The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Cowboys vs. Giants Week 7 Initial Post-Game Notes, Observations

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Jonathan Bales

Obviously this is a difficult one to swallow.  I will warn you now that it will take me awhile to study the film of this game.  I simply do not have the motivation or concentration needed to objectively look at the game tape.  I do feel a responsibility to the regular readers of DC Times, though, so if there’s anything in particular at which you’d like me to look, let me know and I’ll do my best.

  • Can this team win without Tony Romo?  We’re about to find out, but if it doesn’t happen next week against the Jaguars, it might not happen at all.  Romo looks to be out at least 6-8 weeks with his fractured clavicle, although the team probably won’t rush him back.
  • The play everyone will be talking about appeared to be a mistake on the part of Chris Gronkowski.  He looked to have a “check-flat” responsibility on the play, which means his initial duty is to pick up the blitz/chip on the defensive end.  He obviously misread the blitz and it cost Dallas.
  • The entire team lost all energy and motivation once Romo went down.  Obviously a broken collarbone to your starting quarterback is devastating, but the fact that no one stepped up is a problem.  There are 10 games left in the season and the Cowboys don’t really seem to have a leader.  Who is going to step up?
  • Sam Hurd and Danny McCray did a really nice job on kick coverage early.  It’s amazing what being “pumped up” can do for a player.
  • I don’t like Jason Garrett’s decision to call back-to-back draws inside the Giants’ 10-yard line.  The point of a draw is to fool the defense into thinking the play is a pass and get the linebackers and safeties to drop into their zones.  Where are they going to go down by the end zone?
  • Early in the game, the Cowboys did an awesome job of disguising their blitzes and faking others.  There was a play with 6:15 left in the first quarter in which Dallas used just two down linemen.  The other defenders were just kind of walking back and forth pre-snap without giving away their intentions.  That “Amoeba” look hasn’t happened all season.
  • The Cowboys got away from that creativity, though, and. . .surprise, surprise. . .the Giants started scoring points.  The players looked excited to be on the football field early, but that dissipated (even before Romo’s injury) once they went back into their boring, predictable base alignments.
  • One of the lone unique defensive calls after the first quarter was a blitz by Orlando Scandrick.  I loved the call and it worked to perfection.  Scandrick doesn’t seem like a great candidate to blitz, but remember that the offense thinks that too.  You could tell the Giants were unprepared for it and Scandrick got right in on Eli Manning to force a poor throw.
  • How in the world did Gerald Sensabaugh end up covering Hakeem Nicks one-on-one in the end zone?  I know the Giants were in a “Jumbo” offensive package, but with Nicks on the field, a cornerback must be as well.  There must have been some mistake in personnel, because the Cowboys had zero cornerbacks on the field and the Giants will take that match-up all day.
  • Doesn’t it seem as though Jason Garrett’s prime objective is to acquire first downs?  That might seem like a fine goal, but it isn’t.  His top priority should be scoring points.  That means it is often a smart idea to take shots deep on plays like 2nd and 1 or 2.  Garrett seems content to just run the ball and move the chains, though, and it forces the Cowboys to have to repeatedly beat defenses.  They’ve had three 2nd and 1 plays on the season–all runs.  I completed a study a few months ago on the importance of 2nd and 1 plays. . .

The value of a 2nd and 1 play is so incredible that, on average, a team will score .7 extra points each time they gain nine yards on 1st down as compared to gaining 10 yards.  Yes, gaining one less yard on 1st down provides a team with .7 more “expected points.”  In fact, 2nd and 1 plays are so valuable that they yield more expected points than any 1st down gain all the way up until 17 yards.  Thus, a nine-yard gain on 1st down is actually more valuable to an offense than a 16-yard gain.

The value of 2nd and 1 plays is even greater, though, if offensive coordinators take advantage of the situation.  This is not the case, however. League-wide, coaches called a run play on 78% of all 2nd and 1 plays.  That is evenmore than the 76% rate on 3rd and 1′s!

