Dallas Cowboys Must Improve as Seattle Seahawks Expose Specific Weaknesses
The stats from the Dallas Cowboys‘ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday tell the whole story. The Cowboys’ win over the New York Giants in Week 1 was a fluke – not because they’re not capable of playing that well again, but because all Dallas’ problems were not fixed this off-season.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for just 151 yards and one touchdown on only 20 attempts yet Seattle won this game by 20 points. That stat alone proves this 2012 squad is still the same old Cowboys. That’s not because they just couldn’t stop the opposing quarterback, but rather it was due to the fact Dallas tripped over its own feet about a dozen times.
Dallas plays Cover 2 – that’s Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan‘s base coverage scheme – yet the team gave up just over half Wilson’s passing yards while in Cover 2. Cowboys cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were actually pretty good in man coverage, but it was Cover 2 that killed Dallas. That’s pretty scary considering it’s the team’s base scheme.
The Cowboys’ offensive line was also exposed on Sunday. Tony Romo was only sacked once, but he was hit almost 10 other times and knocked down a half dozen more. The Cowboys’ two “prize” free agent signings – guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau – were both manhandled up front all day by the Seahawks’ defensive line. So much for those big off-season moves [sarcasm].
That just shows how poor the Cowboys’ management handles the team. Dallas’ offensive line was awful last year and could have been better this year if guys like Kevin Kowalski and Bill Nagy hadn’t gotten hurt. However, the fact Jerry Jones only signed two free agent guards that were not quality starters with their past NFL teams proves he’s not fit to manage the personnel of a professional football and never was. Sure, he brought in two new cornerbacks this year, but he literally did nothing to improve the Cowboys’ offensive line.
On the same note, the Cowboys were out-coached on Sunday in more ways than one. First, the Seahawks were ready to play after a heart-breaking loss to a divisional opponent the week before while the Cowboys weren’t ready at all following a big primetime win over a rival and the defending champs. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll beat Dallas skipper Jason Garrett in the battle of the headsets. Carroll attacked the Cowboys’ weak spots – offensive line and special teams – and it worked to perfection.
Dallas shot itself in the foot twice to start the game with a fumble on the opening kickoff and a blocked punt on its first offensive possession. Garrett never did anything about it and that’s the basis of the Cowboys’ problem: leadership. As soon as something went wrong, Garrett deviated from what works – running DeMarco Murray and setting up the pass with Romo. The result? Another embarrassment for the Dallas faithful. Week 3 is now do or die for the Cowboys at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but don’t hold your breath.