Do we all agree that the issues destroying this team are issues that have already been addressed, yet not corrected? Here's my laundry list:
1. Penalties--When will Flozell go through a game without having a false start? 5 yards may not be a big deal on Monday, but as you are watching the game and the already beleaguered offense has to go from 3rd and 3 to 3rd and 8, it REALLY makes a difference--not to mention how much wind it takes out of the players' sails. The big man's jumpiness seems to be contagious. Presnap penalties are contagious, even to the WRs and TEs.
2. Turnovers--Remember when Bill Parcells had MB3 carry a football around with him everywhere he went? He had him do that because Marion's role was that of the "rock". Steady, grind-it-out backs are the security of the offense. They control the ball almost as much as the QBs.
Speaking of QBs--When will Romo go through a game without fumbling a ball? Like most of the locker room talk: THIS ISN'T LAST YEAR. The magic of being the new bully on the block is gone. This is a scratch and claw year; can't just outscore opponents anymore. Every turnover counts. No more Bills games. When Romo comes back and fumbles, or when Brad throws an interception, this team feels the effect. As we've witnessed the last 4 weeks, no team in the NFL will allow the Cowboys to use their 2007 get-outta-jail cards.
3. Coverage in the Secondary--Does it even matter who is playing back there? Sure, Dallas is prone to be beat deep, just as many teams are. But what is up with the coverage on 3rd downs? I swear, it feels like 3rd and 12's are as easy for offenses to pick up as they are with 3rd and 2's. Zone, press, Cover 2--doesn't matter. Is it inconsistent pressure, poor tackling, or simply bad coverage? The defense needs to learn a whole system of limitations on 3rd downs. Sure, they stop them sometimes--but good defenses stop them the majority of the time. 3rd downs are the heart of offenses. Learn to rip that out!
The Real Problem: Nobody is learning from their mistakes. Collectively, the team is not learning from its mistakes. It's just like that Bush song from the 90's: "It's the Little Things that Kill". Last year, the Cowboys were excited to play and exciting to watch. Now, a simple false start, or fumble, or crazy shotgun snap is nothing new to overcome. Now, it's just a play that rolls the figurative eye and echoes "here we go again".
From my experience here on bloggingtheboys, I know that some fans refuse to acknowledge the discipline that Parcells' regime instilled in Dallas. And firing or replacing coaches IS NOT the answer, at least not right now. But I do feel like these coaches are trying to get the most of the roster's talent, instead of focusing on the ills that limit the talented. Playmakers need the ball to make plays. QBs need time to get them the ball. Defenders/Special Teamers need to better control field position. It sounds so fundamental. Fundamentals, though, are what is costing this team W's and will continue to do so, until they learn to correct them.