The Cowboys season can probably best be defined by one word: random. The way the season has played out, that opening night performance could definitely be considered random. Dez Bryant having 13 catches but having the two-point conversion slide through his mitts? Random. Coming back from an atrocious performance that puts you down 23 only to have a game-winning TD overturned because fingertips touched down out of bounds? Random. Fumbling because you run into your own players, twice in seven games? Random.
So what better way to celebrate the team's randomness then a collection of random thoughts that are going through my head today about our beloved Cowboys. Here are nine random things I'm thinking about.
1) Jerry Jones is not firing Jason Garrett unless this team tanks the rest of the season. It's just not happening. With everything that we know about Jones' loyalty, I don't see any way that he gives up on Garrett unless this team comes back with six wins or less. Of course, there is a possibility that happens. However, Jones has said in the past that he regretted firing Chan Gailey after only two seasons (10-6, then 8-8) and I'd like to believe that he has more invested in the "hand-picking-grooming" of Garrett. He gave Dave Campo a third season after consecutive 5-11 campaigns. I think he'll give Garrett a third full season as well.
However, knowing how much Jones envies the overall success of our NFC East bretheren, I think he'd pause should Andy Reid be let go in Philly after the offseason. Chew on that one for a minute.
2) One primary reason I believe Garrett returns? Way back in the early offseason, January 19th, 2012 to be exact, Jason Garrett said in the introductory press conference of Bill Callahan that once Callahan learned "the Cowboys", he would consider turning over play calling duties in future years. That's 2013 folks. Garrett recognized that he had too much on his plate and said "The guys that have been around here, have a certain comfort level with what we've been doing. When you get a chance to add a guy like Bill Callahan, it's a really really positive thing for you. So we'll keep going down the road that we have, and hopefully at some point, there's a comfort level that we turn it over to someone else."
It's all right there, folks. He wants to separate the duties, but hasn't yet. I'm putting my money on JG returning with Callahan calling plays in 2013.
3) Even though some were calling for Kyle Orton to get a shot, the Cowboys don't really have that "the fans favorite player is the backup quarterback" meme in their clubhouse. I mean, the man lost his starting job to Tim Tebow. For Dallas, the backup of favor is the bottom-of-the-chart WR. This year, it's Cole Beasley.
You're not going to see Cole Beasley because Austin is killer from the slot and he can't run go routes because of his hammies. I brought it up before the Giants game (on Twitter, give us a follow @BloggingTheBoys) when Beasley was made active. There's really no room for him at the current time because of how awesome Austin is out the slot. The large majority of Austin's 9 catches (if not all) were from the slot and there is no way that Beasley is lining up outside. Beasley was activated for the game in place of Andre Holmes, but it appears only as a precursor to relieving Dez Bryant of punt duties (which he did). He didn't get a single offensive snap.
Now, I'm not saying that Cole Beasley can't help this squad. What I am saying is he can't help more than Miles Austin can help and that the Dallas offense isn't able to run four wide sets very often so that there would be two "slot" players. That would essentially be taking Witten out of the game because you have to have someone in the backfield that is a run threat and capable of catching the free rusher. We know Witten ain't going nowhere because...
4) Jason Witten killed it Sunday. In a game against Martellus Bennett no less. One opinion in the early part of the season called Witten a "progress stopper" to Bennett while he was here. Bennett, in his wildest dreams, would never catch 18 passes in a game. Bennett struggles to even be targeted 18 times over three-game spans. I was frustrated as hell with Witten's drops early in the year- but trying to extrapolate a short sample size to draw lifelong conclusions is not the wisest course.
5) I'm resigned to the fact that this team, on October 31st, 2012, is a mediocre team. I'm resigned to the fact that there is something snake-bitten about this team; their shortcomings are mental; obviously. I still believe that this team doesn't need to be gutted. This team, somehow, needs to catch a couple breaks. The confidence that stems from catching breaks and winning cannot be overstated. This team does not believe in themselves at the current moment, but that doesn't mean that they never will. I know naysayers will not be convinced, but I still see it no matter how frustrating it gets watching this team week in, week out.
6) Dallas has assembled some awesome talent on defense it seems. Lee, Carter, Carr, Claiborne... to go along with future Hall of Famer Ware. They've held Eli Manning to 402 yards and only 1 TD in two games this season. Against all other competition he averages 316 yards and almost 2 TDs.
Specifically, per the DPD's brief account, they had come to "harass and torment" him "in the pursuit of collecting financial gain."
Some people suck.
8) NFL players are tough. We all know that. They play through pain all the time, play through injuries often times, and sometimes even do so without letting on at all. While watching the Giants game this past Sunday, was I the only one wondering if Tony Romo was suffering some sort of injury?
The pick on the the throw to Austin was the first time I entertained the thought. Then there was the wide open bomb to Bryant that should have been a TD instead of Bryant waiting under it, and finally the TD throw that wasn't (Bryant landing out of bounds).
Then you think back to the fact that the vertical game has been a nonexistent part of the offense in 2012 as compared to previous years. Is Romo playing hurt?
9) Finally, Happy Halloween, Cowboys Fam! What are you dressed up as?
I'd go out dressed as Felix Jones, but I'd lose my candy every time I ran into my friends in the streets. I'd go out as Tony Romo, but I'm more comfortable giving away the candy at home. I'd go trick or treating as Dez Bryant, but I'd probably run a sloppy route and miss the houses with the best candy.