Cowboys Offseason Moves Sending Mixed Messages

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Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) looks into the backfield of the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. The Saints beat the Cowboys 34-31 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboy’s owner, Jerry Jones promised to make things uncomfortable.  The statement was aimed at all the people at Valley Ranch, but CowboysNation is feeling it too.

We were all hoping, if we are honest, that Jerry would fire Jason Garrett, saying goodbye to his ‘process’ and his predictable offensive scheme. If not that, then at least finally break down and hire a GM, someone like Mike Holmgren.  Instead, Cowboy’s defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, and his overly complicated defensive schemes got the axe.

Like most analysts and Cowboys fans at the time, I figured Ryan did an admirable, if not good,  job with a rag tag, off the couch, group of players.  As the injuries to key defensive players piled up, we gave the entire defense a pass.  It was the offense that needed change.

Jason Garrett had implemented a timing based passing offense that only worked in 2007.  As soon as the rest of the NFL figured it out, Garrett took few steps to change it.  On top of that, the Cowboys O line couldn’t open lanes, except for the opposing defensive pass rushers.  Tony Romo was running for his life and – a new wrinkle for most of last year – his receivers kept running poor routes.

Teams could tee off on Romo because they had no fear of the running game.

So naturally, the uncomfortable feeling Jerry spoke of would be felt on the offensive side of the ball, right?  No.  In fact, it looks like the offense is going to remain intact, except for the falling on the swords by running backs coach, Skip Peete and tight ends coach and Cowboy’s head coach’s brother, John Garrett.  What was the message there?  DeMarco Murray wasn’t developing?  Or was Jason Witten and the other TEs not holding up their position?  If any offensive position coach needed to go bye bye, it was Cowboy’s QB coach, Wade Wilson.

After careful consideration, and against the logic of the lying eyes of the poor Cowboy fan, the decision was made at Valley Ranch that the cause and problem of our 2nd consecutive 8 -8 season was not in the offense, but in the defensive philosophy. So not only did they relieve  DC Ryan of his duties, but also scrapped the 3-4 defense the Dallas Cowboys had been running for the last, like 8 years and decided to go back to a basic 4-3 scheme.  That should turn things around!

On the plus side, the Cowboys hired Monte Kiffin, the master mind of the Tampa 2, to implement the new defensive philosophy.

We also swapped some coaches with the Chicago Bears.  Essentially, we scrapped Bill Parcells defense that worked in New England and New York and adopted Chicago’s overnite.  It’s a mixed bag.  On the one hand, it wasn’t a bad idea.  The Tampa 2 is a very simple and effective defense, where as the 3-4 hybrid that Ryan ran in Dallas was overly complicated.  Apparently, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett think that the defensive players needed ‘Defense for Dummies’.  On the other hand, most of our defensive personnel were drafted for the 3-4.  This change may end up being a good thing, but I didn’t know we absolutely had to change.

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Tags: Anthony Spencer Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Tony Romo

  • P.j. Doyle

    You hit the Nail right on the Head. That’s just how I’ve been feeling lately.

  • Old Frog

    +1. Agree with everything you said.

  • Juanito Juanito

    what can you expect with the gm that cowboys have ? and i agree

  • Kaylee

    Jerry’s sold his soul for signing Deion Sanders back in 1995. We’ve been going downhill ever since.

  • Rodney Guidry

    Ryan being Jerry’s scapegoat. (the real problem is Jerry Jones). The Saints will benefit by having Ryan as DC. Ryan did a great job considering all the injuries Dallas had. Dallas’s lost Saints gain. Sean Payton is doing a great job in New Orleans already. I am so glad we have Tom Benson as our Saints owner.

  • Howleyesque

    Well said Artie! two DC’s fired (you left out Wade getting the axe BEFORE Garrett was given the HC job) and the redheaded wonder is still there making the same stupid mistakes with the offensive playcalling. 44-6, gee; two whole FG’s and one more in that mess in Minnesota the following year. I WONDER WHY the defense got tired?! Three and out WAY TOO OFTEN! That’s why! If it weren’t for Romo and Witten (with a little OCCASIONAL help from “others”) the Cowboys would have NO offense!

    • Artie C

      That’s right, i forgot about Wade! (who’s doing a great job in Houston) Garrett is a smart guy, so I don’t, for the life of me, understand why Garrett is sticking to his predictable offensive scheme – and because of that, why Jerry is sticking with Garrett

  • BradAustin

    Excellent article and my sentiments exactly. What are we looking at now, hopefully a few new starters we get in the draft added to the same 8-8 players from last year. And somehow those limited additions plus defensive coaching changes should turn this leaky ship into a speed boat? The roster is where maximum discomfort should have been enforced, instead we continue to fully support mediocre players and cross our fingers for enough improvement among them.

    A real GM is constantly looking to improve his personnel in any way he can find the means. Our GM throws full support behind his incapable current roster and hopes blind loyalty and clapping for them will make a huge difference. Continuing to take the same unsuccessful actions and expecting better results…madness.