Sorry for being so late in doing this, but here is the much anticipated The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Arizona edition). This was a very frustrating game to watch for a number of reasons, that we will discuss…
Romo: He was getting the crap beat out of him all day. The cards decided to stick 8-9 guys in the box to stop the run and if the ‘Boys didn’t run half the time they just all came after Tony. Romo escaped and made a lot of very good throws. I don’t recall one questionable throw he made, he seemed determined not to lose. I believe this should be good, because this team should be able to beat most teams if they don’t bet themselves, however we will need Romo the Gambler back for the playoffs.
Jenkins: He seemed to be on Fitzgerald a lot and usually with help, but he acquitted himself quite well for a first game back.
Lissemore: Playing nose tackle he brought some heat in passing situations and really did a pretty good job. A couple of running plays weren’t that great, but all in all he played well.
McB: It is sad when I have mention the punter here, but he did a fantastic job. Hang time and positioning were great. He totally took the best returner in the game out of the game.
Others deserving mention under the Good: Holley – Just shows up when he is asked to. Witten – Just does what he does. Lee – He makes more plays with one hand than the 4 hands of James and Brooking.
T-New: He seemed to be just a fraction of a second slow on a couple of completions, then there were others where he bit on a fake and was totally out of position. Being a second slow can be accepted, the others not so much. The interference call on 2nd and 20, just can’t do that. I’d be pissed at a rookie doing that in game 12, but a veteran like him, should never happen.
Interior O-Line: They got schooled on some of those blitzes. Delayed LB blitz shouldn’t cause that much problem, but they sure seemed to give these guys fits.
Bailey: That first kick he seemed to be swinging for the fences and that seemed to throw him off, reminded me of the way Ian Kinsler gets messed up when he starts to try and hit home runs. I hope he gets his rhythm back, we need him.
Others deserving mention under The Bad: Scandrick – You want to know how not to get called for block in the back on a punt, stay in front of your damn man. Tackling – There should have been a couple more sacks, and that last screen for the TD ran through half the team.
Coaching: I am not going to harp on the time out, that shouldn’t have been a big deal. I have a couple of big problems with the coaching. First is the lack of adjustments. The Cards came out of halftime and made some great adjustments to what we were doing defensively and we never seemed to be able to counter, I have seen several good articles on this already around here. Offensively we didn’t seem to counter what they were doing all game. They played 8-9 guys in the box all game and we never made them pay. The rushed 6+ on multiple occasions and we never threw a screen pass, besides the outlet lobs to TEs. How could we not scheme to get Felix or Murray out there in space, seems like poor use of resources. The other issue is the decision at the end of the game to not go for more yards. A 49 yard FG is a 50/50 proposition on any field. That was a sloppy field where there were multiple footing problems. At the 30 with 24 seconds left and two timeouts, call one then run the ball or throw a bubble screen. There were any number of low risk plays to call there, 5 yards is a big deal there.
Where to from here? Well, we know this team isn’t perfect but neither is any other team. They will go as far as Romo can take them. If he is unleashed and gets on a roll they can beat anybody. Keep Romo reigned in, they can beat most teams, but wouldn’t go far in the playoffs. The D will be what we have seen so far. That is they will hold people to around 20-25 points and they will have moments of greatness and moments of great exasperation. There is not quite enough talent on this team to outclass everybody, unlikely we will ever see that again given the parity strived for in the league these days. There will always be good, bad, and ugly with this team.