I'm back with another rant. This time, it's due to yet another Mediot observation from TSX who does all the team reports. The latest team report has finally gone from their usual ignorant reporting to the level of hyperbole. In it, they basically state, yes, the 'Boys are talented, but they have no depth whatsoever. This logical fallacy is called moving the bar, because they now can't point to the loss of t.o. as a valid issue.
However, what’s also true is that the Cowboys are an injury or two away from falling to also-ran status.
The problem is not just with once (sic) unit or position. It’s across the board.
The article (I'm being kind...it's barely tabloid journalism) concluded that even an injury to Spencer or Colombo will derail this season and that the 'Boys have no answer at any position. To which I have to raise the BS flag. Let's take a look:
First, let's take a look at where there are holes.
- QB? Nope, Kitna will do fine for a short time. No team can overcome the loss of their starter. So that's a non-issue.
- RB? Nope. We lost 2 last year and ran effectively against 4 of the top 5 defenses.
- TE? Nope. 'Tellus and Phillips look more than adequate, though losing Witten would hurt.
So that brings us to OL & WR...positions we've debated to death. But as musiccitynorm (Norm!) has so ably shown us in his fanposts, Free has matured right on schedule. Further, Bigg has not only played LT, he did pretty well, making the Pro Bowl as an alternate in '06. Last year showed a pretty large gap at Guard, but I proffer that both Holland and Duke Preston represent huge upgrades to the human turnstile (Proctor) we had last year and Duke is a very good Center. Both have started in this league and have performed well.
At WR, well...let me just ask the question. Is Austin and Hurd (or even Ogletree) really that much of a downgrade from Crayton? If Roy Williams goes down, there will be a drop-off. But is it so severe that our season is ruined? I don't think so. Further, there are still quite a few FAs available and some #1's that can be had at the trade deadline for a price. In summary, the position may not be deep, but it's hardly season-killing if one or more goes down.
Here is where I just don't get the author. He makes the argument that because our 2nd and 3rd teams didn't play as well as Oak & SF scrubs, that they all suck. This is the worst kind of logical assumption. Not to belabor the point, but a second-half performance in preseason means about as much as an elevator in an outhouse. But let's take a look:
- D-Line: Sure, we all know that backup NT is an issue. Siavii may be adequate to rest Ratliff, but would represent a severe downgrade if needed for the rest of the season. Thank goodness, he's not the (whole) answer. Both Spears and Olshansky can and have played the position. Yes, it would mean switching up the line, but that's exactly how Ratliff became our Pro Bowl NT after a season ending injury to Jason Ferguson. The rest of the DLine is quite deep. Bowen and Hatcher have both proven to be more than adequate backups. This is a red herring.
- LB: Here, you can make the case where depth is a problem. But is it so severe that we dump the season if we get one injury, even to Ware? I think not. While Victor Butler is only a rookie, he has shown improvement. Further, Bobby Carpenter is a capable replacement at both ILB and OLB. Particularly, if a long-term injury to one of our OLBs occurs, and Butler proves he's not ready, then Bobby will man the position. He plays great in space and has a knack for blitzing. While not ideal, it is an option.
- CB: Here, too, you can make a case for lack of depth. When you can't play nickel because you ran out of DBs, it's a problem. Or is it? We are 4 deep at CB. That's about as good as there is in the NFL. At Safety, we go 4 deep as well, however one (rookie Hamlin) is sidelined for the first month, and the other (Ball) is also the 4th guy at CB. The saying is you can never have enough DBs, but we'll at least have 8 or 9 on the roster and 7 can start effectively. Just because we ran out in the preseason, doesn't mean we will come regular season.
The only thing I can conclude is that the MSM is trying to justify their prognostications for why the 'Boys will finish 3rd in the NFC East and miss the playoffs, especially given the problems and poor performances by their favorites, the Giants and Eagles. It's always, 'Yes the Cowboys have enough talent, but...(insert excuse here).' December collapse (logical fallacy), Romo can't win the big one (same), Wade can win in the postseason (same)...see the drift? They know that their argument is flawed, so now they have to justify their "expert" opinion.
What's plain fact is that every single NFL team has the same problem. The NFL has purposely made it so. The changes to the PUP rule, IR, and roster limits were to prevent any team from "stashing" talent. The salary cap made sure that your backups are either rookies or veteran minimum JAGs.
The last thing I'll say is that the depth problem is not completely without merit. But it's not as if we can't address the problem after September 5th (final cut). There just happens to be a bevvy of talent available at nearly every position of need that we have, especially DB & WR.