The Dallas Cowboys publicly announcing the benching of cornerback Anthony Brown doesn’t address the team’s biggest issue … their lack of offense.
After three straight losses in which the Dallas Cowboys offense has been outscored 92-22, head coach Jason Garrett recently announced he’s suddenly decided to create some competition at the cornerback position. Seemingly demoting starter Anthony Brown, making that role up for grabs, with rookies Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and veteran Bene Benwikere all in the mix.
After a solid rookie season, where the 2016 sixth round selection was pressed into starting nine games due to injuries, Brown recorded 55 total tackles, eight pass defends and one interception.
Starting in every game this season after Week Two, following the offseason exodus of free agent corners Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, Brown has posted 44 combined tackles, six pass defends and one pick in 11 games. Unfortunately, the 23-year old also leads the Cowboys in called penalties.
According to nflpenalties.com, the second year corner has been responsible for 10 total penalties. Those fouls include five calls for defensive pass interference, four calls for defensive holding and one penalty for offensive holding. Two of Brown’s ten “called” penalties so far this season have ended up being declined.
Garrett’s announcement to bench the slumping Brown seems to be a case of too little, too late, as the Cowboys teeter on the edge of playoff relevance, bolstering a disappointing 5-6 record with five games to go. In fact, it could easily be argued that it’s the offense that needs a shakeup rather than Dallas’ defensive secondary.
In their last three losses, the Cowboys defense has actually played well in the first half of each contest, keeping the game close or even leading by halftime.
Against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 10, Dallas was only down 10-7 at the half. In fact, a tipped pass by Anthony Brown during the Falcons’ first offensive series led to an Xavier Woods interception. Which, in turn, led to a Dak Prescott rushing touchdown, the Cowboys only score in that entire game.
In Week 11, the Cowboys actually led the Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 through the first two quarters. And during their Thanksgiving matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, Dallas was only down 3-0 at halftime.
If the Cowboys defense had receive any kind of support from it’s rudderless offense, there may be no reason to think a change would even be needed in their secondary. Much less the team’s head coach publicly demoting Brown.
Football is supposed to be a meritocracy. Tony Romo told us that last season. If there is a player currently on the Cowboys roster who is better than Brown, then they deserve to start at cornerback over him. Does that same rule apply to Dez Bryant? Dak Prescott? Alfred Morris? Terrance Williams? With this publicly announced shakeup in the defensive secondary, it appears the Cowboys coaching staff might be focusing on the wrong side of the ball.
The truth is, the Dallas Cowboys bend-don’t-break defense will always break without any offensive support. And that’s regardless if Anthony Brown starts or not.