Much as been made of the article today written by
wannabe journalist, Jean-Jacques Taylor, stating unequivocally that our Cowboys are in "full fledge rebuilding mode" a la the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. Follow along with me as we dissect the madness that is this article.
JJT begins the meat of his article by saying that Jason Garrett removed any doubt about the status/direction of this team for this season with the release of Andre Gurode. Hmmm, REALLY?!?!? Let's delve deeper into what the undertones of that statement entail. In essence, what JJT is saying (to me) is that the success of this season is/was completely tied to the a 32 year old center, who reported to camp after having knee surgery (the kind that's usually done immediately following the regular season to allow time for proper recovery), who reported to camp out of shape/over-weight (see knee surgery), and who could no longer bend his knees - an aspect crucial to powerful blocking and leverage. While Gurode has been arguably the best center in the NFC for 3 of the last 5 years, two of his 5 Pro Bowl appearances were completely based on reputation and not his play.
This brings us to what is probably JJT's worst portion of the article:
- No team with championship aspirations enters a season with essentially three rookies in its offensive line.
- The Cowboys, as currently constructed, will win six to eight games.
- And that's OK because instead of chasing fool's gold, Garrett is actually building a foundation for the future.
I couldn't disagree more with this portion of his article and this is my focal point. Let's go sentence by sentence:
First: JJT has no proof of this claim. I for one love the penciled in offensive line. It has everything you'd want in an offensive line. This line has speed and athleticism, aspects that the Cowboys have not had along it's offensive front for close to 5 years. The rise of the screen play is not masking the ineffectiveness of this line, it's quite the opposite; the screen play is another weapon for Jason Garrett to use in what is already an explosive offense.
Likewise, I love this line because of the guys on it. We have a young, freakishly athletic RT who when he gets his hands on a defender eliminates his man from a play. A LG turned RG to bring the RT along, who also makes the calls for the line and is easily one of the most underrated players on this team. A center who is described as being a mauler who's mean as h*ll. A 7th round, LG who is also an also a jack-of-all-trades mauler who coms from a school that is renowned for it's offensive linemen. And a LT who isn't flashy, but goes about his business, doesn't get beat and clears running lanes for guys like Felix Jones and company.
Second: Remember the WR who loved him some him, and everyone said upon his release that this team had taken a step back and wouldn't be able to compete? By saying that the Cowboys are a 6-8 win team suggests that Gurode was one of the 10 best players on the team at the moment of his release. Romo, Miles, Ware, Witten, Bryant, Ratliff, Free, Kosier, Newman, Jenkins, Lee, James and Brooking would beg to differ, and by my count, that's 12 players. Anyone else willing to go out on a limb with JJT and say that Gurode is just as crucial as say the play of this defense? I didn't think so...
Finally, there's one word that I'll pull from JJT's entire third sentence, building. Building and Rebuilding are simply not the same. If we were rebuilding, why not ship the Pro Bowl quarterback out of town, or maybe the Pro Bowl tight end. Why not cut our losses with DeMarcus Ware, a perennial Pro Bowler and the best pass rusher in the game. Rebuilding means you're starting from scratch and that's not what this team is doing. Getting younger, cheaper players isn't the same as writing the season off. Getting hungry players in place of "entitled" players (there's that word again) doesn't mean you're resigned to 6 wins.
6 wins says we're not better than Jon Kitna at quarterback and Jason Garrett is the same this year as he is for half a season last year. I'll finish with my best Jean-Jacques Taylor impersonation and say this to him, "You're wrong..Deal With It" and when this team is 10-6, 11-5 at best and playing at least in the 2nd round of the playoffs, don't write any articles praising them before you apologize. When that happens, don't hop on the bandwagon without begging for mercy from Cowboys' fans.