As the team starts to move on to the next game, starting with the first practice session of the week today, we need to round out the news cycle from this past Sunday's loss. It stung to the nth degree, but at the end of the day, it is just one loss in a long 16-game season.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones was asked if the rookie head coach is in danger of losing his job if the team doesn't make the playoffs.
"No, not at all," Jones told ESPN's Hannah Storm on Tuesday. "It's really not even something worth discussion. We are really just getting started. We've made the first half step out of the blocks in Jason's career as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. I do intend, if there are mistakes made, then, I want to be around for the rewards when they're corrected. And he's the guy that can correct them."
Now, I've avoided speaking to this recently, but cheers to Jerry Jones. That is, if he's serious and maintains this. It is ludicrous to me that anyone would be looking for Jason Garrett to be removed. Based on what? Other first-year coaches that are having more success?, including the one in SF that Garrett out-coached and defeated head-to-head? The one that also just lost to (ewww) Arizona?
Has Garrett made mistakes this year, infuriating, win-costing mistakes? Yes. But when did this instant-gratification world get to the point that JG doesn't get the opportunity to fix his errors? Tony Romo has multiple years left as an upper echelon quarterback. If the team re-signs Laurent Robinson (who Garrett and WR coach Jimmy Robinson discovered and unleashed his potential) they have a wideout corps to rival Green Bay's. His offensive line was remade in one gigantic swoop due to salary cap concerns and old age... yet he doesn't deserve another offseason?
By the way, his team is still currently tied for first place in its division. By the way, his offense accrued a 9.0 Net YPA on Sunday, but he needs an offensive coordinator?
This doesn't even address the huge talent deficit facing the defense. If one can't see the myriad of reasons that Garrett deserves a chance to work out the kinks, they don't seem to know how things work in the NFL, much less in Jerry Jones' domain.
[Ryan's] hands are tied. He’s trying to do whatever he can to help his corners out, even to the fact of where, when you watch the game and you see it on tape, there are times when the safety is aligned 30 yards deep. … And that’s simply because he’s trying to eliminate a big play. But that’s not his style. His style is that he wants nine guys on the line of scrimmage, bringing guys from different angles. But he understands that "Right now, my corners are getting beat, and I’ve got to find a way to help these guys out."
"I can't speak for everyone," Brooking said. "I think I am a pretty good judge of our locker room and where my guys are. I feel like we're 100 percent in with Jason. I think he has done everything in his power as a head coach to put us in a position to be successful. He inspires the hell out of me...
"We have let him down. We have let our coaches down. We're not making the plays when we need to make them to win the games. Bottom line. I don't think that has anything to do with Jason Garrett."
A lot of folks have wondered why the Cowboys haven't placed backup quarterback Jon Kitna on injured reserve, as he has missed the last several games due to a back injury. My thinking has been that the team isn't as confident in Stephen McGee's ability to lead a playoff push (surprise) as they would like, and if there is any chance in Kitna coming back, the team wants that option.
It appears that the team is finding that scenario less and less likely, and has made a move in preparation for moving Kitna off the roster for the rest of 2011. The team has signed QB Chris Griesen to their practice squad. Griesen was added to the team at the end of 2010 as well, when Romo and Kitna were down and the team was only left with McGee to finish the Arizona game and start the season finale, a win over the playoff-bound Eagles.
"Communication," he said. "We know what the cancer is. It's communication. If you look at the film, we're all not on the same page. We're all looking at each other with our heads chopped off. Once we get that together, we're going to be all right."
The NFC East teams are all huddles at the bottom of the top half of the league for total DVOA. DVOA is Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, FO's metric that is based on how well a team plays compared to league average performance while taking into account the opponent. In a nutshell.
The Giants come in at 13th overall at 7.1% (7th on offense, 23rd on defense, 11th on special teams) followed by the Cowboys at 14th with 6.4% (9th offense, 15th defense, 23rd ST). Philly is 16th overall at 2.4% (13th, 16th and 17th). Even the LOLSkins are 23rd overall.
The ESPN blogger and friend of BTB has checked in with his All-Division team, which takes into account the entire season, not just the performance from the last game. Cowboys on the list as the best at their respective positions?
Offense: Jason Witten, Tony Fiammetta, Kyle Kosier, Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey
Defense: Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee, Gerald Sensabaugh
I continue to view the quarterback race between Manning and the Cowboys' Tony Romo as something very close to a tie. But I'm not going to do ties on the All-Division Team. I'm going to make a pick every week, even if that's very difficult. To do that, I will use tiebreakers. This week's is simple. Manning's team is 1-0 against Romo's. Yes, that means if the Cowboys had held the lead, the spot could have gone back to Romo. We'll never know.