Plenty Of Blame To Go Around In Dallas Cowboys Season Ending Loss

By Ben Grimaldi
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There are too many Dallas Cowboys fans out there, each with an opinion on why the Cowboys lost to the Washington Redskins, as well as losing the NFC East title on Sunday night. They want to blame Jason Garrett, Jason Hatcher, the entire defense and all their injuries. Am I missing anyone?

I guess we could throw a certain quarterback into the blame pile as well.

Everyone wants to throw the blame on Tony Romo but the reality is it wasn’t just Romo who lost the game to the Redskins. Football is a team game and the Cowboys lost as a team. Romo wasn’t sharp at all and his fourth quarter interception is the kind of decision that has haunted him his entire career but there are plenty of people who should be held accountable for the season ending loss.

The defense couldn’t stop Alfred Morris or Robert Griffin III all game long. When you give up almost 300 yards rushing, it’s tough to win. Rob Ryan and the defense failed to make the adjustments in order to stop the Redskins run game, but I’m not sure what could have been done? They were down their top two middle linebackers, Jay Ratliff, Kenyon Coleman, Barry Church, and DeMarcus Ware being only a shell of himself left the defense shorthanded. So I’m trying to figure out why people can’t understand why the Cowboys couldn’t stop the Redskins?

You want to blame Jason Garrett for not adjusting to the Redskins blitzes and that’s fine too because he didn’t. One of the Cowboys weaknesses all year has been their offensive line. They have gotten better as the year went on but tonight they didn’t look great. So while blaming Garrett is fine, just know his play calling has been hamstrung by the offensive line all year, so if you’re surprised they were outplayed tonight then you haven’t been paying attention.

You can also lay blame on Jason Hatcher, who’s dumb penalty led to the Redskins running the clock down even further and allowed Alfred Morris’ third touchdown that sealed the loss.

However, I’m guessing no one wants to blame anyone more than Tony Romo, who is now 1-6 in season ending games. His three interceptions were ugly, especially the last one which was totally inexcusable. Romo walked off the field with his head down and his helmet on for a reason, there is no doubt he’ll blame himself for another season ending loss. At this point even the strongest Romo supporters, me included, will have a tough time defending his play in crucial situations.

Despite everyone wanting to play the blame game the truth is the Cowboys were outplayed and the blame should be shared equally. If the Dallas defense didn’t have the crippling injuries, maybe they could have stopped Washington but they couldn’t. If the defense could have caused a turnover or not allowed the Redskins to run all over them then maybe Tony Romo wouldn’t have had to force another comeback late in the game.

In the end no matter who you want to blame, the Cowboys simply weren’t good enough tonight. They were out coached, outplayed and made too many mistakes. The blame deserves to be on the entire team, not just Tony Romo. Just because he’s the easiest target, doesn’t mean everyone else escapes accountability. If this season as taught Cowboys fans anything, it’s that they will hold each other accountable, I expect fans to do the same.

Is this a case of the same old, same old Dallas Cowboys? The way it ended, it sure looks that way but don’t let one loss cloud your judgement on the season. The Cowboys got better as the year went on and fought hard in all 16 games. However, they did finish at 8-8 and losing with a chance to make the playoffs in the last game of the season is oddly familiar, especially because it was the same kind of loss that has doomed this franchise for a long time. There are similarities but I believe the Cowboys will improve and learn from this season.

So another off-season begins, with the same questions about the same players and coaches. And with the same pain.

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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