Everyone Needs to Chill About Red Zone and Touchdowns

By Jeric Griffin

[picappgallerysingle id=”9538564″]In the past week, there have been several discussions on sports talk shows and articles written about the Cowboys’ failure to score an offensive touchdown thus far in the preseason. These accusations are way overhyped and pointless. I know the media has to talk and write about something, but they shouldn’t make such a big deal out of NFL preseason games. No one should make any kind of deal about these meaningless contests because contrary to what they say, the teams are not trying to win. Dallas head coach Wade Phillips says he always tries to win in the preseason, but he’s talking about running the two-minute offense with his fourth-string if his team is trailing in the fourth quarter. No team would be trying to win by taking out its starters after two series. Everyone just needs to chill about the Cowboys “red zone woes” and lack of touchdowns.

Think about the Dallas schedule; they played in the worthless Hall of Fame Game in Ohio and suffered a ton of injuries. Then the team didn’t practice the next day because they were traveling home. Tuesday was the only day offensive tackle Pat McQuistan and newly-signed tight end DajLeon Farr had to learn their new positions. There were only walk-throughs on Wednesday, and then the team had to play a ridiculous game against Oakland with a vast lack of personnel. When the Cowboys’ first-team offense apparently struggled, everyone went nuts; “We can’t score in the red zone” and “The offense can’t score at all.” Here’s a reality check for you – Pat McQuistan was playing tight end! He’s an offensive tackle! The offense is not expected to score in the red zone with a lineman filling in at tight end for a slew of injured players!

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Another big reason why these meaningless exhibition games should not cause you to miss any sleep is the play-calling. The Cowboys are not running all the plays they will run in the regular season, especially in the red zone. Quarterback Tony Romo explains: “Congratulations if you score a touchdown [in the preseason] and [the media] writes about it for a week and then that play doesn’t work in Washington (Sept. 12) because we used it. There’s also the sense that says we need to just get in there and go, to find a way and we will.” Yes, it’s great if you score a touchdown in the red zone in a game that doesn’t count. Then that play won’t work in the regular season because a team like Washington saw you run it in the preseason and had time to plan for it. I stood up and clapped for Romo because truer words were never spoken.The Cowboys had the second-best offense in the league last year behind only Super Bowl champ New Orleans. Dallas posted that mark in the 2009 regular season, the games that actually count. In last year’s preseason, the Detroit Lions went 3-1 and had the best offense in the league through the exhibitions. We all saw how that worked out for them in the real games. What should Dallas fans take from that? The preseason means nothing! If we haven’t scored an offensive touchdown after two regular season games, then come talk to me.

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