Bye weeks are for getting healthy and taking much needed trips to Cabo. Not computing to the last known digit the value of pi, or developing a working warp drive. It’s also not enough time to find a cure for what is plaguing the Dallas Cowboys.
A short year ago, the Washington Redskins went from cellar dwellers to division champs, capping of a 7-game win streak with a solid thrashing of the Cowboys, who, for the second year in a row, found themselves in another win and you’re in scenario. True to form the Cowboys lost in familiar fashion – an interception by Tony Romo – only after numerous personal foul penalties and questionable play calling. Not to mention a running game that hasn’t lived in Dallas since the days of Emmitt Smith.
Just how important is a running game to the success of the Dallas Cowboys? In two straight seasons Emmitt Smith scored over 20 touchdowns. This does not include points collected by other members of the 90’s juggernaut. Not since 2010 have the Cowboys scored in the double digits (10) in rushing touchdowns, and that came on the battered back of Marion “The Barbarian” Barber. And no team has ever won a Super Bowl when rushing for fewer than 10 touchdowns in a season. Two years ago, the New York Football Giants, after recovering from an NFC East-esque slow start, finished the season with a paltry 17 rushing touchdowns, going on to defeat the New England Patriots and the legendary Tom Brady. Who, by the way, doesn’t do well under pressure – just ask his wife.
There were no trips to Cabo this time. No time spent behind bars. It makes you wonder what they were doing these last two weeks.
One can easily imagine the words “Moral Victory” on the dry erase board, with the phrase, “Penalties are Poop!” just beneath them. When, in fact, it was owner/gm/head coach Jerry Jones who filled us in on what might have been the focus these past few days;
“I think they probably worked on those combinations, where to line those guys up,” Jones said. “I think the thought process was where to line those guys up and how to maximize their skill and get better matchups.”
I don’t see a cure for an ailing Cowboys team in those words. I don’t see a solution for getting the ball to Dez Bryant, unless it includes making him watch every pass caught by Calvin Johnson over his entire career. If that’s what it takes to instill in him the importance of getting separation from the defensive backs, so be it.
Unless there’s a cure for a comatose rushing attack somewhere in Jones’ bag of tricks, they’re going to have to loosen Romo’s leash, somewhat, and allow him to make (force) the big play. Yeah, but what about the spongy, offensive line; where do they fit in? The loss of Brian Waters hurt – bad! I doubt there’s a cure for that particular disease other than another draft pick.
Which brings us to the defense; what defense? Giving up a record 40 first downs in a single game, while giving up over 600 yards total offense in the same game? Did you ever see those old, buzzing, vibrating football games of the 70’s? Where the players went in all different directions but the one you wanted them to go? You’ve never seen them? That’s fine, just watch the Cowboys’ secondary. Next thing you know, you’ll be scouring EBay looking for one.
The New York Giants play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. In a game that the Giants feel is their Super Bowl. Boy, you gotta love that Tom Coughlin; he has the uncanny ability to turn lead into gold. Whatever disease racked the Giants the first 6 losses of the season has been all but eradicated over the last 4 wins.
Evidently, the cure for a sick team is winning. If history repeats itself – and it usually does – we can expect the Cowboys to come out sneezing and wheezing to another dismal display of passive aggressive, mediocrity.
Winning won’t cure the Dallas Cowboys. Hiring a real general manager, and a bonafide, successful coach will be a good place to start.