Special thanks to Mark Bristow (@Markbristow22) for the inspiration behind this column
Five Drastic Changes Dallas Cowboys Need to Make During Bye Week
Five Bye Week Changes the Dallas Cowboys Need to Make
The Dallas Cowboys are lucky to be 2-2. After two penalty-laden victories and two pathetic losses, the team hasn't even played like a .500 club to this point. This inconsistency is something that has plagued Dallas for years and won't get any better unless some things change.
In face, some of those necessary changes are pretty drastic, and probably won't be accepted by the more conservative members of the Dallas faithful. However, the Cowboys need some serious work, enough that it could be said they need a makeover. So consider this Extreme Makeover: Cowboys Edition.
On the next pages, you'll see five pretty drastic changes the Cowboys need to make to have any hope of contending for a winning season, much less the playoffs. No, don't even mention this team and the Super Bowl in the same sentence. They're a long way from that, but these five changes during this bye week will definitely get the Cowboys going in the right direction:
Trade Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant is the most polarizing player on the Cowboys' roster. He's the textbook definition of a "headache athlete" in that he is arguably the most physically gifted player in the NFL and his potential is absolutely unlimited. However, he either doesn't have the brains to reach that potential or he just doesn't want to. Bryant makes plays that no other player could make and then runs the wrong route and/or drops an easy pass on the next three plays.
Thus, it's time to part ways with the troubled receiver. In addition to his inconsistent play on the field, he literally cannot stay out of trouble off it and that's undoubtedly part of his problem. However, there are several teams who would give up a second-round pick and possibly a first for Bryant. If they're willing to take that risk, the Cowboys should pull the trigger at this point; no pun intended.
Fire Jason Garrett
It's time to do it. Jason Garrett is not the head coach he proclaims to be or the one he wants to be. Contrary to popular belief and what he says, he doesn't hold the team accountable; he doesn't even take responsibility for his own actions!
In addition, Garrett is a horrific play-caller. He was pretty decent as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator before he was named head coach midway through the 2010 NFL season. However, he seemingly forgot how to call plays as soon as he was promoted and has been awful ever since. Mostly, it's inconsistency. Garrett will call 20 pass plays in a game and the Cowboys will win and then call 50 in each of the next three games and Dallas will suffer a losing streak.
Garrett is hurting the team. Not as bad as owner and general manager Jerry Jones, but he's keeping the Cowboys from reaching the potential of which they're capable. He needs to go.
Promote Rob Ryan to Interim Head Coach
Oh no sir, we're not just throwing up our hands and getting rid of Garrett with no plan. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has earned his shot at a head coaching position and he's the right man for the job in Dallas. He's worked miracles with the Cowboys' defense considering the weak personnel he's been given, so one must wonder what he could do with Dallas' talented offense.
There's nothing he can do to fix the Cowboys' horrific offensive line right now, but he can definitely improve it in the meantime. Primarily, he can get more out of Dallas' offensive linemen by tailoring the play-calling around them. The Cowboys need to set up the pass with the run and put quarterback Tony Romo in situations of opportunity, not those of distress.
Garrett does that week in and week out, which is why Romo has games like Week 4 in which he threw five interceptions against the Chicago Bears. Ryan can fix that and thus fix the Cowboys.
Cut Orlando Scandrick, Extend Mike Jenkins' Contract
Giving Orlando Scandrick that lucrative contract before the start of the 2011 NFL season was one of the dumbest moves in the Jerry Jones era. There have been a lot of dumb moves during his 24 years as owner of the team, but this one is up there with the worst of them.
Scandrick gets beat more than any other cornerback in league with half his salary and there is absolutely no reason why he should be on the field as much as he is. He's given chance after chance and he falls flat on his face every time yet he remains on the field and remains astronomically overpaid.
The Cowboys need to get rid of him entirely and give all that cash to Mike Jenkins, who has returned from off-season shoulder surgery with a vengeance. Jenkins has responded to the Cowboys' drafting of Morris Claiborne and signing of Brandon Carr better than anyone could have imagined and that puts the Cowboys in prime position to get rid of Scandrick and make good on Jones' word that Jenkins is truly a part of the team's long-term plan.
Create Backfield Committee With Phillip Tanner, DeMarco Murray
The Cowboys need to run the ball more, but the NFL has moved away from the 30-carry-per-game running back. Fortunately for Dallas, there's a dynamite back on the bench who's not getting any work and his name is Phillip Tanner. In the very small amount of playing time he's been given, Tanner has been explosive and consistent, which is what every team wants in a starting running back, much less a backup.
The Cowboys need to give DeMarco Murray 15-20 carries per game and then also give Tanner 8-10. Dallas is 6-0 in games in which Murray received at least 20 carries, so why not make that happen every game and make sure it doesn't become predictable by sprinkling in a healthy dose of Tanner when the time is right.