The Dallas Cowboys set plenty of records during last Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. It almost makes you wish they would play them all the time because they played probably the best and worst football all season long. They only they did consistently were not giving up until the last pass by QB Tony Romo.
TE Jason Witten set a NFL record with 18 catches in one game. The previous record holder was Kellen Winslow, Sr. with 15 in 1984. Witten had 167 yards and no touchdowns.
The also had matched a mark not seen since the 1960’s when Don Meredith was the quarterback for the Cowboys. They had 3 receivers with over 100 yards in a game. Considering that Romo threw for a club record 62 times, it was no surprise. It seemed like Romo was trying to match or surpass former Chicago Cardinal Jim Hardy’s record of 8 set in 1950. Luckily he only threw half of that, but after the first quarter it made you want to start thinking how many he was going to have by games end.
Records aside, the bottom line is they lost once again at home to the New York Giants, 29-24. The Giants are undefeated at Cowboys Stadium since it inaugural opening.
At the start of the season, folks were talking about how the Cowboys had beaten the Giants and that this season is going to be different. Well folks, it is different. The Cowboys are worse than they have ever been in many years. Romo has 9 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. Thankfully Matt Cassell in Kansas City is throwing a few more at 15. The running game is dismal, the receivers are not putting in the effort they should be. I will say one improvement is the play of Doug Free. He has improved his play and the number of penalties committed by the offensive line.
Some solutions that I see, replace the third receiver. Kevin Ogletree is not getting it done. WR Dez Bryant and Miles Austin had a better performance last week, but are still not getting it done as expected. My expectation as a fan is simple. Run your routes correctly and with some energy. Put some extra effort in catching those more difficult passes and watch your hands when falling in the end zone. Well, as best you can. You cannot fault Bryant, natural instinct kicked in and his hand hit the chalk when he fell in what was supposed to be the winning catch. I will give him this that was one heckuva catch, one that surprised me that he caught.
The running backs are not getting the ball enough. Head Coach Jason Garrett had stated that the interceptions are a “team problem.” Part of that has some truth in it, but I still concede you get rid of those little dump off passes much like the one that was intercepted by Giants DL Jason Pierre-Paul. Throwing the ball forward is the name of the game, I am not sure they taught Garrett that at Princeton.
Jason, are you listening to your old coach?
The Dallas running game needs to be more involved, teams are not going to win throwing 62 times. Running the ball 17 times is not enough, that seems to be a coaching problem. If Garrett would look at the history of the past games and realize running the ball 20+ times is the answer to getting closer to more victories. The last time the Cowboys played the Giants, the Cowboys ran 26 times and won. In their win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they ran the ball 23 times. And in the win against Carolina, they ran the ball 31 times.
This team is getting the play calling that works. Some of us have been calling for the head of Jerry Jones as General Manager, let’s start talking about having Jason Garrett start utilizing an offensive coordinator who isn’t afraid to run the ball. Garrett is too busy as the head coach to see the big picture and the needs of this team. I am not calling for him to be fired; I am calling for him to be removed as the offensive coordinator. Take a page from your former head coach and 2 time Super Bowl Winner Jimmy Johnson like many of your other things you have done in training camp.