If you didn’t watch the game last night, you probably aren’t reading this article either or you had some sort of committment you could not get out of. For those people in the latter category, consider yourselves fortunate that you did not have to go through the torture that is watching the 2013 Dallas Cowboys defense. Come up with whatever brutal, superlative adjective you like, they all fit. Consider it your own personal stamp of disapproval for the train wreck that will be another season in no D. Oops, I meant Big D.
Perhaps it was an omen for what was to come when on the first official day of training camp, the defensive line lost Tyrone Crawford for the year with a torn Achilles. Maybe we should have seen it coming when two supposed starters, Anthony Spencer and Jay (oh, excuse me sir, Jeremiah all of a sudden) Ratliff got paid stupid money for what has become literally nothing. Putting the franchise tag on Spencer provided Dallas with $10.6 million worth of two tackles all year while Ratliff connived the Cowboys into finally dumping his sorry butt, never to play another game for the Cowboys and costing them $12 million in cap space and $16 million in dead money the next two years.
The truth is that a myriad of factors have created this not so perfect storm of ineptitude. Bad drafts and even worse contracts. Hirings and firings of coaches. You name it and it probably has put the Cowboys in the position they are in. I am fully aware of all the “pie in the sky,” “glass is half-full” scenarios and B.S. that exist in regards to the chances this team makes the playoffs. Save it. Even if it does happen, the Cowboys would need to get extremely lucky to have any kind of post season success and luck my friends, is not something that springs eternal here at Valley Ranch.
This article is about the necessary, yet difficult decisions that need to be made so that maybe next year, watching a Cowboys game is not a constant embarrassment or a masochistic experience.
Let’s start with the coaching. In no way shape or form should Monte Kiffin be allowed to come back. I am not even sure he deserved to fly home with the team. I was dead wrong earlier in the year when I said that his scheme may fit better than Rob Ryan’s. Ryan was not the answer but obviously, neither is Kiffin. In no way should a 73, soon to be 74-year old man be going through the rigors of coaching. I think we can all agree that this experiment failed. If Rod Marinelli wants to stay, he is welcome to do so, but I have a feeling he will leave town if Kiffin is fired to go wherever Lovie Smith is hired to run a team. If Smith does not get a head coaching job, his hire as defensive coordinator would be a step in the right direction. Another option could be Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, if they choose to fire him.
The next stop is the defensive line. Tyrone Crawford will be back but to what degree, only time will tell. One guy who is likely all but gone is Jason Hatcher. He intends to be a free agent and unfortunately, Dallas cannot afford to throw money at anyone who will be 32 years of age. If Hatcher gets no bites anywhere else, he may be open to staying put but someone will pay him. Nick Hayden, George Selvie and Drake Nevis all provide adequate depth to the line, are cheap and give the team some youth so they will likely be in the mix. Ben Bass will be back as well. Anthony Spencer will only be back if he takes a super cheap deal which is as likely as catching Santa Claus come down your chimney. That leaves DeMarcus Ware.