Jason Garrett’s 2009 play-calling on 2nd and 1 was nearly identical to the league average (he called a run on 80% of plays, compared to the 78% mean).  Garrett rarely exploited the high-reward opportunity of short-yardage 2nd down plays.  In fact, the Cowboys attempted just three passes of 15+ yards all season in 2nd or 3rd and 3 or less (3.22% of all plays in these situations).

  • I don’t understand why the Cowboys punted on 4th and 3 from the Giants’ 39-yard line.  In that situation, the math says to go for it with all the way up to 10 yards-to-go.  Even though the Cowboys were almost saved by an incredible diving play from Danny McCray (to keep the punt out of the end zone), it was a terrible call.

  • Like I predicted in my pre-game Manifesto, Sensabaugh did line up over Ahmad Bradshaw from time to time.  This was a smart move by Dallas, although it was basically negated by the stupidity of placing him over Nicks.
  • The largest problem with the Cowboys defense right now is their tackling.  I think it is less about their ability to tackle (although that is poor too), and more about their willingness to tackle.  I loved to see the Cowboys come out on fire and flying around to the football, but it was also depressing.  Why can’t that be the rule and not the exception?  This team is going to have to dig deep to find motivation to be competitive after a 1-5 start and no Romo for what could be the rest of the season.
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32 Responses to Cowboys vs. Giants Week 7 Initial Post-Game Notes, Observations

  1. JJ says:

    Jonathan,

    Like most, I simply cannot believe the season is where it is right now. I must admit that every week I cannot shake items that stand out in my mind ,game after game (plus, my comments just provide some therapy for me):

    1. The team takes the personality of the coach. We must be honest, which defense would we rather have right now? The Giants seem to be swarming everywhere with speed and physicality. The Cowboys…not so much. While Romo’s injury is tragic, the defense was getting torched even when Romo was in the game. Is it scheme or players? Or both?

    2. I simply cannot fathom how the Cowboys brass thought Sensabaugh and Ball were formidable. Sensaugh is a fair coverage safety on RBs and TEs but I don’t see anything “strong” or “free” about the safties. They just don’t make plays. The DEs are here to stop the run, I get that but they do little else and didn’t stop the run yesterday. We have no third CB and our top two are seemingly injured often. Scandrick is simply regressing.

    3. So, I think our D is just far overrated. The really sad part is that Wade is not getting the most out of this D. There is little passion and if fans are being honest, the playmakers, Spencer, Ratliff, Ware, Jenkins, and Newman are not at the peak of their game. They folded yesterday…early and that was very discouraging.

    4. As for the offense, it remains very obvious that our offensive line is a liability not only in pass protection but the running game.

    To me, emotion is a big part of the game particularly on special teams and defense. Coach D showed that playing with emotion sparked his special teams. We just don’t see it often in the defense and that is reflected in Wade Phillips…”we played hard…we never game up…blah blah blah.”

    The tragic 09 draft leaves us with no seemingly capable upstarts at LB, CB or OL. After 6 games, I think it’s become clearer that the Cowboys may not have the talent everyone thought they did and the Coach is not getting the best of his players.

  2. Tremendous comment. Let me quickly respond.

    1. I think it’s the scheme. The defense is loaded with talent, but they simply aren’t prepared to play some games.

    2. Agree on Scandrick. Other than last week vs. MIN, he has been awful.

    I actually think the Cowboys DO have the talent everyone observes, but being a talented football player doesn’t NECESSARILY equate to being a great one. You need to play intelligently, aggressively, and with passion. The majority of these players do not play with any of those qualities.

    It is sad when a rookie (Bryant) seems to be the only one giving maximum effort.

  3. JJ says:

    Thanks Jonathan.

    When you do your review this week, and particularly since I am only watching as it develops, I’d appreciate your assessment of our defensive ends, safeties and offensive line. I noticed that Ratliff was doubled teamed often but did not hear much from Spears/Igor/Bowen/Hatcher (pre injury). I’m also wondering why our O-Line just seems so slow and physically mismatched.

    Last note, I’m not suggesting that the Cowboys need a repeat of cranky Bill Parcells but when Landry was in his prime and with Jimmy (when he had talent), there seemed to be a swagger or just the feeling that the Cowboys would find a way to be a step ahead. In Landry’s case is was with precision and execution and Jimmy created great energy. Do you feel Wade is the right man for the job?

