As it has been for so much of the extended 2012 season (which included training camp and preseason), the Cowboys schedule is once again off kilter. After two consecutive Sunday games began to restore some order and regularity to our weekly approach to the team, a Monday Night tilt followed by a bye week. It's now technically the middle of the week, and the rest of the NFL is gearing up for Sunday. Given this, I suppose it's appropriate to sponsor BTB's typical mid-week awards show honoring the past seven days' top FanPosts, even if, like so much of this season, it somehow feels a bit off.
As with any week in which the Cowboys eke out a less-than scintillating victory and follow that up with an embarrassing loss on national TV, the general tenor of the FanPost pages ranges from gritted teeth to hitting a podium with a shoe. That's not to say that cooler heads have feared to tread the FP path; indeed, a handful of reasoned voices have shared their thoughts about recent doings in Cowboys land as well. As the sole arbiter of these weekly awards, it is my task to determine which type of post - the hothead or the cool cucumber - I'd like to reward. Usually, I tend to favor the more reasoned approach, but this time around (perhaps because I am a contrarian at heart), I'd like to stir the pot a bit, as you'll see when I get to this week's top FanPost.
But first, some honorable mentions: In recent memory, I have been quick to single out those members who demonstrate a particular expertise in "Xs and Os" posts. Several of our members are superb teachers of this particular football nuance: CoachGary, IckesJb, and the new kid on the block, Jericho Slim. In the past seven days, two of these fine gentlemen have graced us with terrific breakdowns of moments from recent contests. Soon after the Buccaneers game, CoachGary penned an informative look at proper technique for offensive linemen in countering a bull rush (hint: the key is to kick the outside leg back in order to establish a sufficient anchor); two days later, J-Slim takes a page from Gary's book, looking at an instance in which Doug Free was overpowered by a bull rush, and then offers up so much more: a detailed analysis of several plays in which the Cowboys exploited rookie safety Mark Barron (including the 49-yard Romo to Austin bomb) and, to top it off, a few thought about the amount of press coverage Dez Bryant received in Seattle. Both use copious screen shots to illustrate their points. Wanna become more learned about football? Then read both these guys' stuff, pronto.
In the wake of the loss to the Bears, Stephen Jones told the media that he wasn't concerned, because the two most recent Super Bowl winners, the Packers and Giants, also struggled early in the season. Earlier today, one of my favorite BTBers, ScarletO, took Jones to task, by looking closely at the differences (they are many) and the similarities (they are few) between our 'Boys in blue and those teams, both of whom started their Lombardi-clinching campaigns 3-1. Whether or not he intends to, ScarletO offers a loud and compelling rebuttal to the younger Jones's claim. In almost every conceivable category, Dallas lags far behind the early pace set by the Packers and Giants. Although it's not pretty, it's a necessary read. Go here to get all the details (and to admire the simple but effective charts!)
Piggybacking off of the cold, hard slap of reality given us (and, we'd hope, to Stephen and Jerry) by ScarletO's post, it's time to move on to this week's winner. In a FanPost titled "Transition is Key," Carl Shelton (aka GloryDayz88) says that it's time for Cowboys Nation to accept "the ugly truth." What is this distasteful reality? That this roster and staff will never win a Super Bowl. Once we accept this, Daze opines, good thing will follow:
we can start letting go of all of the things that don't matter, and start looking at the big picture. It doesn't matter ifgets his ring in Dallas. It doesn't matter if , or Demarcus Ware retire as Cowboys. The ONLY thing that matters is compiling a collection of players and coaches that can legitimately be in the hunt for a Super Bowl annually.
The first step, once we accept this, is to look for the next franchise quarterback. In the 2013 draft. Ideally, he would join a handful of other "keepers" - players like Murray, Lee, T. Smith, Claiborne, Carter and Crawford - to form a new, championship-caliber roster. But a lot of other folks would have to be jettisoned:
I'm not sure if Dez Bryant is a keeper. For the right price, I'd cut bait. DeMarcus Ware is one of the best at his position in the history of the game, but if by moving him I can ultimately make this team better, I'm moving him....Same could be said for Witten. I know that Jason Garrett is an ex-cowboy player, and Rob Ryan is really cool, but I'm not sure if they are keepers either. There is no time to be sentimental. Let's liquidate all assets.
Obviously the days after a bad loss are the time for over-reaction. The question I want to pose to all of you is this: IS this an over-reaction, or is it, in fact, time to pull a 2013 version of the Herschel Walker trade and "liquidate all assets"? What do you think BTBers? Too extreme, or are we at a point where all that can save us are the most extreme measures?
I'm sure you have an opinion on this one way or another so, after you pause to congratulate this week's winners, hit the comments section and let 'er rip.