Well Christmas didn't bring me a victory, and it actually left me with one of those wow "what if" type moments. This episode of Crack Hits we will touch on what happened in Arizona on the fateful night, the 2011 NFL Draft, our last game of the 2010 season, some individual performances, and the "next Tony Romo". So lets get smokin'.
I went into the Cardinals game with a feeling of ease, we should really destroy the Cardinals. But it wasn'tthat type of game. We led off the game with 2 pick 6's. Kitna wasn't his usual self, but the one pick 6 to Miles he did slip andthe other Roy Williams just is flat out awful. Roy Williams seemed to have finally got on the same page with Romo, only to regress to his sloppy self when Romo was knocked out for the season. Whats odd and troubling is these two players spent time together in Detroit, one would think Kitna and Roy would have some sort of rapport, but they have none. Roy didnt even attempt to catch a easy catchable ball and was yet again sloppy on his route. He is the sloppiest WR I have ever seen in and out of breaks. He runs the worst routes over and over again. He has no footwork or timing on his routes. I dont know what the problem or issue is, but Roy runs garbage routes, unless its a slant. Let me tell you something, if I was a big money player and my whole time in a franchise where I have disappointed the fan base and organization, I would work my ass off. I would get on my routes and run them to precision or at least to a decent standard. Roy is done in Dallas, done. I don't want him back either, and I did love the way he was playing the beginningof the season with Romo, that was great and I felt we could of retained him. But not now, its over. Maybe he can smile the way he does after a pick or drop on free agency because Roy its not funny, matter of fact your a joke, andone of the biggest jokes in the NFL. With Dez and Miles coming back with Witten we dont need players of that caliber, especially when you can get a real slot speed WR to take his place, which allows Miles and Dez on the outside, which of course is deadly.
A guy I cant stand because of his attitude and playing style is Marion Barber. I was damn happy when he was inactive, and to be clear I dont want guys to get hurt. Marion Barber was great on pass protection assignments,and ran the ball pretty well for a guy we have seen as the 3rd best RB on his own team. His 24 yard TD run was actually what I used to see Barber do, hit the hole with burst. He has lost that burst over the last 2 years due to injuries and a physical style of play. Regardless of how good he plays Sunday, he is done in Dallas as well and again I will be happy to move on. When you got Felix ( who by the way had 77 yards rushing) and Choice, that is a better option. Those two just compliment each other really well. But the problem is Barber takes his f'n helmet off and runs off the field. Now imo I think its a ticky tacky call, but it has to be made. Why take your helmet off Marion? Especially when you know the rule? Or I at least hope you know the rule, because every other teammate that has gotten into the endzone understands the rule. Actually that penalty didnt really cost us a whole lot because we did a great job on the kickoff coverage and maintained a decent kick. Our defense held Arizona to a punt, but still play SMART football and it did cost us field position, which isn't a sexy stat but it does win or lose games.
One play that will stick out to me for the rest of this tragedy called the 2010 NFL Season was the big TD to Andre Roberts. Now Roberts is a speed guy, he is known for that. But what the hell is Mike Jenkins thinking? Better yet Alan Ballwhat the hell are you doing? We all know Jenkins has had a awful season, but is still playing aggressive which I can actually respect. Mike Jenkinshas said himself after the DeSean play that he is going to continue to play aggressive, and I can respect that because CB is all about taking chances, its just knowing when to take them. I am giving Mike Jenkins a pass this year, because I know he has the talent and I know he can play at Pro Bowl level, so I expect his level of play to increase next year and I am willing to state Mike Jenkins will have a great season next year. Now Alan Ball, WTF are you doing? This guy is not a safety, he is actually a decent CB and I would retain him there but at FS he is god awful. He did make a great play on Peyton Manning, but other than that he has been IMO the worst starting FS in the NFL. I saw him first of all out of place, then idk if his ankles got broken or what but he made a god awful attempt at making a play on that. I wont even go more into detail on how bad Alan Ball was, thats enough in a nutshell. And actually the sad thing is our secondary didnt play THAT BAD this game. We did a great job on Fitzgerald the whole game and he didnt make a play until the last drive of the game. Im not a stats guy but this is actually a interesting stat, besides Andre Roberts unreal 5 catch 110 yards, most on a 74 yard TD, we let up 6 receptions to the rest of the Arizona Cardinals. Now playing with a rookie QB you dont expect much, but 11 catches for the whole Cardinals team showed me the secondary wasnt that bad.
