Cowboys Need To Be Proactive, Not Reactive


The Dallas Cowboys caught the entire NFL off guard last year en route to a 12-4 record, an NFC East championship, and a playoff victory. They simply had a plan in place.

Most NFL experts, and fans alike, didn’t see the plan and picked the Cowboys to go 8-8, or worse yet, finish last in the division. But the Cowboys had a plan. They signed players like Rolando McClain and Jermey Mincey and they leaned heavy on the running game to protect Tony Romo.

The Cowboys’ mantra, “Finish The Fight,” was evident as they battled injuries, went 8-0 on the road, and won all four games in December.

From protecting Romo, to camouflaging the defenses’ weaknesses, the Cowboys had a contingency plan for any disaster that came their way. If a player went down, the Cowboys had another productive player take his place. That’s why they were successful.

If they want to build on last season’s success and make a run to the Super Bowl, they had better be proactive and not reactive.

The Cowboys are unsure at two positions right now — running back and cornerback. With Orlando Scandrick out for the season and DeMarco Murray now playing for Philadelphia, neither position will be returning it’s top player.

Running back

Although Joseph Randle is primed to be the starting RB and Darren McFadden is playing well himself, the Cowboys need a ball-carrier that will produce. The jury is out whether or not Randle can carry the load. Randle, a weak pass-protector, hasn’t exactly had the strongest preseason, either.

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Against the Minnesota Vikings, Randle completely missed a block that led to a Romo sack. That’s a certifiable “no-no” to the 10th degree. We all remember what happened to Romo when he took that nasty sack against the Redskins last season. He injured his back and missed the following game, forcing in an inept Brandon Weeden and costing the Cowboys the game.

McFadden is not without blemish, as he’s known to be injury-prone. Last season was the first time in his career he played a full season with missing time to injury. I’ll be the first to admit that McFadden is extremely talented and playing better than Randle this preseason.

McFadden had four carries for 37 yards against the Vikings and looked good in all phases of that game. He looked like the first round superstar he was supposed to be. McFadden has power, quickness, and he’s good at pass protection, something Randle simply isn’t.

But the question is whether or not he can he stay healthy? In this situation, the Cowboys should’ve signed recently released RB Fred Jackson. Jackson can flat out play. He would’ve been a valuable insurance policy in case McFadden gets hurt or Randle falls short.

The Cowboys will need the running game to be effective. The main reason Romo led the league in quarterback rating and the Cowboys went 12-4 is because he didn’t have to throw it 50 times per game. He simply handed the ball off to DeMarco Murray and stayed upright. If the running game is sub-par, you risk Romo to injury.

A hard hit on a quarterback with a bad back is always bad news, especially when Weeden is the back up. The running game is both Romo’s and Dez Bryant’s best friend. The Cowboys contentment with their current running backs is beyond comprehension at this point.


When the Cowboys lost Scandrick, they lost their best defensive back on the team. As a slot corner, Scandrick primarily covers the quick and shifty receivers, like Wes Welker, Victor Cruz and DeSean Jackson. And he’s done a decent job covering the number one wideouts on the outside as well. To lose Scandrick, and not even look for a veteran DB to replace him, might be playing with fire.

Morris Claiborne has yet to prove he can play any extended stretch of time without falling to injury. Brandon Carr is so bad he couldn’t cover himself in a blanket. Tyler Patmon has potential, but that’s all we know right now. Byron Jones is playing well, but he’s still a rookie and that means he’s mistake-prone. I don’t believe Patmon or Jones can be as effective as Scandrick, and I doubt few would argue with that.

Of course, a better pass rush will help the secondary, but there are times when a corner has to make a play on his own and I’m not sure the Cowboys have someone like that.

Why didn’t the Cowboys, at the very least, take a look at  Tim Jennings, who was released by the Chicago Bears and played under Rod Marinelli in Chicago?

Who knows?

Back in 1992, Jimmy Johnson saw what the Cowboys were missing and made a trade for Charles Haley. Haley helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four years. Johnson knew the Cowboys needed a bona fide pass rusher to win the Super Bowl.  He made it happen before it became too late.

It appears something may be missing to this 2015 Dallas Cowboys team as well. So Dallas Cowboys, don’t be reactive. Be proactive. Because history says that winning a Super Bowls could happen if they are.

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