree, and either fire their GM or at least lock him in a closet for the
    duration of the 2013 NFL draft so he doesn’t eff the draft up again.