Welcome to The Rant, Week 1. Little background information on my fanhood. My Dad raised me to be a Cowboys fan. I became a fan in 2003 when the Cowboys beat the Jets 17-6 at the Meadowlands. Funny how things go round circle. As you can tell by that I have not witnessed a Super Bowl win with the Cowboys. I was still months old at the time when they won number 5. In order these are my most dreaded losses. The Botch vs. Seattle, Giants playoff game, 44-6 Eagles game, Vikings playoff game, and last nights game.
Right now it's been less than a day since the Cowboys blew the lead vs. the Jets. I feel this will help me overcome last nights loss. Just to get my frustration out to other people. A venting process basically. Enjoy because everyone loves a good rant.
EDIT : I forgot to say. Right now it's not easy being a fan of this team. They give you lots of emotional damage over a weekend. But it's easy to quit watching and like the Patriots. Us true fans will love the taste of that Lombardi trophy in the end. There comes a time when you choose your favorite sports, but I can't decide between football or baseball. Right now I'd have to say football because even through the pain of the Cowboys I'm still as big a fan as ever.
Personally speaking :
I'm not going to kid you. I'm sick of losing games like this. My little brother just started watching football yesterday and like his Dad and his older brother (me) he decided to test of the Cowboys and become a "fan" for the night. I heard him rooting in the other room and it was exciting because we finally liked something similar. Well at the end of the game he tells me this. "See this is why I don't like football. You can be winning the whole game and still lose. I don't care about football." Well he's a basketball fan. A big one. I'm not going to force him to like football, but all sports are like that. Football there's just a lot of anxiousness with turnovers which change a game. Just my opinion there. Am I right?
Overall I had a great time watching the game yesterday. Until the 4th Quarter. I laughed, yelled, screamed, cheered, called my Dad and even my friend (who's a Giants fan) about the game. We discussed some stuff and hung up. I went to sleep about 30 minutes after the game ended. Once the final play was over I turned my t.v. off and I hit the pillow. Just wondering about what could have been. It's not fun doing this. It's actually sad and pathetic I think. But that's me just a fan.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda :
Here at BTB we're all pretty familiar with Captain Hindsight's epic trio. The woulda is we woulda won. The coulda is won. And the Shoulda is won. To break it down even more I'll be ranting about these key plays that lost of the game. Remember the Cowboys played a great 3 Quarters, but in football you need to play an entire game. I just don't understand this team. This generation of Cowboys players that seem to play amazing and then get either lazy or careless and play poorly for 4-5 plays that determine the outcome of the game. I thought Garrett was supposed to install this motor in this team? A team that doesn't get shaken and plays football the right way, the Cowboy way. I did not see that last night at all times. And I may seem harsh, but you'll agree with me here. Good football teams play 60 minutes. Not 30, not 45, not 56, not 59. They play 60 minutes of football and they don't go through the motions. They play the game it's supposed to be played. Good football teams play hard every single tick on that game clock and no one takes plays off. If at the end this isn't enough to win you call it a day and say valiant effort. But I did not see that last night. Maybe I don't have the correct term. Maybe some of the Cowboys worked hard enough, but some of us didn't work hard enough up stairs. Mentally. Don't let anyone fool you. This game is as much about the mental aspect as the physical one.
During the middle of the game I was satisfied so far. We played great offense, great defense, and great special teams. That all went out the window in my opinion. Forget that now here are the plays that made me snap.
Witten's reception :
I'm not questioning his toughness. I am questioning how he doesn't get in the endzone. You're a big guy, certainly bigger than Leonard. Plow him over and get into the endzone. Make it a two possession game again and a 14 point lead with 7 minutes on the clock. This is not the play that makes me angry really. It's the plays and plays we didn't call that make me angry.
