The problem with being a coach is that there are too many decisions to make, too many things to fix, too many things to focus on. In a sense, a coach is most successful if he stays with the plan and continues to hone and practice it. Yet following this strategy may mean an unwillingness or inability to notice when certain things aren't improving under the current plan, and need some more work.
What I would like to see for the Cowboys is a minor course correction. We should begin by noticing that, largely due to the excellent play of one Tony Romo, and largely due to no single unit of offense or defence falling apart, we are a far more competitive team than we had any right to expect. Our win-loss record may be even, but the teams we have played have been winning most of their games. We have shown the ability to compete--and not just to compete, but to forge convincing leads against some very good teams. We did this by having a good defense (RR) and also by having a good game plan (JG/ TR).
The course correction comes at the point of sustaining a lead. Yes, I realize that turnovers happen. Yes, I realize that other teams sometimes lose. But no other good team has been unable to win a game by more than 3 points (in regulation), and no other team has so consistently lost games in which they started so far ahead. Something is happening in Dallas that is not mere "parity" or mere "accident." And it can be put directly on the back of the same quarterback, play-caller, and other personnel who have been so successful for so many parts of a game this season.
What is the course correction that will keep the future from being like the past? I'm not talking about benching anyone, or losing the momentum we have from our excellent and successful passing game. But is there something that the Cowboys could address, perhaps something that the rest of the league already has but the Cowboys do not? Again, it isn't every weak that a 30-point lead is blown, and it isn't every team that has 10 games in a row decided by only a touchdown.
I'm interested in the guesses of the fanbase. Try neither to make over-the-top changes (e.g., to trade in our pass-first O-line for a bunch of bruisers) or to sound defensive and pretend that things will get better "just on their own." Everyone else had a lockout; everyone else is struggling with the run game. I get that. But not everyone has (on the one hand) the potential to beat anyone, and (on the other hand) the ability to give up any lead, that the Cowboys are now exhibiting.
My simple solution would be to hire an OC, one who would work within JG's vision for his team but add a little something. That said, I'm not sure what specifically would lead to making that extra yard that would have made the difference Sunday, or stop the bleeding in the meltdowns that have kept us from sitting at 4-0 instead of 2-2.
Our team is getting healthier, and it's racking up some impressive stats. But I'm not sure anybody would argue that our team is playing smarter. Rembmer, even before the game-that-must-not-be-named against Detroit, there were significant mental errors against the Redskins. I believe we can take that next step from a decent play-everybody-close-and-win-half-the-time team to a contender-that-wins-the-rest-of-the-football-games this season. But I'm not sure what will get us over that hump. Any ideas?