During a time where there is alot of bitterness, loss for words, lashing out at each other, namecalling, as well as angry reactions by alot of Cowboy fans, after the dust settles, we are left with some major issues and questions to ponder about how it was that this team came to this juncture, and just what direction should be taken from this point forward.
It's not my intention to presume that I know what direction the team should take, I only have my opinion, and many people have they're opinions. This post is not about my opinion of what should happen, because that is not in any fan's power to influence. Jerry and Stephen are in charge of that, and I believe they will do well by the team.
But in coming to these crossroads with the team, I have questions of debate about the offensive philosiphy, as I have read and posted many comments relating to the philosiphy with many posters. Just what is the thinking on offense is the issue here, and I can only write what I believe has been the mindset, not what others believe. I am not trying to change anyone's mind, or influence them to think differently. But in seeing the mistakes, and the turnovers, of course it is easy to blame the coaches, but I am not trying to do that here, just debate offensive philosiphy.
At the heart of this debate are two trains of thought: What is better for this team- pass to set up the run or run to set up the pass? The Cowboys, under Garrett, have been pass to set up the run. I have believed that to be wrong. I am not an advocate of either philosiphy, because every team is different, and has different skill players, but if I was to choose one, I would side with run to set up the pass. Why? It's always been the historic offensive philosiphy of the Dallas Cowboys, that's why. But I'm not picking sides based on that, but rather what I see our team is like, and what would be the best for what I believe would allow the offense to perform the best.
If anything, I wouldn't want to be either, yet both. I would love balance, and be able to keep defenses guessing, so that the offense would not give defenses an unfair advantage that I believe is the root cause of the offensive failings.
But just what is one of the mindsets of the offensive philosiphy? If I could put it to words, the best I could come up with the philosiphy, from what I believe is the offensive coordinators perspective, would be like this:
"instead of setting up a pass play, let's just go to it because it should work, we are pass to set up the run, so the first option is to pass. After all, the defense will respect our pass, so we will be able to run off of that, right?"
I also wrote in posts over a year ago about another mentality that I believe is still prevalent, and a way Garrett goes about his offense, until recently, when he has possibly finally started to use the run more, and thus begs the question: Is he going against his tendencies, and doing so because Jerry intervened and said "use the run more", or "use Felix"? Here is the second mentality-
"We are a pass first team on offense. We are going to pass, and I don't believe you can stop it, and even if you do, I don't believe you can keep stopping it, so I'm going to continue to pass..."
The flaw in this kind of thinking (if true) would be that if you suffer turnovers, THAT will make you stop continuing, or at least should. You should pick and choose your passes better as a result.
The real question is this: What do you need to make an offense like that function correctly?
My answer (not other people's)- a better performance from the Oline, from years ago, not just recently, and going about with a comittment to upgrade it through the draft. A better evaluation of talent in free agency. Better usage and rotation of RB's. Better usage in game situations of running plays.
It's not like this coaching staff hasn't had time to adress the Oline, but yet very little has been done to bring in young new talent. That hurts us now. Letting Brewster go the other day hurts too. Leonard Davis getting pulled against the Titans was also a further insult and slap in the face.
The Bottom line? These turnovers have to stop- period. No matter what offensive philosiphy on offense you believe in, to continue mistakes and turnovers is a football tragedy for this team. Is "pass to set up the run" the reason these mistakes are happening?
Alot of people say the seasons over. I say it's not. It's only over if we allow the mistakes to continue. I really hated being the losers of the "Mistake Bowl" yesterday. Since the Giants playoff game 3 years ago, we have won many games, but also lost many important games because of mistakes and turnovers.
Against the Giants, this must stop. We must re-assert ourselves, and play like it matters, because it does, and not be like the way the offense was at the end of the game yesterday- no sense of urgency to try and win it.
It's not so much what we should do against the Giants that will bring victory, but what we shouldn't do- and what we shouldn't do is have stupid penalties, and turn the ball over. That applies to every team we play by the way. Do that, and you are just about there putting a notch in the "W" column. And for all those people who would want glamorous elaborate touchdown catches- I would rather have an ugly win, where we don't have good stats. Victory instead of glamour. Sure, it would be nice to have circus catches, and great stats, but this game against the Giants is too important to play so risky. The offense must become more conservative now, if only to have a chance to salvage the season...