Cowboys fans are getting on my nerves! I love you guys, but if I have to read one more time how Jason Garrett should be fired because Brandon Weeden is winning with the Houston Texans, I might very well puke. That's not too strong a reaction, is it? Certainly feels like an apt description.
I don't mean to start this off so negatively; regardless of how it sounds, I love my Cowboys as much today as the day I became a fan (1992 Super Bowl). It's just that I've gained the rather miserable perspective over the years that the Dallas Cowboys are not Dallas Cowboys fans.
I'm free to hate on one without condemning the other. A trait far too uncommon for my liking.
The only way I know to alleviate my pain is to make a case in hopes that someone might learn something from it. If all else fails, it should suffice as an effective <rant>.
So, all you Cowboys fans out there, and an insane number of Cowboys haters, too, here's what's up.
The mere existence of success by one player on one team after his failure on another team means nothing but how he fit into the scheme of each team. I keep seeing people talking trash about how Jason Garrett should be fired because he lost games with a quarterback that went on to win with another team immediately, and it's all hogwash. Absolute bullshit.
First of all, the Cowboys have continued to lose behind 2 other quarterbacks besides Brandon Weeden. How on earth people can draw any conclusions without first accounting for that is beyond me, but there you go. If 3 guys can't get it done, with all their varying levels of skill and experience, then no one of those 3 guys can be assigned blame or credit. They can only be assigned a measurable lack of credit as individuals. We're not talking about Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady behind Tony Romo; then you could blame the coaches.
Second, the only guy to start a game we've won this year at quarterback isn't just another plug-n-play peripheral; he's the franchise quarterback. Yes, in 2 of the 4 wins this season the Cowboys finished the game with a backup quarterback, but that only attests to an ability not to lose the game.
Romo already won it, dammit.
Finally, keep in mind that while Weeden traded the Cowboys for the Texans and started winning games, Ryan Mallett traded the Texans for the Baltimore Ravens and started winning games, too.
The bottom line is no matter what you think of Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, or Tony Romo, what any one of those guys does on another team has feck-all to do with the Dallas Cowboys.
I can't argue that Tony Romo being healthy would've created more wins for the team, but I concede that only because I know that the defacto standard 12-4 record just wasn't in the cards for these 2015 Dallas Cowboys, with or without him.
Say what you will about injuries, and lord knows the Bruce Arians-commanded Arizona Cardinals bought into it wholesale last year, but injuries do affect the overall performance of a team. You can't pin every loss on injuries, short of 90-percent of the starting roster being on injured reserve, of course, but it does contribute to the woes of a football club.
Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick; put these guys in for all 16 games this year and you've got at least a few more wins. Maybe even 8-8 after all is said and done.
But then you've got guys like Morris Claiborne, Sean Lee, Randy Gregory, Cole Beasley, Jason Witten, and Brice Butler all having repeated injury issues throughout the year. It's a lot of small pieces that make up a football team and, as far as small pieces go, some of those guys are pretty big in the overall scheme of things.
Not seeing my point? Just look at the way Brice Butler and Kellen Moore worked together on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills; they've been practicing with each other more than any other QB/WR combo and it showed on the field. Remember, these two had experience together before ending up together on the Cowboys this year.
Never underestimate chemistry and familiarity.
Romo and Witten have had both for a long time and look at the rewards it's brought us. Romo and Dez Bryant are working on something similar, as are Romo and Cole Beasley. It's not just about Xs and Os on the field; it's also about knowing what the other guy is going to do.
So no, had Tony Romo been healthy all season, these Cowboys wouldn't be ruling any universes. There are simply far more variables than just one guy, albeit a guy capable of creating opportunities otherwise missed.
I like the guy. I thought that he showed good things against the New York Jets and again against the Bills, but "good things" loosely translates to "better than the last guy." To borrow a phrase from Bill Parcells, we're not anointing anyone yet, and for good reason.
Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Short of Roger Staubach or Joe Montana stepping into their glory days next Sunday in a Cowboys uniform, Moore, Cassel, and Weeden were only ever vying for 1st place loser. So what does it really matter that Moore hasn't been as bad as his immediate predecessors? He's not unseating the incumbent.
That said, I was talking with the guys over at the Pigskin Hub forums today about Kellen Moore and it occurred to me that I've been rooting for him just like so many other fans have rooted for him. Given the situation this team is in, I like what Moore has done these last 5 quarters of football; interceptions be damned. When you're 4-10, a couple of interceptions and errant throws are to be expected. And that's the problem; we're spoiled. We're spoiled by the way this team operated last year with Tony and Dez taking advantage of DeMarco Murray's ground game.
The second Romo went down in week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, hordes of fans dressed in black and called the season. Even more joined them on Thanksgiving Day against the then undefeated Carolina Panthers.
We're so used to being up Schitt's Creek once Tony Romo gets injured that we're clamoring for anyone to wow us. As if a guy who went undrafted and spent the majority of his time on practices squads the last 4 years before clearing waivers multiple times this year is going to start popping out wins like Golden Eggs or something.
