Allow me to get straight to the point….
Brandon Weeden was not the problem.
Well, what about…
No, he did not lose the game for this team. If you believe now is the time to sign your savior Tim Tebow, please stop pretending to be a Cowboys fan, you’re embarrassing any that genuinely wish good fortunes for the team.
The offense showed promise at points in the first half but failed to convert touchdowns when they had the opportunity to put the Saints in a precarious situation. Some of that does fall on Weeden, he didn’t play a perfect game.
However, he did do everything one could expect from him without having a consistent running game. The Offensive Line and Running Backs both can shoulder the blame for the lack of consistency the past two weeks, both the Falcons and Saints adjusted, beginning to fight off blocks and fill gaps better as the games went on.
Oh yeah, the back and forth debates about who your favorite Running Back is on the team and who should start?
It Doesn’t Matter
Leave the snark and absolutism out of your claims of who is better, there are cases to be made for both Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden. With Lance Dunbar suffering what looks to be a serious knee injury, Christine Michael will see an increased role in the offense. Randle’s loose play with the ball nearly cost the Cowboys a touchdown. His leaping over the top and extending the ball resulted in Kyle Wilber creating a fumble during Training Camp on a similar play.
Michael may take some carries away from Randle as a result of that, I would not be surprised to see a shakeup in the backfield in an attempt to spark a consistent running game. Yet, do not expect him to fare any better than Randle or McFadden if the Offensive Line does not improve in their run blocking and sustain their blocks longer.
The bottom line is simple, the running game needs to get going. None of us should care who gets it done, just as long as it gets done. Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan, Frank Pollack, and Gary Brown will have to figure out a way to make this rushing attack effective again.
It really didn’t come together until the final offensive drive of the game where Weeden was able to find Terrance Williams for the 17-yard touchdown on a simple Go route. The fourth down conversion showed a great bit of fortitude for both Weeden and Williams, which was a pleasure to see.
As I stated earlier in the week, I felt Brice Butler being isolated on Brandon Browner would be a perfect opportunity for a vertical 9 route (Go). They were indeed able to beat Browner, sadly Butler would not play another down as he injured his hamstring on the play.
Weeden took a number of shots down the field, which did keep the Saints honest as their pass rush was not a factor for the majority of the game.
What cannot go without saying is the mistake by Street in the fourth quarter, Weeden did an amazing job to keep a play alive and find Street near the sideline for what looked like a first down. Sadly, Street showed not even an ounce of field awareness as he needlessly stepped out of bounds before catching the ball.
That drive would end in a Punt, which is crucial when looking back at the final outcome. Overall, the offense would have looked much better if the running game held up throughout the game. There is only so much pressure you can put on Brandon Weeden.