The day began with an Eagles loss. All the Cowboys needed to do in order to take back first place in the division was beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team, at home. What happened? The Cowboys blew a 23-point lead and committed two turnovers in the last 3 minutes of the game.
So who is to blame for this not-so-surprising atrocity? Is it the Coaches? The Defense? Tony Romo? Yes, yes, and hell yes.
Many people will say that this loss should not fall solely on the shoulders of Tony Romo because we should not have been passing the ball so much to begin with. I agree. However, there is simply no excuse for a veteran quarterback to be making those types of throws down the stretch.
Dear Tony: If you escape a sack, do not throw the ball from your back shoulder as you are falling – never mind with three minutes left and the lead in hand. And did Cole Beasley run the wrong route on that game-deciding interception? Perhaps. But regardless, do not throw the ball to an area where your receiver is not, with 90 seconds left, on first down, only 35 yards away from field goal range. These things just can’t happen.
Now, to discuss the play-calling, allow me to quote Joe Buck: “Why the Dallas Cowboys refuse to run the ball in this situation, it’s inexplicable.”. Well said, Joe.
It is true that even while ahead, the Cowboys needed to score some points. It would not be wise to remain only 6 points ahead of a surging team with three time outs. However, the run game was actually doing well. In fact, DeMarco Murray had one of his best games all season. So, with a need to be aggressive and shed time off the clock, why not run? As Joe Buck said, the refusal to run the ball is “inexplicable”. Also, Murray’s exaggerated “WHY?!” at the end of the game – well, there’s all you need.
Now, now, defense of ours. It seems that Monte Kiffin gave fans what they wanted: more man coverage. Well, maybe the 73=year old was right for sticking to the zone in prior games. After defending him with great vigor, I sat and watched Brandon Carr get embarrassed by third string receiver: former Jaguars UFA Jarrett Boykin,
I know that the defense can’t possibly function the same without Sean Lee, Justin Durant, or the 9,000 other players who are injured. But that does not excuse the performances of some key players on that side of the ball. On a brighter note, it’s nice to have Sterling Moore back, and to see George Sylvie with some life in him once again.
At the end of the day, it’s not fair to assign to total blame for the loss to any one player, unit, or coach. Instead, the Cowboys have to re-group, and take seriously next week’s match-up at the Washington Redskins. This season is not over, and we cannot start playing like it is. If, however, we do not make the playoffs and the search for one of more new coaches has not begun, Jerry Jones will surely lose the precious few believers he still has.