We live in a society where instant gratification is no longer just desired, it is expected. If you want to see a movie, you no longer have to go to a theater or even rent a copy, you just have it downloaded or streamed to any of a number of devices. You want to shop for something, you don’t go to a store, you just fire up a laptop or a smartphone and order it. Your favorite NFL team is having some issues, by gosh, you don’t want them fixed next season, you want them taken care of right now.
With the bizarre and frustrating loss suffered by the Dallas Cowboys against the New York Giants, there are many calls for action to fix things. There is a reason some refer to the day after the games as Overreaction Monday, of course. But it is interesting to see just what things are being brought up, and whether the various suggestions have any grounding in reality at all.
The first one goes right to the top – or almost, since Jerry Jones is not going anywhere soon.
Deion Sanders: If Cowboys struggles continue, "you could see a (coaching) change at Thanksgiving." Who would take over? Deion: Rob Ryan.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 29, 2012
I will say consider the source here. But Deion is not the only one out there who is bringing this up, although he is the only “major” name I have seen who has proposed anything so drastic. I also think this is extremely unlikely.
Jason Garrett is trying to build a long range winner here. And the issues in the Giants game are hard to lay on him. He had one sequence of questionable play calls late in the game, throwing three consecutive passes with one yard to go, as I mentioned earlier, but during his press conference on Monday he was seen by some to have admitted that he had no faith in a running game that was barely able to get a yard a carry. The rest was all execution, from what I could see, varying from the horrendous start through the improbable come back and the hectic and heartbreaking finish.
Garrett has two draft classes that he can call his own. I have no doubt he is doing his best, and I doubt anyone is more frustrated at how things go so bad than he is. If the team could solve the turnover issues, which can hardly be placed on the head coach’s shoulders, it would likely be at least 5-2 this year. I also think he is absolutely safe in his job for another year. He deserves three full seasons to turn this franchise around from the mess it was when he was given the reins. After 2013, he may be on shaky ground if things look like they have so far this year, but I don’t see Jerry or Stephen Jones giving up on him. Not when two of the losses this season have been as close to turning into victories as the Giants and Ravens games.
The next one of the usual suspects to be pointed out is, of course, the man now officially known as The Most Polarizing Figure In The NFL, Tony Romo. And as much as I hate to admit it, Calvin Watkins, the man now officially known as The Most Likely Reporter To Get His Butt Kicked In The Cowboys Locker Room, actually has a point. The Cowboys need to be looking to the future and developing a plan for the post-Romo era. It is not a terribly immediate solution, since there is no one who is going to be any better than Romo to play quarterback this season. It does raise the possibility that the team may not want to lock itself into several more years with Romo, however. In a real sense, 2013 may be a contract year for Tony, and if he continues to have more interceptions than touchdowns, the team may need to rethink just how badly it wants to re-sign him. The talk has been about how much he was going to cost the team in a new deal, but I am not so sure he is worth as much as I once thought. Jerry and Stephen Jones might want to offer him a shorter, much more affordable deal, because I don’t know how much he could command on the open market unless he turns the rest of this season around. I am not sure he is regressing, as Watkins says he is. But I am not convinced he isn’t, either.
A couple of other possible moves to improve the team revolve around the coming trade deadline, which has been pushed back to Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy. This gives the team a couple of extra days to try and find someone willing to give the Cowboys a draft slot for a player (the team should under no conditions consider trading draft picks away, something rabblerousr explained very well). Todd Archer brings up the idea of shopping Mike Jenkins. His name came up during the controversy surrounding his rehab last summer, but the belief is that the team hung on to him as an insurance policy until they found out what they had in Morris Claiborne.
Well, that jury is in, and Claiborne looks to be just what the team expected, a top flight young cornerback who is able to handle things as a rookie and shows every sign of just getting better with experience. Suddenly, Jenkins is expendable, and he is just now getting physically capable. There are a lot of teams out there with some issues at cornerback, and this could be a good move for the Cowboys to consider.
One other player would not only be someone the team could part with, but would likely make the fan base very happy if he was shipped out, and that is Felix Jones. He got off to a shaky start by failing his fitness test to start training camp, then fumbled the opening kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks. With the exception of the Ravens game, he has not been very effective running the ball, and he killed a late drive by the Cowboys with another fumble that looked to be the result of lackadaisical ball security. When the team has no faith in your ability as a running back to get one yard when the opponent is not playing to stop the run, you are no longer an asset. DeMarco Murray will be back soon, and if he is not ready this week, then it may be time to give Phillip Tanner, Lance Dunbar, or even Jamize Olawale a chance.
Of course, Felix probably is not worth very much at this point. But even a seventh round pick would be worth it, because, frankly, if he can’t be traded, he needs to be cut. The team needs a message to go out that it will only tolerate so much incompetence. Unlike Dez Bryant, who may not get any more chances at returning punts after the last game, Jones does not balance his screw-ups with something like three consecutive 100 yard receiving games. Bryant, if properly used, can still be of use to the team. Jones does not offer any apparent benefits. And parting ways with him might do far more good than retaining him.
The team needs to do something, I think. Jason Garrett isn’t going anywhere this year, and Tony Romo is not going to be replaced this year. A trade or even a cut might be just what the team needs, if the right message is attached to it. Dumping Felix Jones, right now, however it was done, would be a very good move. Based on what was seen last game, he would hardly be missed in the running game, and maybe a couple of other players would try a little bit harder. The team needs something to shake things up without blowing them apart.