Last month I wrote an article about The Mothership in regards to a column they put out ranking each NFL team based off the future. In case you missed it, here is a link to what I wrote (http://thelandryhat.com/2013/06/23/the-future-of-the-dallas-cowboys-is/).
Since that time, there have been a couple other pieces either on the website or on their television programs that have pushed me over the edge. Before I get any further, I have to admit that I am already at a breaking point when it comes to the Cowboys. I can brush off your average every day blow hard that hates the Cowboys for whatever misguided reason and has no facts or logic to back it up. I can even handle the snide remarks and cheap comedic attempts that most media outlets make regarding this team because again, it is low-hanging fruit and regurgitated material. The two things that I cannot stomach however are Cowboys “fans” on social media or inside inner circles who bash specific players (see: Romo, Tony) and blame them for everything wrong with the franchise and mainstream, supposed top quality media types such as ESPN who go out of their way to disparage this team.
Outside of those directly effected within the organization, you would be hard pressed to find someone more than me who is more fed up with the constant mediocrity that has plagued the Cowboys over the last 15 years. Maybe that is why I am sensitive to the negativity that is spewed towards my franchise. I do not think I am being overly unfair when I say that the thoughts and opinions being projected have to be at least partially based on negative bias.
We’ll start with Ron Jaworski and his quarterback rankings. He says he broke down every single pass thrown in 2012 to come up with his best quarterbacks going into 2013. The usual suspects (Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc.) are on top as you would imagine. The “young guns” (Luck, Kaepernick, Wilson and RGIII) show up in spots 10-13 but where is our overly scrutinized and oft criticized Tony Romo? 15th. Exactly average and below other quarterbacks such as Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub and Jay Cutler. I honestly do not know if this is a joke or the ultimate slap in the face.
You cannot go solely off of last year and put any one of those four over Romo. Romo’s stats blow them all away and fairly, statistics are all you can really by when speaking of an individual. If you want to put all of the success of the team on one position, we can have that conversation too. Of those four quarterbacks, only one (Schaub) qualified for the post-season. That same QB won his first and only playoff game of his career to equal… Tony Romo. Romo beat Roethlisberger head to head and tied with Eli. He lost head to head to Cutler but again, look at the numbers head to head and it’s not even close.
Personally, if we are talking about solely the 2013 season, the only signal callers I would put ahead of Romo are Rodgers, Brady, Peyton Manning, Flacco and Brees. You could probably talk me into Kaepernick and Wilson because their questionable traits are nit-picking. Any body else, no way. Luck? Too many interceptions. RGIII? How’s the knee? Matt Ryan? He’s equal to Romo in stature but not stats. Eli? Please. Romo should be no worse than eighth. Fifteenth is a joke.
The next shovel load of crap from ESPN can be found in their organizational rankings based off of the talent under the age of 25 each team possesses. Where will you find the Cowboys on this list? 17th. Again, right in the middle of the pack. Do you see the underlying theme yet? Because Dallas has been 8-8 two straight years, that must mean we are simply average in every way. Blanket statement. Simple Simon philosophy.
Who are some teams they have ranked higher than Dallas? The Packers ranked fifth based largely off of two players, WR Randall Cobb (more on him later) and CB Casey Hayward. New England is ranked 9th (this was already discussed in the linked story above). The Jets were ranked 11th… I’ll wait for you to catch your breath from laughing so hard…
The Giants and Texans were ranked just above Dallas at 15th and 16th respectively based off of three guys. For New York, Hakeem Nicks and Jason Pierre-Paul and for Houston, J.J. Watt. So one or two guys is all it takes huh? I guess Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, Morris Claiborne, Bruce Carter, DeMarco Murray, Dan Bailey and Travis Frederick are all not enough. Again, removing bias, Dallas should be above all of those teams I listed which would have them just outside the top 10, a much more respectable position then seventeenth.
The final straw that broke this camel’s back however was Mel Kiper’s piece on Wednesday. Keeping along with “under 25″ theme, Mel rated his top 25 players under the age of 25. Only one Cowboy player made the list. I suppose that might be fair, although I would definitely say two should have made it but where this Cowboy finished is what did it for me. Dez Bryant was ranked…. NINETEENTH! Think about that one for a minute. Bryant has almost 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in only three years of work. Last year, Dez had five 100+ yard receiving games and four multi-touchdown games. He had two other games of 95 yards and 98 yards receiving.
Bryant is not only barely in the top 20, he’s being considered the third best WR under 25 behind Julio Jones and… Randall Cobb? Choosing between Julio and Dez is like arguing over your favorite ice cream flavor. Seriously, it’s ice cream, it’s just really good, no matter what flavor you choose.
But Cobb, you have got to be joking right? Cobb’s career totals of 1,329 yards and 9 touchdowns are not as good as Bryant’s 2012 season (1,382 & 12). Cobb has only had three 100+ yard games and two multi-touchdown games. Not only does Dez dominate him statistically, physically Dez is also far superior. While Cobb is best suited as a slot receiver, Dez can line up anywhere and is your beast in the mold of Calvin Johnson. Dez has been nicked up but unlike a lot of other guys, not only does he play through injuries but also he produces big numbers.
I mentioned that I thought another Cowboy should have been on this list. That would be Tyron Smith, who has 31 starts in his career and will have another 16 under his belt all before he turns 23. He has played right tackle and left tackle and is by far and away, the best lineman on his team. If Maurkice Pouncey and Anthony Davis, both of whom will be two years older than Smith by the middle of the season, made this list than Smith should have as well.
All this has worked my last nerve with ESPN. I will certainly no longer be using them for any football purposes outside of their fantasy league and that is only because I am already involved in it. ESPN has lost all of its credibility with me in regards to football coverage. I strongly suggest that you find another media outlet to obtain your football knowledge as well.