I hate the way this team has performed this year. I can find just as many bright spots and consolations as the next guy to get me through, but when it comes right down to it, the 2015 Dallas Cowboys have sucked. And it's been hard as hell keeping optimistic all this time, but I've done it, as most of you have done it.
You know your team's in trouble when advancing draft position is big news. Just saying.
Coaching changes have been on-going for several years now. If you think Jason Garrett is the problem, that he's too lenient or doesn't understand the game of football, whatever your particular brand of hate happens to be, then why do the Cowboys even employ assistant coaches? They obviously mean nothing to the success or failure of the team so why hire them in the first place?
Because Garrett is a manager. He manages shit. He sets goals and agendas and trains his people to carry out their tasks in a way that fits some grand plan he's concocted. He does not sit at the helm of a ship barking orders to machine-like pilots and co-pilots to steer the thing, he has to rely on these men to do their jobs. That is, to produce results from their guys (the players).
Jason Garrett merely manages things.
The next time you're complaining about how someone on the team is playing, try looking at other guys in that unit as well. There are coaches for the wide receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks, offensive linemen, running backs, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, and defensive linemen; and each of those guys are as crucial to the success of every play as Jason Garrett is.
I hate to be obtuse about this but it is a team sport.
There. I'm done. I've said my peace. I can now go about my day with a renewed sense of optimism for the new year - personally, professionally, and as a football fan. Thanks for sticking around for my little </rant>. Happy New Year!
P.S., Mad respect to @DCBlueStar for the cover image used on this post.
Cowboys en Español: ¿Qué Safety Estará Ahí en el #58?
Por fin estamos a menos de una semana del NFL Draft 2019. El evento que define el futuro de las franquicias de la liga año tras año está a días de distancia y los rumores comienzan a tomar velocidad. Para los aficionados de los Dallas Cowboys, la experiencia del Draft será un poco diferente ya que no cuentan con una selección de primera ronda. En vez de eso, tienen a Amari Cooper. ¿Lo vale? Sí. Pero, no se puede negar que el equipo estará en una posición complicada durante el Draft.
No sólo no hay un pick de primera ronda para los Cowboys, sino que no cuentan con uno dentro del Top 50. Estas son las selecciones con las que cuentan los Jones y compañía:
- Pick #58 (segunda ronda)
- Pick #91 (tercera ronda)
- Pick #129 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #137 (cuarta ronda)
- Pick #166 (quinta ronda)
- Pick #243 (séptima ronda)
A menos que sean sorprendentemente agresivos, no habrá noticias sobre los Dallas Cowboys el próximo jueves. Más bien tendremos que esperar hasta el segundo día del Draft para ver que traman los Cowboys. ¿Qué podemos esperar sobre su primera selección?
En este momento, parece que no hay ninguna necesidad más fuerte que la de un safety. Y parece ser que el talento disponible en la segunda ronda podría beneficiar a los Cowboys. Como cada año, es difícil pronosticar quien estará en la tabla y quien no, pero hablemos de varios safeties que podrían solucionar los problemas de Dallas.
S Taylor Rapp, Washington
Algunos ven a Rapp como el mejor safety en la clase de novatos, mientras que otros están convencidos de que no podrá tener éxito en la NFL. La mayor preocupación en torno al producto de Washington es su velocidad. En las pruebas que realizó sus resultados no fueron nada satisfactorios. Sin embargo, ha probado en el campo que es bueno contra la corrida y se puede encargar de su trabajo en cobertura. Es bueno al tacklear, y podría ser justo lo que los Cowboys necesitan.
S Jonathan Abraham, Mississippi State
Abraham se proyecta como un strong safety, que es lo que los Cowboys necesitan. De todos los prospectos, parece que Abraham es el favorito a irse primero. Sin embargo, no es perfecto y sus defectos podrían costarle una caída hasta la segunda ronda. Abraham falla tackleadas ocasionalmente, pero su juego físico y agresivo lo puede compensar. Si cae hasta el #58, Abraham no puede ser ignorado.
S Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Thornhill no es mejor que los mencionados anteriormente, pero quizá sea más probable encontrarlo si los Cowboys se quedan en el pick #58. En Virginia, Thornhill tuvo tres temporadas donde fue titular en más de 10 partidos. Es todo un play-maker, consiguiendo 13 intercepciones en su carrera colegial. Lidero a su equipo en tackleadas. Puede jugar en varios puntos de la defensiva e incluso llegó a alinearse como linebacker. Dudo que eso pase en la NFL, pero podría ser un buen safety dentro de la caja y en cobertura.
S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
Gardner-Johnson fue uno de los líderes en Florida durante toda su carrera. Jugó como safety y como cornerback, muchas veces actuando como "nickel." Chauncey no sería de mis opciones favoritas en este punto del Draft, pero es una que no se puede ignorar si los demás jugadores ya no están disponibles. Sabe romper jugadas y tiene potencial de convertirse en un titular a largo plazo.
