A Win Is A Win, But Cowboys Still Low In Football IQ


At the end of the day the score still says Cowboys 20 – Texans 17, and the Cowboys record improves to 4-1 in a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East. But the Dallas Cowboys are still a work in progress.

Everybody around the league is quite impressed with the offensive line, DeMarco Murray leading the NFL in rushing yards and the warrior-like mentality of that defense. However, this is the record I predicted Dallas would have after 5 weeks. I only thought that they would beat San Francisco and lose against New Orleans. My point is that they haven’t beaten anybody they weren’t supposed to beat.

I know that pundits and commentators all over the country were expecting a worst record by now, but that’s just because these are the Cowboys and, in this age of internet, things seem to change a lot from one day to the other, when in reality they haven’t. Beating teams with the likes of Jake Locker, Austin Davis, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as their quarterbacks has been the norm for Dallas since Tony Romo became the starter back in 2006. Beating the Saints has been their only impressive win of the year, but New Orleans is a 2-3 team that was very close to become a 1-4 team on Sunday, against the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

We are 4-1 for the first time since 2008, we have the NFL leading rusher and we are leading the NFC East, go away and don’t rain in our parade!

I know, I know, I’m happy and really excited by that offensive line. I think DeMarco Murray has a real chance to reach 2,000 yards this season and I believe that defense is playing their hearts out. But my point is that this kind of football, like the one they played against the Texans, won’t take them very far.

You can’t have two turnovers in the red zone and expect to be taken seriously in the NFL. You can’t waste a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter and expect to win in January. Moreover, you just can’t get two flags out of three plays in the offensive series where you are supposed to run out the clock!

That’s not going to be enough to compete against the Seahawks, Cards, Eagles and maybe even Giants of the NFC. Not to even mention the Broncos, Chargers, Colts or Bengals of the AFC.

Oct 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is falls over the line of scrimmage in the game against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat Houston 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What’s football IQ? Football IQ is when it’s 3rd and long inside your 20, winning by 7 and just over 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, with the other team still holding one timeout; whatever you do, you know that you have to make them take that last timeout or let the clock run all the way to the 2-minute warning.

In that situation, a QB with high football IQ takes a sack instead of throwing an incomplete pass and getting flagged for intentional grounding. What Romo did, was the worst possible outcome of that play, and it allowed the Texans to come back and tie the game with 43 seconds to go.

I know they give no points for style in the NFL, but if you are starting to believe in these Cowboys, then it’s time to start raising the bar for a team that has what it takes to compete, but keeps making the dumb mistakes that have make them the laughing stock of this league for way too long.

In praise of…

– Consider this section owned by the offensive line until stated otherwise. What they just did to Mr. “Best Player in the NFL” was impressive, not even mentioning DeMarco Murray 5th game in a row running for over 100 yards.

– Since the first time I saw J.J. Wilcox playing, I liked his game, although I recognized that he was just a project and that he had ways to go to become a solid contributor for this team. Well, he is starting to become just that. A fearful hitter with quick reactions. He still needs to work a lot on his coverage skills, but Sunday’s game was his best as a Cowboys so far.

– Jason Witten is the third tight end in history to reach 10,000 yards. This guy is a lock as first-time-ballot Hall of Famer. Not sure what else can I say about a player like him? He represents everything that is good about football.