The Star’s Five Corners: Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
The special teams: The special teams are not special at all; in fact they’re one of the biggest weaknesses on this team, excluding Dan Bailey. Something needs to change because the last couple of seasons special teams play has cost the Cowboys dearly. I don’t know if it’s the scheme that Joe DeCamilis is running or if it’s the personnel, but changes need to me made, specifically on punt protection and punt/kick returns. Sunday it was the fumble by Felix Jones and the blocked punt on a missed block by Dan Connor on special teams that spotted the Seahawks ten points early in the game.
No Balance: I said in my Cowboys vs. Seahawks preview that the Cowboys had to remain a balanced team to win and it proved to be true. Cowboys’ running backs rushed the ball an eye-popping 14 times for 45 yards. The Cowboys had pretty good momentum going into halftime, but when the game resumed in the third quarter they completely abandoned involving DeMarco Murray in both the run game and the passing game.
The miscues: Jason Witten had three drops in the game and wasn’t on the same page as quarterback Tony Romo. Witten missed reads and ran wrong routes, as did Dez Bryant who had two drops and two fumbles in the game. The only thing Bryant did well on Sunday was, pulling a disappearing act. I have to give credit where credit is due however, as the Seahawks corners made it difficult for the receivers coming off the line.
The defense: The defense had a great first half given the hands they were dealt and twice held the Seahawks offense to field goals in the red-zone. I don’t know why and I’m still scratching my head over it, but for some reason Rob Ryan didn’t feel the need to or maybe didn’t want to rush more than three defensive linemen. I mean I’m not a defensive coordinator in the NFL, obviously, but if I have a rookie starting quarterback, a second string left tackle protecting his blind side and possibly the best pass-rusher in Cowboys’ history in DeMarcus Ware, I’m deploying him every chance I get. Ryan’s scheme is supposed to create pressure and confuse the opposing passer, but more often than not the only confusion was on the defense.
Toughness: Am I the only one who thinks this team is “soft”? The Cowboys got punched in the mouth and cowered in the face of adversity. It wasn’t more evident than during the cheap shot Golden Tate took on a defenseless Sean Lee. It made me sick to my stomach that no one, at the very least, got in Tate’s face. I don’t know maybe that’s just the Marine in me talking, but I wouldn’t have let someone celebrate a cheap shot on one of my buddies.
It’s only the second game Cowboys fans, so step down from the ledge. Keep in mind that every once in a while you’re going to see games like this. The Seahawks stuck to their game plan and executed better than the Cowboys in all three phases of the game. Going forward Dallas must find a way to correct those mistakes and I expect they will. The great teams are resilient, now it’s time to focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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