  4. I will check out all those positions for you. And I was a Wade supporter for the longest time (even into this season), but I think his time is just about coming to an end. I am not a big fan of switching coaches every few years. I think coaches need time to implement schemes and change personnel. I also think you need to give enough time to overcome random variance. . .even a really great coach will lead good teams to an 8-8 year from time to time.

    This season, though, is a disgrace. Obviously a lot of things could have turned out differently to the point that Dallas could be even 4-2 or so at this point, but the entire attitude of the team is poor. I know Coach Phillips approaches the players differently than the media. He tells the players everything is on him and while I respect and appreciate that, at a certain point the players need to be held accountable. There needs to be a “No Excuses” mentality. I don’t think the next coach needs to be a disciplinarian, but I do think the players must develop the mindset that everything is on them and there are no acceptable excuses for failure.

  5. Omar says:

    I’m optimistic about next season and the offseason. The Cowboy STILL haven’t lost a game by more than a tocuhdown, and if you look at their yards forced versus yards allowed they were way a head prior to tonight. Every loss you can point to an awful call or a stupid penalty that cost them the game, I think that will change with a new coaching staff. More importantly, Jerry Jones is a bright guy…I really think he’ll fix his mistakes and pick up either an elite tackle or corner prospect with his first pick, and then go OL for the rest of the draft. With a better line and another corner I think this team, with Romo, can win a Super Bowl next year. It may not be at home, but I like their chances.

    Hopefully he’ll fix a few things this year, like give Wade the ax midseason and hire someone to at least rile up the fan base…next year he should be looking at either a bright new school type of guy or Bill Cower. That said, it’s time to start scouting OL and secondary talent in the college ranks.

  6. And as another reader pointed out, the biggest positive about next season is there will be zero expectations to start…although for this team to become winners they need to learn to win whether the media/public is doubting them or not.

  7. Omar says:

    Well I don’t think expectations hurt the Cowboys, was it the expectations that caused all the penalties this year? Was it the expectations that caused the lack of depth across the OL this year? Was it the expectations that caused Romo to get hurt? Nope, don’t think so.

  8. The Cowboys have been a notoriously poor team in “easy” games and seem to rise to the occasion (before this season) in the difficult ones under Coach Phillips. Something is the cause of that.

  9. Dave Kraft says:

    I witnessed a NY Giant bang-bang helmet-to-helmet blow to one of our receivers later in the game. Utterly blown away as to how it went unnoticed. We re-played it over in slow mo a few times.

    On another note, before the game ended I went to the Giants page to check out their next couple opponents and noticed something VERY disrespectful. Not only with 2 minutes left in the game did they have the game posted as over with a Giants win. . . the score failed to post the Cowboys last touchdown!

  10. john coleman says:

    Go ahead and take a day off. I don’t really even want to watch the next game. As you, myself, and other have said, our oline is terrible. The game is still won and lost in the trenches. The Giants oline just absolutely dominated us. Collectively, our D was terrible. Our ILBs have been suspect all year and other than the INT, Brooking has looked to be done. Other than Newman our DBs have been terrible all year. Even Newman was bad last night. I agree that we have guys who are not willing to hit/tackle. BTW what was Olshansky doing with his little dance thing on a couple of occasions. We need a coach bad and no real coach will come here, Our meddling GM, won’t allow a FOOTBALL GUY to do his thing. I would like Gruden because of his offensive mind, but I just don’t see it happening. JJ is standing behind Wade. Are you kidding me. IMO Wade has clearly lost this team. I think Kitna can get the job done if we can protect him. I MISS BILL! Boy, Keyshawn told it like it was in the pregame regarding Bill and Jerry. Bill built what we had and piece by piece it is being destroyed, again. We need a talent evaluator badly. If not we will make some terrible mistakes in cutting/resigning free agents next spring. Several linemen on both sides of the ball will be due and at this point who would you want to keep?

  11. JJ says:

    Jonathan, a great website due to analysis, thought, commentary and a collection of people who are Cowboys fans with insight.

