First off I would like to admit that I was wrong about basically everything in my last post(Except the fact that Castillo is still basically a rookie coordinator..) and that I have eaten my crow, and I am still in the process of recovering from the epic beatdown the Cowboys suffered on Sunday Night Football.
It seemed as soon as the Boys got off the plane it seemed like they were extras in Dawn Of The Dead. Even their expressions and mannerisms were flat and emotionless. When the Eagles drove down the field in what seemed like a minute and put the first seven on the board, it seemed the whole team was shell shocked and totally unprepared for the battle that lay ahead. The offense puttered and stalled as usual, and this time the defense was not able to save it's butt. Rob's Mob was beaten, battered and bruised throughout the first half to the tune of 24-0.
But what seems to be overlooked in this debacle of a game is Jason Garrett's incredibly conservative game plan, which didn't give Dallas a chance from the beginning. My best guess is that the offense was going to focus on chewing up yards with the running game, and winning time of possession which in turn would leave Vick and the explosive offense on the bench. But even if that was the plan it wasn't executed properly either. When we were down 14-0 we were putting together a solid drive based on the efforts of DeMarco Murray, only to go away from it and start throwing to of all people, Martellius Bennett who promptly fumbled away the game for us. Yes the defense was out schemed and embarrassed but the offense didn't do it any favors either. I firmly believe that the team would've at least had a chance if Marty B hadn't dropped the game right into the waiting hands of Nnamdi Asomugha.
There was no sense of urgency from this team whatsoever when they started getting down. 21-0 isn't an insurmountable lead to come back from. So instead of airing the ball out, and taking some chances down the field the Cowboys decided to play dead instead. It's like the offense was a car that ran out of gas a mile from the gas station, and it was too lazy to walk over to the gas station and refill the tank. I for one am getting sick and tired of this conservative offense from Jason Garrett. We will not win games this season with that hot garbage. I don't buy into putting shackles on your quarterback because you think he can't take care of the ball. The reason why Dallas wins games is because Tony Romo electrifies the team with his arm, and his neverending will to win. And it seems to me, that Jason is trying to turn Tony into a Bus Driver. I know Romo is hurting still, but he can still throw the ball, as evidenced by that 70 yard TD to Laurent Robinson. That's exactly what this offense needs, more deep passes, and explosive plays from the wide receivers.Why Jason didn't decide to attempt to throw the ball to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant until the fourth quarter is anybody's guess.
I also feel that Tony seems to have lost a lot of confidence in himself, his offensive line, his wide receiving core(Minus L-Ron as of late..) and his head coach. In all honesty, who can blame him? His coach obviously has bought into the media's tabloid rants about how he does nothing but choke when the game is on the line. His big play receiver in Dez Bryant can't seem to run the right routes, his go to guy Miles Austin keeps dropping passes, and his offensive line is like a sieve letting defensive lines come right up the middle and crush him. When you add that all up you can see why he wouldn't be as confident as usual. But I still feel he can turn it around. Hopefully his ribs will be healed enough soon so he won't have to be on painkillers, and still have to wear that bulky kevlar vest. Which both of those things have to hampering him somewhat. And hopefully Rob Ryan has learned his lesson from this game. Talking trash is fun and all. I have no problem with having a little swagger in the locker room, but when you don't back it up you look like a fool. It would be for the better if Rob would lay off the trash talking from now on. And what was up with that Cover 2 defense? Andy Reid saw it coming a mile away, and came up with perfect counter attack for it. Rob should have put nine men in the box stuffed the run, blitz the ever loving hell out of Mike Vick, and put a spy(Victor Butler?) on him so that every time he tries to scramble out of the pocket you hit him hard. But instead he decided to send both safteys deep which left the middle of the field wide open for Vick to just throw lasers to anyone who is left open in the general vicinity. To make matters even worse, by not putting the safteys up near the line of scrimmage it made McCoy's job much easier. But at least he admitted his game plan sucked unlike Jason Garrett who just played the blame game one more time.
Once again the officiating sucked. I am in no way blaming the refs for the loss, but I am getting sick and tired of the bias shown by refs every single game played by the Dallas Cowboys. It seems Dallas has to not only play it's opponent on sundays but the entire officiating crew as well. It's a proven fact that some teams get calls from the refs. Usually it's New England, Pittsburgh, New York(Both the Jets and the Giants), and Indianapolis(When Peyton is behind center.) Why in the world did the Eagles get the star treatment on sunday night? It's not like they've won anything to deserve it. The media wanted the Dream Team to at least show up for one game, and it seemed like from the get go that the refs were just going to let the Eagles have their way with us. I saw at least 20 holds on the Eagles offensive line, blatant pass interference by NA on Dez Bryant in the fourth quarter, Jay Ratliff getting tacked at the line of scrimmage, and many more. If I was Jason Garrett I would put together a video showcasing all of the obvious calls missed by the refs and demand that the NFL do something about it. Why do our defensive linemen keep getting tacked and not a single holding call to show for it? I don't care if the NFL still has some silly grudge from years ago when Jerry Jones got a deal from Nike. Get over it. The bottom line is that the referees have way too much power in this league. Their calls or no calls can directly affect the outcome of a team's season. The Giants have been handed games by the refs on a silver platter. A more recent example is when they played the Miami Dolphins. A field goal drive should have stopped due to an obvious incomplete pass, and a Dolphins drive was stopped due to a bogus offensive PI call. Something fishy is going on in the NFL. How else can you explain the Jets 0 Penalties in the season opener on 9/11? Roger Goodell needs to stop worrying about the NFL's image and start worrying about what's going on out on the football field. Referees need to be disciplined for their mistakes just like the players do, and there is no excuse for them not to.
Sitting at 3-4 is not where I would've liked to have seen this team at this point in the season, but it's not the worst case scenario folks. We've got a fairly easy schedule coming up, something this team usually never has at this point in the season. If we can take care of business against Seattle we're back at .500 at 4-4, and if we can find a way to beat Buffalo at home, we should be able to go to Washington and beat the Skins which would put as 6-4 and in the hunt for the NFC east title, and a playoff berth. There's no reason to dwell on this loss. Just throw it away and forget it. But make sure to at least learn a little from it though. Also, by no means are the Eagles NFC east favorites or super bowl contenders. The media has to be smoking some Grade A hashish to believe that crap. Yes they put the smackdown on the Dallas Cowboys, but they are still 3-4 tied for second place with the very same team they pummeled. And another thing why has everyone seemed to have forgot about the Giants? At 5-2 They should be called the favorites to win the division until it is proven otherwise. Plus the Eagles run defense is still suspect. It gave up 74 yards to DeMarco Murray on 8 carries. That's 9 yards per carry. Not very good at all. And Matt Forte is coming to town? The Bears could beat the Eagles and their coming out party against Dallas would be all for naught. Their road is just as hard as ours. Both teams have to win at least 7 games to even sniff the playoffs, and with Dallas' upcoming schedule I like the Cowboys' chances. Remember the Eagles started 1-4 this season. History is against them.
Hopefully the old fashioned butt whippin that this team suffered will propel them to play with a sense of urgency, a sense of pride, a semblance of dignity. Wins will be a lot harder to come by due to the recent injuries to Sean Lee, and Mike Jenkins, but this next string of games will show what this team is made out of. This team needs to come out guns ablazin' and throw caution to the wind. The time for games is over. It's time to put up or shut up. Is this team made out of feathers or is it made out of fire? Time will tell.
"EITHER WE HEAL AS A TEAM OR WE WILL CRUMBLE."
AL Pacino's Any Given Sunday Speech (via SportMental)