S Amani Hooker, Iowa
En el escenario de que todos los mejores safeties ya hayan sido seleccionados y el equipo no prefiera atender otra necesidad, Amani Hooker merece un vistazo. En Iowa ganó el premio al mejor defensive back de su conferencia (Big Ten). Tuvo buenos números en sus pruebas y podría ser un buen strong safety dentro de la caja, donde se pone en posición constantemente para hacer jugadas.
Claro que los Cowboys podrían tomar otra ruta y no seleccionar a un safety hasta más tarde. Sin embargo, considero que sería lo correcto. Incluso pienso que si Taylor Rapp o su prospecto favorito está disponible en un punto de la segunda ronda, Dallas estará dispuesto a hacer un trade para subir y alcanzarlo.
Sólo queda esperar este gran e impredecible evento. ¿Qué esperas del NFL Draft? Hazme saber en los comentarios o por medio de Twitter en @MauNFL.
Cowboys Look To Be In For Brutal December Slate In 2019
All sixteen regular season games count the same. A win in September means exactly the same as a win in December. Just as a touchdown in the first quarter counts for the same number of points as a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
While factually accurate, we know these statements aren't totally true. Championship teams often "hit their stride" in November and December, as they close out divisions, clinch playoff births, and prove they can stay cool and claim victory when the pressure mounts to its highest peak.
Under Jason Garrett, and Wade Phillips before him, the Cowboys have developed the reputation of not "winning the big one." In particular, they've been labeled as a team that "chokes" in December. Tony Romo dealt with his fair share of December/January demons during his career, but overcame them towards his final seasons. Dak Prescott has yet to advance past the Divisional Round of the postseason himself, but the narrative around the Cowboys has seemed to change.
Now, due to their late season run and victory over the Seattle Seahawks last season, people see Prescott and the Cowboys as a team that can find ways to win. A team, and a quarterback, who may not be as prolific as some of the other top squads in the conference, but one that you can never count out. I'd argue this has been the case with Dallas for quite some time under Garrett, but it is only now the narrative has changed.
Their late season fortitude will be tested again in 2019, however.
The NFL released the official schedule for the 2019 NFL season earlier this week, with the Cowboys getting some favorable (and some not-so-favorable) draws. What jumped off the page immediately to me, however, is how tough their final four games will be. And, of course, how critical victories in those games will be to gaining an NFC playoff spot.
Among those four December games are trips to Chicago and Philadelphia, two playoff teams a year ago who present problems in different ways. The Bears, known for their talented defense and innovative play-caller, and the Eagles, the always tough divisional foe.
Dallas also gets two home games during this stretch, hosting the Los Angeles Rams week 15, and finishing out the year against the Washington Redskins. The Rams, of course, eliminated the Cowboys from the postseason a year ago, and are expected to be one of the conference's best again.
The Cowboys will face a first-place schedule in 2019, and will have to prove that they are playoff-worthy down the stretch in December.
Dallas Cowboys: 3 Schedule Predictions Ahead Of Wednesday’s Release
Wednesday night the official 2019 NFL schedule will be released, and we will know the exact times and dates of each of the Cowboys' upcoming games.
We already know the opponents, however, and we know how the NFL typically likes to schedule games week to week. Based on both prior history and future opponents, here are 3 predictions for tonight's schedule release.
1. Cowboys Open Up With The Giants
I didn't say the predictions would be bold, did I?
The NFL loves to have the Cowboys open up against the New York Giants, and I see that being the case here again. Dallas/New York will always bring about solid ratings, but scheduling this game before the Giants (likely) fall out of contention is a smart move as well.
This game will be in Dallas at 4:25 eastern time, occupying that "America's Game of the Week" slot during the opening weekend. Because as much as everyone says they hate watching these NFC East games, the numbers bear out a different story.
2. Cowboys Play @ Saints Thursday After Thanksgiving
We know the Cowboys will play in an extra Thursday or Saturday night game this season. They always do.
Lately the league has liked to schedule them as the Thursday night game following Thanksgiving, and I don't see them breaking that trend this season. Dallas has played the Vikings, Redskins, and Saints in this game the last three years, with the Cowboys/Saints game being one of the best of last year's Thursday slate.
Why not run it back at the Superdome this November?
3. Cowboys Close The Season With A Brutal December
This is broad prediction, so let's narrow it down a bit. I think the Cowboys will play three critical NFC games in December, at the very least. These games will include NFC East battles with the Washington Redskins (week 17) and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a game at Chicago to face the Bears.
It's likely the Cowboys, Bears, and Eagles will be fighting for playoff positioning (or playoff births) down the stretch in December. Plus, anytime a combination of these three teams play, ratings will be drawn. I think they'll have Prescott battle Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz this December, as he and the Cowboys look to clinch a consecutive playoff birth.
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