    John Coleman, your comments are spot on and I remember one gauge of my respect for coaches and GMs was the anticipation of their press conferences. During the Johnson and Parcells era, I could not wait to hear them speak. I don’t feel that way listening to Wade. Nevertheless, I want to be fair because it was Bill that picked Bobby Carpenter in the first round and Jacob Rodgers but his philosophy about being in the talent acquistion business was right on. You may miss on a draft pick but hit on undrafted free agent. The problem is that is not happening with talent on the Offensive Line, Secondary and Linebacker.

    Jerry is not a bully and appears to accept feedback. I do believe he wants to win and when he hired Wade, he had a coach to continue using the 3-4 that Bill installed. And, while I agree with Jonathan about continuity, it’s been hard digesting Wade because he reminds me of the coaches that were good but not great. The Cowboys are supposed to the model of success and you need a face to the franchise as a coach that is about bringing in talent and getting the most out of that talent. I keep asking myself how the Steelers do it year after year with less money paid out and without their QB to start the season. Even the Patriots without Randy Moss or Asante Samuel are accumulating draft picks (they in essence are drafting twice in every round next year) and still have a winning record.

    No one wants to publically humiliate players but it is clear, as mentioned in previous posts, that you win and lose in the trenches and for several weeks we’ve lost on the offensive line and that is become more and more prevelant on the DLine as well. Yes, the tackling was atrocious but Bradshaw/Jacobs were 3-4 yards upfield on most carriers before anyone even touched the runners.

    I would not mind seeing more of Young, Costa and any other OLineman on the squad that could be auditioning for next year.

  12. Chris stallcup says:

    Hey Jonathan can you check out how Phil costa did? I’m sure he did fine at guard but his natural position is center. next year we should look into getting a right tackle first then another db. I feel they should give aoa a shot at free safety. Oh and can you look at how kitna did around the mid of fourth quarter to the end of the game?

  13. Thanks JJ.

    Chris–I will check all of those things for you once I start watching the tape tomorrow.

    Thanks to all who comment here on a regular basis (or even an infrequent one). Your comments and interest make running the site that much more enjoyable.

  14. Omar says:

    Jon, the reason why this team blows “the easy ones” is because of lack of preparation. Underperforming teams are usually the result of shitty coaching, not a lack of talent. It could just be a statistical anomaly, but the poor play against teams that they are superior to is poor coaching and poor play calling. Wade and Garrett need to go, this team needs a fresh attitude at the top. I think Cower would be a great head coach to bring in and he can pick his staff from there.

  15. Oh yeah, I completely agree that this team is ill-prepared versus “poor” teams, Omar. The only thing I personally do not like that the majority of DC Times readers do is the idea of Cowher as coach. I would personally prefer a young, innovative, stat-minded head coach with a staff of demanding, in-your-face assistants who will always make sure Dallas is ready to ball.

  16. Dave Baue says:

    A couple of things,
    How many times did the boys run the ball?
    That was a huge let down game. I would really be intested in how many and which cowboys actually avoided tackling Jacobs, I know I think I saw it more than once.
    I agree it is time for a new head coach….just to shake up the team.

    On a positive…I like kitna, he looked good in preseason, for what that’s worth. Maybe with Romi out they will go back to running the ball and using witten again

    Keep your heads up, we are cowboy fans, that means something in my family…anything can happen…I look forward to this weeks game seeing what kitna brings to the team and what o adjustments will be made…would love to hear what adjustmentsr you think will be made and what adjustments you think they need to make…sorry for any typeos doing this on mobileo

  17. Hey Dave,

    I will break down the film tomorrow and get back to you on some numbers. I think you’re right that we’ll see a more run-oriented offense moving forward, but it may be tough to target Witten more often since he’ll likely be asked to block more often on pass plays. Even with Romo back there this line looked average at best in pass pro. You’re about to see how bad they really are with Kitna in the pocket.

  18. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    All good comments by all.

