It’s not quite the 24-hour rule usually given to a team after a win, but it is Monday and that means the Dallas Cowboys need to get back to work if they want to make the playoffs. There was a lot to like about what the Cowboys did last night, but there is also plenty of reasons for concern.
Getting a win is always the most important thing, but the Cowboys still sit at 6-6 and on the outside of the playoff picture. They need to improve over the final four games to not only make the playoffs, but to kill all the annoying talk about December swoons. The schedule down the stretch is much tougher than we thought it was a few weeks ago, but it won’t matter if this Cowboys defense doesn’t get better.
It was the Cowboys defense that let them down last night again. They have been getting gashed pretty good lately and Rob Ryan doesn’t have any answers. I find it funny that after the game Ryan said “we’ll get it fixed” because he hasn’t gotten it fixed yet. In fact, the defense has gotten worse in the past few games.
If Ryan seriously wants to fix his defense, he better start coming up with some new game plans because the same ones he’s been using aren’t working. You know what they say about insanity, don’t you? If you’ve never heard, the saying goes like this: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Clearly, Rob Ryan is insane.
Please do not blame the injuries for the Cowboys’ pitiful defense the past few weeks because that was their $50 million man getting beat by Riley Cooper for a touchdown. Brandon Carr is healthy and supposed to be one of the best cornerbacks in the game. By the way, the Philadelphia Eagles offense had to play their backup quarterback, running back and a few backup offensive linemen, so the injury excuse should go bye-bye real quick.
The injuries do play a part and I’m guessing we can all see how much of a difference Kenyon Coleman makes as a run stopper, but there is still zero excuse for not pressuring the quarterback more. For about the 25th time this year I’m asking: where is Ryan’s noted creativity? He’s got good pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer and pass rushing specialist Victor Butler, yet rarely do we see the Cowboys bring more than four people to rush the quarterback.
The New York Giants put a linebacker in at defensive tackle and have him rush the quarterback. That’s creative. Sending three defensive linemen to rush the quarterback and putting Anthony Spencer in coverage on third down is not creative, it’s moronic. And this is the guy some of you want to be the next head coach of the Cowboys? Talk about creative–that would take the cake!
The worst part is that Ryan got exactly what he wanted this off-season. He asked for more physical corners and he got them, yet he still stays away from press coverage. The secondary has been improved but because of the lack of pressure on the quarterback they are getting beat more and more.
For a guy with such bravado, Rob Ryan calls a very passive defense. Come on Rob, stop being so afraid, you talk a big game now, so it’s time you back it up.
Not that it’s all on Ryan, because the offense has some work to do as well. The offensive line holds up well when they get good center play, but there is no excuse for having Doug Free in the starting lineup anymore. He does more harm than good and will be the first Cowboy on the chopping block this off-season. He is absolutely lost out there and it’s time to give Jeremy Parnell the job and give him for four weeks to see if the Cowboys need to draft another tackle early in the draft.
We saw what a big help the running game was to Tony Romo, now just imagine how much better this offense would be with a real right tackle!
The Cowboys sit with their playoff future in front of them again. Their resiliency must be applauded and, despite their uneven level of play so far this season, they still have a chance.
Dallas got a win last night, but improvement is needed if they want to make the playoffs. Jerry Jones said as much.
“I’m very hopeful, but I’m realistic and I know that we play teams that if we make some of the miscues that we made like we did out there tonight.” He didn’t need to finish his sentence. We know what he meant.
If Jerry Jones knows the Cowboys need to improve, than we should all know Dallas needs to improve and fast. Their playoff lives depend on it.
you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi