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.