    But Jonathon, I’d like to see an article that states this season clearly as it is. As fans (and analysts), we look at the season of football with apirations of playoffs and then the Superbowl. Wade made comments during his press conference that he’s got one game. The next one. That’s not a viewpoint all of us have (nor should Jerry Jones). I mean, I can understand Wade’s desire to keep everyone focused on the next task at hand, but he’s an idiot to think that the “collection” or body of works the Boys have amassed this season have all but eliminated their chance at the postseason. Statistically, they can still make it, but who (including the head coach, Gen Mgr/Owner, player or fan) thinks that is probable or likely. Again, it’s possible, but I could be struck by lightning while I write this comment as well. I’d give both of them the same chance of occurrence.

    It is unwise to put stock into events that have a low probability of occurring. I understand that it’s sports and the will to compete is what drives everyone to strive to win. I agree with that mentality completely when I’m playing poker in a tournament. But, when I have a franchise worth billions of dollars and the likelyhood of that business being undervalued this year but worth much more in the future, I take the hit initially for the chance at much more later. Jerry Jones didn’t plan this but his team is 1-5 w/ the starting QB out for 8 weeks. Ticket prices have dropped significantly and will continue to. Redskins, Eagles and the Thanksgiving game will probably still sell out, but look for less than full houses at other games as well as a drop in sales of Cowboys merchandise for the remainder of the season (I say this as a season ticket holder who will be at the games).

    Sometimes admitting defeat allows for preparation for the next battle. It’s not cowardly to admit when you’re beat, it’s smart. And simply put, the combination of scheme (playcalling on both offense and defense), special teams coverage on kickoff (and to some degree punts) and lack of discipline play has landed the Boys at 1-5.

    So, let’s put out an article about what to do next with regard to rest of the season. Perhaps the Boys should look into trading away some “expendable” talent for better prospects in areas of weakness. I know the fans love Keith Brooking but he really isn’t a viable option for the next 2 years and the limited play of the pre-season really isn’t enough to evaluate who the replacement ILB should be (or even if the future ILB is on the team right now). And, I know the fans love all 3 RBs but that’s really 1 too many. Felix is a lock so either MBIII or TC needs to go. Excellent trade bait if yuou ask me and personnally, TC is a more complete back and ischeaper and younger so MBIII should go for a 3rd or better (we got him for a 4th) – San Diego needs another back and Buffalo could use a complement to that shifty rookie of theirs. Lastly, some of the coaching staff needs to go. I’m not saying its Wade as his style might work with hard-nose coordinators and other staff members. Maybe Garrett could be considered worthwhile to a fledgling team or offense (I remember Jon Gruden was “traded” to the Bucs for pics when he took over for Dungy).

    To me, the only viable move that makes the most sense and has the highest potential for payoff for the future is to swallow our pride and realize our best strategy at this points is to invest in it now by giving our young talent more experience, cutting some salary for the obvious high draft pick we’ll receive and installing more discipline through more hard line position coaches. I just hope that Jerry Jones thinks the same…

  19. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    And I wasn’t struck by lightning when writing the previous or this comment…

  20. Omar says:

    I think you’re buying into the perception of Cower more than anything, when he lead the team with Roethlisberger they had a pretty good passing offense, along with the stout defense. It wasn’t the “Steeler Football” approach that were used to seeing out of Pittsburgh. Overall, with Romo, Bryant, Austin, Ware, Ratliff, and Spencer the Cowboys have five guys right there that are perennial pro-bowl type talents. I think with the right coaching Jenkins, Williams, and Felix Jones can get there too and perhaps Newman may be that type of talent again with a good secondary coach too.

    I really feel as if Wade and Garrett need to go, there needs to be either an established elite coach with an eye for talent, like Cower, or like you said a new innovative stats-orientated young headcoach. I would prefer Cower though, I’d like a guy that can bring in a great staff and has had some success in picking out talent. I don’t think the game has passed Cower by yet, like was the case with Parcells, but I do think that he can take this team where it needs to go.

  21. Omar says:

    Also I think some players need to go, obviously. Brooking is a major liability in pass coverage, MBIII should have probably been dealt at the deadline, Alex Barron needs to go, and Alan Ball has no business starting.

