After two games in the still young 2013 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys (and their huge potential) are just 1-1, due to a series of “Not Good Enough” (NGE) efforts by players and coaches alike.
The game against the Kansas City Chiefs was as winnable a game as they come in the NFL these days. But it was like watching an old movie, as the Cowboys just kept shooting themselves in the foot. Forget all that ‘Hard-Nosed’ nonsense by a good-spirited fan, looking for positives after a shaky first outing against the Giants.
The problem is that we have become all too accustomed to these NGE efforts that seem to define the Cowboys true identity:
- Dez Bryant‘s 9 receptions for 141 yards and 1 touchdown, are good numbers for a receiver who pretends to take the league by storm; but NGE once he drops an easy touchdown when his team needed him the most.
- Tony Romo‘s 30 of 42 passes for 298 yards and 1 TD, is NGE for a quarterback that can’t produce a single touchdown in the second half of a close game, especially when he holds the highest fourth-quarter passer rating among active quarterbacks.
- DeMarco Murray‘s 12 rushing attempts for 25 yards is plain putrid (forget NGE!) for a starting running back in the NFL. And by the way, where is that much-talked-about offensive balance by the recently appointed play-caller?
- Lance Dunbar getting the ball for just the second time in the game is an opportunity to show your teammates, your coaches and your fans, what you can do… and fumbling the ball at the worst possible time, is just NGE for a running back trying to make a name for himself in this league.
- What’s the deal with those two corners? Jerry paid a ransom for both of them and they are Not Even Close To Be NGE! Brandon Carr could have stopped that first touchdown series by the Chiefs, if he could just tackle a quarterback, instead of allowing Alex Smith (of all people!) to jump over him and get the first down.
And I just don’t know where to start with Morris Claiborne. This guy came to the league with great expectations, Patrick Peterson kind of expectations. Do you think I’m exaggerating? Peterson was the 5th overall selection one year before Claiborne was the 6th overall selection in the 2012 draft. But forget Patrick Peterson! Janoris Jenkins was the 39th pick (that’s like in the second round) and he has been the best cornerback of the 2012 class. I’m not ready to quit on Mo Claiborne just yet, but this guy epitomizes the NGE label of this Cowboys team. It just seems that every time he hits somebody, he gets hurt. And that game-deciding pass interference? I know it was a tough call, but you have to play it smart. If Claiborne had just let the Chiefs receiver catch the ball and then tackle him, he would have been short of the first down and the Chiefs would have had to punt with enough time for Tony Romo to drive his offense for a field goal.
- What’s happening to Sean Lee? I thought he would be flying all over the field, like the tackling machine he was supposed to be on this 4-3 defensive scheme. But for the second straight week, Bruce Carter stole him the show as the best linebacker in the roster. Not ready to call Lee’s effort NGE, but a bit disappointed here.
- The coaching staff wasn’t good enough either. The red zone Offense once again is faltering; the offensive balance wasn’t there, even when the Cowboys never trailed for much; and while the Defense wasn’t that bad (17 points allowed is OK), they couldn’t get the stop when it was needed.
So, are these Cowboys ready for big things? I’m not very optimist right now. The Offense has been a huge disappointment. Why can’t Dez have a great day, and also Miles and Witten and Murray?
Let’s not overreact, but the Chiefs game was a game the Cowboys had to win. Now the Rams have definitely to pay for that unexpected loss in Kansas City, and then visiting the surprising Chargers doesn’t seem as easy we had all thought. Just to receive the following week, the imposing Broncos and Peyton Manning. Suddenly we are looking at a very probable 2-3 record after week 5.
And that my friends, as you may agree, is just Not Good Enough.
Follow Luis on twitter @dominguez_luisf.