Painful Observations of the Dallas Cowboys


Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver

Dez Bryant

(88) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown while being defended by Detroit Lions strong safety

Glover Quin

(27) and cornerback

Darius Slay

(30) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday afternoon Dallas found a way to lose a game in epically painful fashion. The Cowboys were terrible on Offense. The Cowboys were terrible on Defense. Special Teams were good. Dwyane Harris and Dan Bailey should be applauded. But as whole, this was perhaps the worst game the Cowboys have played this season. Ok, second worse. The San Diego game was probably worse but you get my point – this was some really bad football.

Despite the poor play the Cowboys still found themselves ahead on the scoreboard with less than 2 minutes to play. Credit the turnovers for that. If their is one thing the Cowboys have shown they can do well, it’s create turnovers. Granted, they will let opponents run down the field for dozens of extra yards while they punch for the ball rather than just tackle – but still – credit is due. The turnovers are the only reason this game wasn’t 60-10.

Other Observations

  • The offensive line deserves all the offensive blame. They couldn’t run block or pass protect. If Kyle Orton were QB he would have been sacked at least 5 times. When the Cowboys needed to run the ball the O-line failed to control the line of scrimmage. Total failure on the O-line.
  • Joseph Randle is going to fumble soon. When he plants his foot and makes his cut up-field, he swings the ball-carrying arm out away from his body. This is a natural motion but very dangerous. He needs to resist the urge and instead pull the arm up to his chest when making his cut. Unfortunately most RBs learn this lesson the hard way.
  • Tony Romo threw far too many lazy passes on sideline comeback routes. The Cowboys have been making the sideline comeback route a staple of their offense this season. It requires WR separation and fast timing-based passes to execute. These are susceptible to be intercepted (Top pick 6 route in the league) if the ball is not delivered on time and very fast. Romo threw some dangerously slow ones on Sunday.
  • Kyle Wilber is not good enough to be starting in the NFL. I know the Cowboys are depleted on the D-line and boast of being the “No-Name Line”, but Wilber is just completely outmatched. He needs to be used in more stunts and dropped back in zone blitzes from time to time. Playing him straight up just won’t cut it.
  • The secondary is an embarrassment in almost every way. Don’t get me started on Orlando Scandrick but he finds a way to disappoint me every week.
  • Brandon Carr specifically was abused. He never got completely burned but even with safety help all day, he gave Calvin Johnson a career day. It’s not a good sign when your star cover corner, plays the worst anyone has ever played against an opponent. Carr strung together some good games this season but was completely exposed (along with the rest of the defense) on Sunday.
  • Dez Bryant. There is a difference between screaming on the sideline to pump up teammates and just having a hissy-fit. It doesn’t matter how justified Dez Bryant may have been. He was not a good teammate on Sunday and did not help anyone raise their game. He does not seem to grasp the difference between motivating and discouraging. It took Michael Irvin some time to learn too so Dez can still learn this lesson.
  • Dez Bryant is not Calvin Johnson but he’s still the best athlete in the NFL. The Cowboys have to find a way to get him the ball more often. Instead of just taking what the defense gives them they need to move him around and get the ball in his hands. This should always be objective #1.