  22. Omar says:

    From Mort’s chat today:

    Omar (Baltimore)
    Since the Cowboys are seemingly dead in the water, what do you see them doing in the offseason? Who are the coaching candidates likely to replace Wade Phillips, will Jason Garrett stay, and which players will likely be traded or cut?
    Chris Mortensen
    All guesswork on this – Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and maybe an interesting longshot with Jeff Fisher of the Titans. I’m sure Sean Payton’s name will get in the mix but he and Fisher are under contract. Everybody asks whether they would work for Jerry Jones and I say yes.

  23. Tyrone…At the urging of another reader, I was planning on doing an article just like that. The key will be to see if the coaches admit defeat as well (not vocally, but how they move forward). Will we see some playing time from guys like Costa, Jason Williams, Victor Butler, Sam Young? I think we should, but I have a feeling we won’t.

  24. Omar–of those coaches, the only one I’d like is Payton (although I really like him). He could do wonders with the talent on offense.

  25. Omar says:

    I wanted them to give the job to Payton in order to keep him with the team. I wouldn’t mind Jeff Fisher, always seems to know what he’s doing and no one really can say that his team ever underperforms. Seems to have a handle on maintaining a good team.

  26. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    The Cowboys are 30th in the league in rushing (even w/ the 3 good backs we have). As I posted earlier, I think one of these backs should go and it should be MBIII. He’s the most expensive and while still holding good value.

    The Detroit Lions are one of the few teams worse than the Cowboys in rushing. Their starting RB is Jahvid Best, a rookie who’s a quick, shifty back. MBIII would be a perfect complement. The Lions have 4 RBs on their roster now, one being Maurice Morris (#4). He’s a 9 yr veteran who at one time had 600 yds in a season w/ Seattle. I say trade MBIII to Detroit for a 4th rd pick and Morris or a outright for a 3rd.

    If not, the only other team worse than the Cowboys in rushing is Denver who actually is in need of another back given their starter, Knowshon Moreno, is injury prone as he has only played 4 games this year and was hurt much of last year. The Broncos tried to recruit a power back earlier in picking up LenDale White but ended up placing him on IR. I’m sure they’d jump at the chance to get MBIII (or maybe even TC) and cut ties w/ LenDale. Only thing is they do have 2 other backs, Corey Buckhalter and Laurence Maroney, that are decent. But trading for MBIII would reunite Maroney and Barber who were a tandem at U of Minnessota. Again, at least a 3rd pick would be needed I think but given that the Boys would be trading him out of conference (much like Patrick Crayton), I could see taking a little less (high 4th rd pick) for him.

    I’ve read much about getting rid of Wade Phillips. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like it. Why? Two reasons (1 explained below): Wade is a good D coordinator and is functioning in that capacity now. The defense is ranked 10th in total defense right now (and that’s after a gashing by a good NY football team). They’re 7th against the pass (in terms of yards) and 21st against the run (in terms of yards per carry). They created 5 turnovers vs. the Giants alone. Really, for being 1-5, that’s not bad.

    The real issue w/ the team is the offensive play calling, the lack of discipline and special teams. So, the way to go about fixing the Boys is to address each problem specifically.

    The offense play calling is about an identity and the Cowboys seem to want the identity of a throw first (vertical passing) type of style identity. I think that is OK if you have the equipment to do that – which the Boys lack. The QB, WR, TE and RB positions are all suited for that but the most important one – the O line – is far from prepared. Therefore, you have 3 options: replace personnel w/ correct ones (takes time and is usually costlier) but at some point in time will be necessary, coach/train the current individuals to adequacy (I’m sure that’s what been tried up to this point – Hudson Houck is a well known as a good coach but that might not be enough) or change the identity of the offense; namely to a running team. Last year, the Boys were 1st in rushing 3 games into the season but seemed to abandon their commitment to the run in favor of their identy. Nevertheless, with the current personnel, option #3 seems to be the best but I doubt Jerry Jones wants the unexciting, grind it out, punt the ball and rely on your defense type of style. That’s also why I don’t think Cowher would be a good candidate for the job nor do I think the Boys should adopt one identity for a total of 12 games only to change it next season. So, one of the 1st 2 options needs to be implemented as soon as possible.