The Run Defense was great, we held our contain and got into our gaps basically the whole game. Spencer was good on his contain, as was Ware. When we shut down teams running the ball, it usually is a big outcome of what we can and cannot do on defense. I really wanted more pressure from our OLB and DL this game, but as usual it just wasn't there. I spent a whole game on watching Anthony Spencerlast week, and I decided to watch Ware this game. Ware was exactly what I expected, good. He has great technique, for example I saw 1 or 2 moves in Spencer's whole arsenal last week, I might of saw 2 moves on one play for Ware. He has a bull rush, a spin move, a jab step, a stutter step, and a bunch more. His footwork and hand placement are what I would teach anyone learning for the first time on how to play the game. He only had 1 sack and really should of had more if our DL could actually help this man out, but he got into the backfield everytime. He blew by the LT of the Cardinals, I don't know his name but it doesn't matter, Ware is a monster. What impressed me is when the game was on the line, and plays had to be made, Ware brought his A game. I watched him burst off the line give a little jab step anddrive right around the LT and take down Skelton. Then its 4th down and again he comes off the line at perfect timing, which for the record he has amazing instincts to either know the snap count because he is almost offsides but he isnt. He just has a great timing down on the snap of the ball, anyway this time just uses his speed to get around the LT into the backfield but this time Skelton gets a gift from Santa and gets away from it and makes the pass. All series Ware did his damn best and beat his man. Now if Spencer or one of the DL could get some goddamn pressure Skelton never would of escaped on these plays, a Cowboy would of been there for Ware and made the sack, game over a few times. Thats why this DL needs a major overhaul, Ratliff of course is a great player and Brent is promising, but everyone else needs to go. Actually Bowen played pretty well, but 1 sack isnt going to win you football games people, 1 sack vs the Cardinals folks, that's 1 sack. Yeah major disappointment in the fact Spencer couldn't have a breakout game for us.
A player who has really showed me something this season is Stephen McGee. Now this is a blue chip prospect out of high school, who ran into some issues in college because of schemes being changed. He has great speed and this kid is a athletic QB that happens to have one thing athletic QB's dont have, a arm. I was about ready to give up on him until I finally saw him let it loose the last preseason game vs the Dolphins. What I saw from McGee was a guy with serious potential, but just this checkdownmentality. When he finally started airing it out, I was really impressed with him. Because has a skill set most athletic QB's dont possess. Kitna going down this game I was actually intruiged by how McGee would show up, a Christmas night game and attempting to come back and win the game. McGee gained alot in my book this game, he showed me he has the balls necessary to be a starting QB in the NFL. We all agree he still has, work to do, but I have no doubts saying that he could be the next Tony Romo or Matt Schaub, the backup on the bench who learned and becomes a caliber starting QB in this league. He can run, he has great speed and he showed that off especially in a nice 11 yard run. He showed he has the arm, he made some real nice throws this game and this is what Ive been dying to see from him, air it out. He seemed to have a problem of not being able to slow the game down and just relax. He was a little shaky in the beginning but once he settled in he really showed us he can play the game. When he threw that 37 yard TD to Austin, I was so happy for the kid. He had just led a game winning TD drive on Christmas and became the future for us at QB. I was all for drafting a QB to groom for the future, but I am opposed on wasting a pick now. McGee can play ball, he is starter material. Kudos to the Cowboys scouts because I just thought McGee was a option QB, but he really has a nice arm.
Jason Wittenman what else can I say? 8 receptions 45 yards 1 BIG TD. He is just a great TE that runs amazing routes. He is clutch too, he makes the big play when he is called on. Without Dez or Romo, I would throw it to him 20 times a game, I dont care because he is that good. Whats great is Garrett is finally realizing what I realized years ago, Witten is your best redzoneweapon. With this OL playing the way it is (no offense Free and Kosier), we cant really pound that ball in there, so you gotta run the ball and the use some playaction or find ways to get the ball to Witten. Since Garrett has realized this, we have been successfulscoring with Witten, and I tell you what its the same route. The WR to the pylon and WItten back toward the sideline, and its money because the CB thinks Witten is coming inside, which he probably could because we use alot of option routes, a CB FS SS LB on Witten is a mismatch. Continue to use Witten down there Garrett, he is money.
