Dallas Meltdown Exposes Weak Running Game


There are a lot of things I’d like to say about Sunday’s meltdown by the Cowboys in Detroit. However, most of them are unfit for print. Dallas missed a golden opportunity to put some distance between themselves and their floundering foes in the NFC East.

Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) walks off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 31-30 at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

While the Philadelphia Eagles continued their descent into oblivion and the Washington Redskins dropped another game in Denver, the New York Giants tallied up their second win in a row by defeating the aforementioned Eagles. I know it also happened to be only their second win of the season, but I have a sick feeling that the G-Men might be gearing up for one of those second-half-of-the-season pushes that they have become known for. What’s even worse, the Cowboys have a trip to the Meadowlands left on their schedule…Pass the Tums please!

There are a number of things we can take from Sunday’s loss.

First and foremost, the inability of the Cowboys to run the football has never been more evident than in their final possession against the Lions. With starting running back DeMarco Murray in his all-too-frequent-position on the sidelines, Dallas’ back up backs came up in the minus column and, as a result, Detroit was able to seize the moment and the home win. This confirms what everybody but the Jones Boys have known for a while now. The Cowboys running game is atrocious. The refusal of the Cowboys front office to recognize this sad fact and do something about it is mystifying and frustrating.

With that in mind, it is mind-boggling why Jason Garrett and company decided to try two runs up the middle instead of attempting at least one screen pass or short toss to gain a first down.  If they had done that, chances are the Lions would never have seen the ball again. Instead, Dallas chose to play it safe and it cost them dearly…we may not realize just how dearly until the end of the season when that loss might come back to bite them in the butt.

Even with the questionable play calling and time management issues, the Cowboys still might have been able to get out of their own way if it hadn’t been for a dumb holding call that stopped the clock and essentially gave the Lions a fourth timeout. Had Dallas not been penalized, they would have still been able to run significant time off the clock before attempting a field goal and Detroit’s chances at a miracle finish would have been greatly reduced.

Then there is Dez…there are many adjectives that describe the way the Cowboys’ receiver chose to conduct himself on the sidelines Sunday afternoon…juvenile…thuggish…selfish… The bottom line is that Bryant is looking a whole lot like another receiver Dallas had on the roster a few years ago and his initials are T.O. The word “team” seems to be a foreign concept to our latest #88. His only concern seems to be how his stat sheet looks at the end of the game. If he were frustrated with not getting the ball, Bryant should have had the maturity to wait until he wasn’t in front of a national television audience to voice his displeasure. As it is, he has created controversy for a team that is already struggling and nothing good can come of that. If Mr. Jones were asking me what to do with Dez I’d say trade him for a good running back and let someone else deal with his sideline antics. Since that is likely not an option, trade Miles Austin to some unsuspecting team and give Bryant #19 because he is not #88 material.