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By Jonathan Bales

Dallas Cowboys’ 1-5 start: Five good things that could come from it

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Jonathan Bales

As I wrote in a previous article, the objectives of this 2010 Cowboys team must change after their 1-5 start.  Specifically, the balance of importance between winning now and preparing for the future must shift to emphasize the latter.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m ultra-competitive and want to win each and every football game.  Losses kill me.  But the Cowboys need to be careful to not compromise their ability to win in 2011 and beyond because they want to “save face” this season.

If the Cowboys choose to make decisions with the future as a priority, here are five good things (many of which were brought up among DC Times readers–specifically Craig Kocay) that could result from this nightmare season. . .

5.  Skeptical fans might see the importance of Tony Romo.

It’s stunning to me how a quarterback with one of the highest passer ratings, yards-per-pass, and winning percentages in NFL history can be hated by so many fans.  Do people not remember the days of Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, and Drew Henson?  How about Brad Johnson?  Remember his three-game stint a few years ago that resulted from Romo’s broken finger?

Jon Kitna is much better than all of the aforementioned former Cowboys quarterbacks, but he sure isn’t Tony Romo.  This season will represent another opportunity for those on the fence about Romo to see the light.  Appreciate what you have.

4.  There will be little to no pressure on the Cowboys in 2011.

When expectations are high, the Cowboys crumble.  Even though they are extremely talented, it will be difficult for anyone to have seriously high expectations for them in 2011.  That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Super Bowl-caliber teams win regardless of outside opinions.  At some point, champions must win when expectations are through the roof.  Low expectations might help the Cowboys early, but what’s going to save them once they’re a “great” team again?

3.  Dallas could secure a high draft pick.

The Cowboys need to get young on the offensive line in a hurry.  Unlike some other positions, rookie offensive linemen can come into the NFL and often make a fairly significant impact.  The Cowboys figure to have a top 15 (and probably top 10) pick in the upcoming draft, which should be more than enough to obtain a very talented offensive lineman.

2.  The ‘Boys have an opportunity to discover what some young players can do.

I have a feeling the Cowboys are going to continue to give the bulk of reps to the usual suspects–Marion Barber, Marc Colombo, Leonard Davis, Keith Brooking, and so on.  But now is a perfect time to uncover some possible gems hidden in the back end of the roster.  Players like Phil Costa, Sam Young, Brandon Williams, Victor Butler, Jason Williams, Sean Lee, and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah need to acquire significant playing time before season’s end.  The first step in moving in a positive direction as an organization is knowing where you currently stand.

1.  Dallas can attempt exotic schemes/plays they normally wouldn’t try.

I thought the Cowboys should bring a unique approach to both sides of the ball to start the 2010 season, but it didn’t happen.  The major problem here is that the coaches, who are all trying to save their jobs, will be hesitant to attempt anything too outlandish.  They’ll want to remain conservative and implement what has worked in the past to try to win as many games as possible right now.

But that approach is only valuable to the coaches, not the entire team.  The 2011 Cowboys would benefit from offensive and defensive experimentation in 2010.  Jerry Jones might want to step in here and give the coaches some sort of incentive to be a little “crazy” (i.e. innovative) in their play-calling and overall approach to games.

Because if I see another punt on 4th and 3 from the opponent’s 39-yard line. . .

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12 Responses to Dallas Cowboys’ 1-5 start: Five good things that could come from it

  1. Brett says:

    You forgot the best one:

    Hopefully Wade and Garrett are gone. We need a fresh identity.

  2. OmarJ says:

    i think they will waste the chance and will not test youngster neither other (maybe exotic) schemes

  3. moses says:

    great ideas!
    Get the young guns in there and evaluate them in a live game. Do we have starters or are these perennial backups?
    Try new schemes. Look at the player talent and see what schemes can really exploit it and create a play.
    I don’t know if the players have quit on Wade. It sure didn’t look good against the Giants. If he has lost the team then JJones has a real opportunity.
    He can look for a quality GM and bring him in. He can then choose his coaches and establish his authority. We may have the talent to get the job done, but we do not have the leadership.
    Let the GM pick a coach without bringing in coaching re-treads

  4. Hey Moses–

    Curious to see if you think the players have quit on Wade after today’s game. . .

  5. starred4life says:

    What do you think of Marty Schottenheimer? He took the Chiefs to 13-3, and the Chargers to 14-2, he even got the Browns to 12-4. He’s available, and he knows how do work wonders with talent. His only knock is his playoff record (and perhaps his age), but you can’t doubt that he’s the type of guy that will get the players to execute. I’d love it if we could bring him in with some games left on this schedule, so he could implement his defense, and get started on the offense too. And perhaps figure out who we need to jettison and who we need to keep.

  6. I personally would prefer a first-timer. I know that’s unusual, but I think the young guns aren’t afraid to come in and implement innovative schemes. A guy in the mold of a Mike Tomlin or Sean Payton (before they got their gigs, obviously). You’d obviously have to surround him with a lot of experienced coordinators and position coaches, but I’d love to see an aggressive, “new school” guy. How about a Gregg Williams or Perry Fewell? I don’t think Fewell got a fair shot in Buffalo during his time as the interim coach and both coordinators have a more aggressive, takeaway-first mentality.

  7. starred4life says:

    I agree with the Perry Fewell idea, but I’d like to see a move made during this season. And that would mean that Fewell is out of the question.

  8. Well, a move made this season would pretty much have to come from within. Is there anyone on this staff you want coaching in the future? I suppose they could go to JG this season and assess it at season’s end.

  9. john coleman says:

    Not trying to say Schottenheimer is my first choice, but I do want to give him credit. As starred4life said he has been a winner everywhere. We need a strong hand like that.

  10. John–what are your thoughts on a coach who has won in college but not yet coached in the NFL? A Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer, etc. Just curious. . .

  11. moses says:

    Jonathan
    I didn’t get to see the game, but the replays were tough to watch. They just don’t seem to be that excited about playing. It looked like they are going through the motions. I only saw the highlights, so it could have been different on the other plays.
    Boy this is a tough season!

  12. Moses–nope, not any different. It was clear this team has packed it in.

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