Our OL, Jesus where do I begin? Lets start with 2 guys that did play good football, like they have all season and thats Free and Kosier. I dont think Free was great this game, but he was great on most pass plays and opened his holes in the run game. Free is a keeper, a definate good LT, but I think he could be Pro Bowl at RT, but that's a whole other fanpost in itself. Kosier is still playing good ball for his age and we should bring him back for another year, it makes sense to keep at least your left side in tact and rebuild that whole right side because that's the side that's the problem. Leonard Davis sucks, I am sorry he is just flat out garbage. He does make the couple plays a game where your like WOW, then he makes about 6 plays in row where he whiffs, gets owned in pass rushing, or pulls and whiffs again. For a man that big, he is a big sissy. Calling him a sissy is actually a compliment, what a soft individual for a man that size. Columbo is done, he has nothing left in the tank and I hope he is a great musician because he is done in the NFL. He got owned by the DE's and OLB's he faced this night. I don't remember who the OLB was but he continually went right around Columbo like he was spreading butter, it was that easy. He is damn lucky he didnt get Kitna or McGee killed this Christmas. Be thankful for that BTB Nation. Again I saw the most overrated Center in the NFL make more than 1 bad snap. I have never seen a Center make so many high, low, snap the ball when the QB isnt ready, or not snap it when the QB is ready. Now I dont know if Gurode is stupid or lazy, maybe both? I have no clue, I am not Hudson Houck. But the OL needs to get a overhaul this offseason. I see major problems on the right side. We simply cannot run the ball effective enough to that side, and most of the pass rush from teams comes from that side. Simply we need to release Davis, unless he would stay for a backup and a reasonable contract and Marc Columbo needs to be released and replaced. I really can sit here guys and say if we replace those 2 players, our OL will be SO much better.
Now on to the kicker who blew the game, David Buehler. Wow David, WOW. I mean I understand if you had missed a field goal that blew the game (which you have plenty of this season), but bro its a extra point. I have seen children kick them, and I know I can kick them bro its like 10 yards. For the record I really actually like this kid alot, he is not the average dorky kicker, he is actually a football player. I think we should keep Buehler for kickoffs and distance and maybe he develops into a kicker, but I will never have faith in him. He makes me nervous and always has on short kicks, see its not the deep ones. I think he can develop into a good kicker, but I will never trust him to just go out there and be automatic, especially that I have to worry about kicking a extra point, which he has missed 2 this season. Now I think Buehler has made great strides this season and come so far along from where he was, which was raw as hell. He is actually looking pretty solid on field goals and I believe he can become that guy for us on field goals especially distance. But this is like the 4th game he has had a direct impact on us losing. The defense did let the Cardinals drive down the field, but being up 3 pts would of made that game a different ballgame, and in my opinion the defense would have had more gas than they did. A kicker misses a extra point and that is catastrophic to a football team. I saw Coach Joe D on the sideline "W O W" literally I could read his lips and he said "Woooooooooow". I wasn't shocked, I was just in awe of the event that had just occured on Christmas, of all days. I generally felt bad for Buehle rwhen I saw him on the sideline with his head down, because maybe it isnt all his fault we never brought in a veteran kicker to compete and teach him. Maybe its time for this team to stop giving players the job without a fight, because Alan Ball didn't work out great, and Buehler with all the progress he made, still lost us games. Next year veteran kicker on the roster, and keep Buehler because a physical kicker with speed is a uncommon commodity in the NFL and maybe that works out for us.
Alot of people said this cost Garrett a chance at obtaining the head coacing job, but in my opinion it really shouldn't. I don't think Garrett lost this game, not at all. Garrett's team was down 20 pts and FOUGHT back to take the lead and what should of been a win. A Wade Phillips led team would of layed down after that 74 yard TD to Andre Roberts. I have seen this team under Garrett fight back adversity countless times since he took over. He has everything we need in a head coach. He is creating and installing a culture here, and when he gets rid of the bad apples leftover and gets a real shot at bringing in his style of players he is going to lead this team down the right direction. Now most of you probably heard Jerry Jones on the NFL Pregame. Some of his statements were odd by most definitions but I still think he loves him some Jason Garrett. He has seen 3 assistants here leave andbecome generally decent head coaches, 1 with a Super Bowl. I really believe Jason Garrett is the next head coach here, andI support that decision. Jerry might get star struck withthe big names with the shiny hardware, but Gruden might be a good fit and all, but I am all about the "next thing". Whether thats sports,entertainment,music or food, I always want the next big thing, and that's why I would prefer Garrett. Cowheris not coming here, not a chance he is coming to Dallas over New York, which is a team he actually wants to coach. Lets stick with the guy who has a team that was dead and lifeless, and brought that team back to life. A guy who leads a 7th overall offense without its starting QB, star WR, and a awful OL.