Play 2 and 3 of that Goal Line Set : Romo fumble
Pretty sure we were set on running the ball in after the 3 yard run by Jones to get the Cowboys to the 1 yard line. Instead you don't run the ball twice in a row and it costs you. Why risk throwing an interception to the most feared CBs in the NFL with little room? Cromartie almost got a pick six on the 2nd play. The 3rd and Goal drove me nuts. "Okay here comes a run" I said. A draw play right up the middle and we seal the game on the defensive side. NOPE. Romo looks to do a fade route to Dez who's being covered by Revis. Now why is this call not smart? Well you have the NFL's top corner guarding Dez in small space. Dez is great, but with little room to work against a guy who blankets people, well you're not going to win. So Romo looks the other way extends the play and dives helmet first into the ground, fumbling the ball. The Jets get it and no 2 possession game for the Cowboys. My message to Romo. SLIDE OR THROW THE BALL AWAY. How about TWO HANDS ON THE BALL?! More on Romo later on.
Punt block :
This is what made me mad about special teams. Anytime you give up a punt block your going to get a bad grade in the special teams department. I mean Joe McKnight got right up the middle? THE MIDDLE. That's the part you should be blocking the most. At least that's what I think. Shift them to the outside. What makes me even more made is the Cowboys have the best punter in the NFL. The Jets would of been at or inside the 20 yard line. Ugh.
Romo INT :
Blame Dez for having cramps, blame Dez for not running hard enough, blame Dez for the wrong route. But Romo was just not thinking there. Revis was right there. I mean did you think the Cowboys changed their jerseys to green mid game? There's no excuse or explanation for this pass play. Don't try it Terry. What I would of done is made the Jets pay. Okay, use Revis on Dez who's not 100%. Use Dez as a decoy and throw the opposite way. Line Austin and Witten up on the opposite side and run routes to the exact opposite side of the field. He targeted Dez a ton of times late in the game when there was zero chance Dez had due to his condition. Just idiotic play calling.
Defending Romo :
Is it possible? Of course as you can see it's not all Romo's fault (Punt block) but he was involved in some of it. You have my take on the fumble and INT. So what more of there is there? Well there's Romo's ability to win the big game. To lead the Cowboys on a game winning drive. I'm a big Romo fan. I defend him a lot. Almost as much as Terry, but there comes a point where it's like. Give me a break help me, help you with. You play well and we can argue you are a great QB. Scratch that win close games and we can do that. Romo does play well. He did for 3 quarters. Just had a bad 4th quarter. He can make the throws and extend plays, but his decision making is suspect. Sometimes I feel get gets it. You know when there's nothing there and he throws the ball away and doesn't risk it. But at other times he just throws the ball into bad spots. Usually it's late in the 4th quarter. This is probably because he feels he needs to score quickly and won't take his time to slow down and create a great drive.
Romo I'm riding with you for this whole year. We know you're going to be a great QB, but to be remembered as one outside of BTB it's going to take winning those hard fought games like last night. Right now I can't say Romo is a winner like I can say about Brady, Peyton, Brees, and Rodgers. I want to, but it just won't be true.
Still some positives :
Romo and his receivers looked good outside the 4th quarter. Felix Jones picked up the linebacker well in his blocks, and the young offensive line did pretty well from what I saw. Against a good and tricky Jets pass rush. That's basically it. This offense will score a lot of points if they put up 24 on the Jets. (Should of been 30 or close to it. Grr..)
Now this makes me mad. This defensive unit did great. I love Rob Ryan. His blitz packages and schemes covered out weak secondary almost perfectly. Even losing Jenkins and Scandrick throughout the game with Newman already sidelined. I'm pissed. This defense did great against good Jet receivers, and didn't get a chance to win us the game due to a blocked punt. In reality this unit should of given up 14-17 points. Great job Rob Ryan. You did your Daddy proud. He's in my best wishes and prayers for his surgery.
Also nice game Sean Lee.
Special teams :
Despite the blocked punt I think McBriar is great. On kickoffs I liked our unit getting down the field quickly stopping the Jets before the 20. On the other end I like the decision making of when to take it out and when not to. Except one of Murray's returns where we were at the 14.
The Dallas Cowboys should still have a good year. That's if they don't collapse and let this loss get to them. Maybe they use this loss as motivation. Just remember there's a whole lot of football left. Teams like the Saints, Falcons, Bucs, Giants, and on the AFC side the Steelers lost. We can do this.