    Special teams is another area. There have definitely been some highlights but definitely some low areas. A lot of special teams has to deal w/ backup LBs, TEs, WRs, CBs and Safeties and is basically a discipline thing w/ staying in your lane, blocking (and getting off them) and breaking down prior to the ball to make good form tackles. Last year, Patrick Crayton had 2 punt returns for TDs due primarily to blocking. The 2 this year by Dez seem to be more of individual effort on his part (there was some blocking done, I’m just saying it seemed to be better prior). I’ve high on AOA as a 4th CB/safety but he hasn’t really done much by way of KR since the pre-season. The fix: keep DeCalmus but emphasize more discipline (this can be done a # of ways which aren’t mentioned here). And, for the life of me, I can’t understand using Buehler any more for FGs. He can and should be the kickoff specialist and a FG kicker should be brought in. I know the Boys tried that last year and it didn’t really work but that seems to be the best option. Free up a roster spot by cutting, yes cutting, Leonard Davis (he’s old, overpaid and underachieving). And, just FYI, Nick Folk (NY Jets) has just as many touchbacks as Bueher right now while making 87 percent of his FGs (13-15) with more attempts while Buehler is making 73 percent (8-11). JJ should have known to put Folk on IR instead of cutting but I guess he didn’t want to have to pay 3 kickers salaries’.

    Lastly is the area of lack of discipline. This is where firing Wade makes sense if you’re gonna do that. But, I think he should stay as mentioned previously because of his D coord skills (firing him means you essentially hire 2 new coaches). But also, the players know and like Wade. He’s basically a good guy and the players WANT to play for him (motivation is not something this team lacks). Wade is simply not a disciplinarian.

    So, you fix that buy bringing (not promoting from within) a new O coordinator and Asst D coordinator who are hard nose, tough as nails, won’t except anything less than perfection type of people. They can be the “bad” guys while Wade gets to save face, still have a hand (read that as final say) in the defense, and continue the continuity already established between him and his players.

  27. Tyrone–Comment of the Year perhaps. I agree the Cowboys need to get more out of the running game, but MBIII isn’t going to be traded. It isn’t that he holds great value to Dallas, but rather no one is going to give anything for him and his contract–not even a 7th rounder. If the Cowboys could have traded him this year, they would have. He’s worth nothing to a team at his current salary.

    I think you hit the nail right on the head with the O-Line assessment. The QB and skill positions are suited to air the ball out. The offensive line is not. I am really scared about basically all of the O-Line spots in the future. How can Dallas realistically patch up this thing by 2011? They’ll need a high draft pick and a big-time FA, but even then you’re relying on a rookie.

  28. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    I think we’re all saying the same thing…..

  29. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Say, did you get the look at Costa yet (game film)?

    Also, you may be right about no one being interested in Barber but Marshawn Lynch was traded for a 4th – I know his salary was less but Barber’s a back you can utilize for another 3-5 more years, he’s got much better character and he is honestly more durable (has had his moments). The Bills, Lions and Broncos can build around Barber. Mute point really as the trade deadline has passed.

    I sound like a broken record, I know, but can’t help repeating it. The O line issue can be cleared up, this season and for the next year or two, in one small move. Fire Garrett (or keep him if he has the capability) and adopt a power running scheme. Look at how well Flozell Adams is doing in Pittsburgh at RIGHT tackle blocking in that scheme…Davis, Gurode and Columbo would be far more successful right now. I think the fans are ready for some winning – regardless of the style of football that presents it. It makes fan appreciation sense, it makes football sense but more importantly, it makes BUSINESS sense.

    Keep the status quo style of offense and, you said it yourself, the Cowboys are still 2-3 more QUALITY pass blocking O linemen away from being good enough to make the playoffs much less a Superbowl – and that’s after drafting a top O line rookie and doing some moves in the off-season. And, it will be far more costly in training (easier to teach run blocking that it is pass blocking) time.

  30. Hey Tyrone…I am watching Costa as we speak. I have written up the majority of my film study article and just need to do a little more work on Costa and the defensive ends. It will be up within a few hours.

  31. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Once again, Jonathan, you deliver. I await – thanks.

  32. Sercan says:

    Signofarchangel / True, but the soaesn before the Cowboys went 13-3 and got a bye, so technically it was the same shit and if it weren’t for T.O. They wouldn’t have had that record.

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