This loss puts us at currently 7th overall in the draft. I want us to win next week, but on the road vs Vick and McGee getting his first start with this OL on the road really is a long shot win. We could be picking as high as 4th overall, and Patrick Peterson Nick Fairley Prince Amukanamora come back into play, which I thought we didnt have a shot at. Ive stated I rank Peterson Fairley Amukanamora in that order, then Cam Jordan DaQuanBowers after them. Regardless people we are going to get a stud with this 1st rd pick, now where the fun comes in is our 2nd and 3rd rd picks. We pick in the top 100 with our first 3 picks 3 times, getting 3 quality players. I really think these 3 players can come in and have a serious impact on this team. Ive always been a believer in if you have a home run draft, you build through the draft. Good teams have good drafts, and have a little luck along the way and maybe we get some luck if we acquire the 4thoverall pick. I have seen teams that get a high draft pick bounce back pretty quickly. Atlanta is a example of that. Tampa is a example of that, paired witha new coach. I think if you guys stuck with this team this year, through all the BS that we went through are going to be rewarded. A good draft, spend some money (something we haven'tdone the last 3 years) in free agency, paired with a real training camp, a whole offseason to implement the culture, a whole training camp to work in a defensive system, fix the areas of concern, and we will be back on the right path next season. I think Garrett, a better defense, a rebuilt OL, weaker schedule, will net us 10 wins and the playoffs. Im a realist, not a idealist, but I am a believer of what changes can be done in offseason to fix this team.
I come into the Eagles game not expecting a win, I am just being real here people. One thing I am not is a ignorant homer, hey there is nothing wrong with that but if you drink the kool aid and believe it thats fine but count me out. The Eagles just have too many weapons on offense andplaying on the road there is really difficult to begin with. Thowin the fact that we are giving Stephen McGee his first start most likely, this is going to be one difficult game. Now I am a big believer in McGee, I just am not expecting a 300 yard 4 TD game. In my honest opinion we beat the Eagles in Dallas few weeks back, our defense gave that game away. What I really want out of our team next Sunday is to come out with pride and play hard, leave it all out there on the field. This is the last game to a forgettable season guys, play it hard and give the fans 120 percent of effort out there. In the end thats all I can really ask the Dallas Cowboys for, I am not asking for a win, but if we did that's great. I have seen a totally different team since Wade was canned for Garrett, and that'sthe fight I never saw with a Wade coached team. I believe if Wade was on the sidelines in Indy, after the blocked punt for 6 this team would of laid down andpacked it in. People might be skeptic of Jason Garrett, but he has this team fighting. Adversity is a difficult challenge for anyone to overcome, especially a football team knocked out of the playoffs withits backup QB at the helms. What we can ask of this team to do is come out with the fire and passion. Do not let DeSean Jacksondisgrace this team again. Somebody and I don't care if its David Buehler, but a man has to step up and get a good lick in on him. He needs to feel that sting just to remember to be humble. Keep your contain guys, dontlet Vick beat you withhis legs, if he beats you with his arm that's a different story that I can feel honorable about. Please put up points, don't turn this into the 44-6 disaster of the 2008 season. Really guys if we come out this game with our heads held high, then that's a win in itself. A actual W would be great, but sometimes moral victories do count. I hear all the time moral victories don't exist, but can you actually sit here and tell me if we lose this game 44-6 that your proud? This game can be won, and it can be lost, just dont get blown out.
Crack Hits has been a success, thank you to all of the supporters of ChiaCrack posts, I love the recognition I have been receiving from the posters and BTB brass. Please feel free to comment andshare your views with the ChiaCrack fanbase below. Until next time, CrackHits will be cooking up for a new post next Monday, Crack Hits 3. Even if we don't win the Sunday lets at least play a good football game, and at least make the game close Cowboys. Until next time this is ChiaCrack, signing out peace.