In 5Blings season preview, he dubbed 2010 "The Year of Jerry." He's right, and it has the makings of an epic disaster. Worst of all, the course correction that we would hope would happen appears to be nowhere in sight, as exemplified by Jerry's quote in response to why he's keeping Buehler as PK despite even Wade saying his confidence was ebbing: "Because I want to."
Now, a few more thoughts:
1) Handing the job to Buehler with little competition, and now keeping him despite game altering failures, is Jerry at his "I'm Keith Hernandez" worst. (see http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=I'm%20Keith%20Hernandez) At best, Buehler becomes a league average placekicker who doesn't cost you two roster spots to leverage his kickoff ability. But far more foreseeable is what has actually happened: Buehler has missed two very makeable kicks that have altered the complexion of both ballgames. As rotten as we played yesterday, Buehler tying the game in the 4th quarter would've likely lead to a fired up defense and possibly a much different outcome.
2) The Bears defense shows you why our defense will never get turnovers. The Bears put about six licks on receivers yesterday that were legal, highlight reel wallops. When was the last time a Cowboys DB laid the wood like that? Roy Williams in 2005? Those kinds of hits lead to tipped balls and easy interceptions. Those hits lead to the QB overcompensating by throwing to the "back hip" (as Romo described it) to try and save his receivers but shrinking his margin for error. We can do all the strip drills and INT drills we want in training camp, but this scheme and these players are never going to force turnovers.
3) The Cowboys stink at the high-leverage aspects of football: turnovers, red zone play, and special teams. In close games, where the teams are evenly matched, these three areas will take on outsized importance. We're minus four in turnovers for the year. Every time we move inside the 30, I start to openly speculate on what our error will be (yesterday it was a Bigg false start and that bad throw to Choice). Our poor kick coverage unit gives teams immediate momentum after we score, and also consistently tilts the field so that our offense always has to sustain long drives.
4) This team bears an eerie resemblance to the 1997 Cowboys. Yeah, the ones that went 6-10. Switzer won 34 games his first 3 years before the talent had aged enough that it was no longer able to compensate for the lack of discipline. Wade won 33 games his first 3 years. I won't be a bit surprised if we win 6 or fewer games this year.
5) This really is the year of Jerry, and he deserves to be embarrassed. When I read Jerry's logic for why he's made certain decisions, it really is mind boggling. Why Buehler? Well, "the Vangerjagt fiasco that big money on a FA kicker is no success guarantee." Well, sure it's not a guarantee. But isn't a veteran with an established 82% rate (like Matt Stover, who won't cost big $) better than a guy who wasn't even a star placekicker in college? Why the lengthy, barnstorming training camp, Jerry? Well, "we've won Super Bowls with multi-site training camps before." But winning a Super Bowl with the most loaded roster of the 1990s is not remotely evidence that its a good way to build momentum for a much less talented squad. I'm sure I would love Jerry if I met him in a bar. But every time the Cowboys have a good year, he orders Costco sized qualities of cheese that are consumed by the fans, local press, and (at least some) of the players. I'm sorry to say that I've eaten some myself from time-to-time.
If this season is going to turn around, the entire organization needs to practice and play like they are underdogs. Because that's now what they are.