I am the Dallas Cowboys biggest fan! Me and about one million other people will make that distinction. However, it doesn’t mean I’m blind to what’s been going on with the Cowboys this year. I’ve been trying to tell you the 2012 Dallas Cowboys aren’t very good and if yesterday didn’t give you all the evidence you need, maybe the 5-6 record will.
I’ve been mentioning this fact for a few weeks now to make sure things like yesterday didn’t happen. It’s great if you were excited about the prospects of the Dallas Cowboys being tied for first after this weekend but as I continue to say, expecting too much from this team will only disappoint you – they aren’t ready.
There are a number of reasons why, and I’m going to skip over the whole Jerry Jones-isn’t-a-GM thing; Here are a few of the biggest problems with the Cowboys 2012 season and they’ve been the same all year:
People keep complaining about Tony Romo being a problem. No, he’s not; actually, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Tony Romo hasn’t played his best football this year, but who could behind this offensive line? Romo is a very good quarterback but he’s not the Peyton Manning, everything-is-on-me type of quarterback. He’s got the entire Cowboys team on his back and it’s not his strength. He needs help – there’s too much pressure, literally and figuratively, on him to get this team where everyone wants them to go.
I’m not knocking Romo, it’s just the truth.
Part of the reason Romo can’t carry the team is because of the offensive line, but part of it is also on the coach. Jason Garrett continues to struggle to realize that the Cowboys offense needs to be played at a higher tempo. There’s no reason they can’t run a hurry-up offense before they get behind. It works to both the quarterback and the receivers’ strengths, we’ve seen that be the case all season long. There is zero creativity in the Cowboys offense, and Garrett needs to re-design the whole thing this off-season.
Defensively you can tell me til you’re blue in the face that this Cowboys defense is better than last year, but I realized yesterday that they’re not. Rob Ryan, king of confusion because of his exotic blitzes, plays way too soft. Didn’t he get the physical cornerbacks he wanted so he could be more aggressive? I haven’t seen the aggression, have you? And spare me the talk they don’t want to give up big plays because they give them up anyway.
You want to know what teams also give up big plays on defense? The New York Giants, a team with a 6-4 record that couldn’t stop me or you running an offense; but they cause turnovers to get their offense back on the field. They won last year with an aggressive style, gave up points and caused turnovers. The Green Bay Packers, at 7-3, do the same because you want to know what the biggest factor in a team’s win-loss record is? Turnovers; you win the turnover battle, you likely win the game.
Think about it, do the Cowboys force turnovers on a consistent basis?
It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Yet here are the Cowboys sitting back playing too soft, losing the turnover battle and losing games. Blaming everything on Garrett is short-sighted, it was Rob Ryan’s defense that got blown away yesterday.
DeMarcus Ware, where you been? Sure, you’ve got 10 sacks, but I haven’t seen you dominate or leave an impact on any games this year. I’m sorry if this hurts Cowboys fans feelings, but he’s not a dominant pass rusher – not even close. I’ve seen J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Clay Matthews and Aldon Smith take over games this season, but have any of you seen that from Ware? I’ve seen Anthony Spencer dominate, and many of you don’t even like him.
The Cowboys have injuries, but this team wasn’t what we’d all hoped for anyway. They have drastic underachievers, count Ware, Orlando Scandrick, Miles Austin and Brandon Carr among them. Carr, in particular, hasn’t been what we’ve all thought, he hasn’t made near the amount of plays that $50 million says he should. He was smoked all game yesterday.
No, the 2012 Dallas Cowboys aren’t ready yet. They’re still a year away, but we never want to hear that. We all want to win now and if you’re too focused on this season you may miss the positives we’re seeing. Anthony Spencer is a keeper, Bruce Carter is a star and Dez Bryant is finally what we all expected. They also found solid players in Barry Church, Danny McCray, Dwayne Harris, and I know we all loved what we saw from Wes Welker-lite, Cole Beasley.
The Cowboys need to cut some dead weight on underachieving players this off-season and make some adjustments to get better for next year. The injuries are allowing them to evaluate some of these players moving forward. Take comfort in these things.
No, these Cowboys aren’t what we wanted, but they’re what we’ve got for five more games. Watch with an eye on the future, because that’s what they’re playing for now.
I know it’s difficult to stomach, but it’s the truth.
you can contact or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi