Sunday's 38 point, embarrassing, non-competitive loss to the Eagles in a must win game proved that there are a lot of problems with this unit. There is a lack of cohesion, a schematic disadvantage when it comes to offensive play-calling, and at times this team seems to lack fire, and toughness. The Dallas Cowboys have got 99 problems but T.O. ain't one.
Even as he enters the twilight of his career, Terrell Owens demonstrates the intensity, work ethic, and desire to compete that most of the players on this team would be well served to mimic. On a team with questionable character, what sense does it make to jettison your hardest worker? Sure T.O. publicly, asks for the football which is a problem, but there are guys on this team who hide from the football in crunch time.
While one can make the argument that the subraction of Terrell Owens would make for better team chemistry, there is no logical argument that this move makes sense from a schematic standpoint. First of all, consistent or not (the entire offense is inconsistent) Terrell Owens has been our top playmaker, and most productive offensive weapon since his arrival three seasons ago. He is the only guy on this team who dictates coverage, the only guy who creates any type of asemetry in a defense. While he no longer consistently beats the double team, he creates one on one matchups all across the field, but our guys don't win.
I had personally begun to buy into the theory that Tony Romo would be better off if he wasn't worried about forcing the ball to T.O., and just worked through his progression. Well, this December I learned that Tony Romo doesn't know what the hell is going on sometimes, nor does our offensive coordinator. Forcing the ball to T.O.? He forces it into coverage to everybody, Roy, Witten, Crayton, everybody. If we had an imaginative offensive coordinator, the issue of getting everyone their touches would not be an issue at all. There is no reason why all of our playmakers can't have big weeks depending on which poison the opposing defense chooses as their method of death.
Answer me this: Why did we give up a king's ransom for Roy Williams? To create more one on one matchups on the outside, correct? Now answer me this: What happens if Roy Williams becomes our #1 with Austin, or Crayton his opposite? We will have then downgraded both receiver spots. Are you comfortable the idea of Austin or Crayton being counted on to consistently win one on one matchups while Roy is being smothered by the double coverage. Not only would we be back to square one, we would be a step behind where we currently are.
Our best bet is to re-evaluate our offensive identity with the core personnel that we already have in place. Our passing game would be more effective if it was supported by a stronger runnning game. Our running game would be better if our giant offensive linemen were not asked to be cute, pulling and trapping, and getting beat to the spot. They are maulers, let them get downhill and maul. Tony Romo, doesn't need to look for T.O. or look for Roy, or look for his buddy Jason Witten. He just needs to throw the football to the open man. The ball distribution will work itself out.
Philadelphia hasn't exactly moved forward since dumping their scapegoat. And how has San Francisco been post T.O.?
There are a lot of guys who may need to continue their playing days in another helmet, but Terrell Owens is not one of them.