Cowboys News And Notes: Garrett Second-Guesses Himself, The Sad Story Of Sam Hurd

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas head coach takes a look at some things he should have done differently, and a former Cowboy pays for some very big mistakes.

Jason Garrett says Kyle Orton should have played late in the fourth quarter - Star-Telegram
If you were wondering just why the team was risking players like Tony Romo and Dez Bryant when the game was far out of hand, it was because the head coach made a mistake.

"We're all competitors," Garrett said. "Everybody is a competitor who is out there. Everybody wants to play, and those guys wanted to continue to play. When we put all the factors together, we should have taken them out of the game. They shouldn't have played that last series."

Garrett not satisfied with Bryant's two targets against Saints, says lack of snaps part of the problem - Star- Telegram
No, Bryant didn't get enough chances. But then, neither did anyone else.

Jason Garrett: "And one of the issues in the game the other night is we just didn't have as many snaps as we typically do. They had over 80 and we had just north of 40, so that limits your opportunities. Having said that, he's one of those players you need to try in every way you can to get the ball in his hands and we'll continue to try to do that."

Sean Lee says his hamstring injury is a pull, similar to his rookie year - Star-Telegram
We are all hoping this is not going to take long to resolve. Lee offers some hope.

He said the hamstring injury is like the one from his rookie year, when he missed two games.

Cowboys sense Bruce Carter could take off like he did last year in Sean Lee's absence - Star-Telegram
With Sean Lee out for a few games, Garrett is hoping Carter, who has been somewhat up and down this year, will step up.

"He played well the other night in the game, better than he's played," Garrett said. "He was active, and he's played well the last few weeks and responded to the challenge we put forth to him."

These statements were, however, met with disbelief by some.

Jason Garrett said his players didn’t quit against the Saints but rather were tired and overexposed Star-Telegram
Garrett feels that all the Cowboys' defenders were getting worn down.

While it appeared the weary Cowboys quit and gave no effort, coach Jason Garrett said they simply tired and over exposed, considering the team's litany of injuries had forced backups into action.

Decoding Callahan: Historic Lows Call For Desperation Moves - Bon Sturm
Bob Sturm, however, comes up with a different take on players who have quit trying. He was looking at Doug Free, because he does not buy all the nice things that were being said about him earlier in the season. And Free was not the only one he found putting out a less than superb effort.

These are the final 2 plays we saw from the offense on Sunday night and as you can see, Free and Tyron Smith are either saving their worst for last or they have checked out. Either way, if ever there was a case for getting your QB out of a blowout because the guys in front of him have lost their fight, this is it:

Somebody forward this to Jason Garrett.

Garrett Doesn't Plan To Return To Calling Plays - DallasCowboys.com
The head coach and owner are on the same page here.

"We're 5-5, we're tied for the lead in our division. We've got players coming back," Jones said. "We've got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We're off a rough loss. That doesn't call for major changes out here at all."

Garrett said as much himself, although he faced more than one question about reclaiming play calling duties. With the league's No. 4 scoring offense and No. 1 turnover differential, he said the offense needs to focus simply on execution.

Why Cowboys' Garrett should take over play-call duties - FSSouthwest
Mike Fisher explains why he thinks the head coach and owner are on the wrong page.

(Garrett) agreed to take his hands off the play-calling steering wheel at the end of last season at the urging of ownership. He handed the responsibility to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan.

The results? A lack of results.

If most of us are Jason Garrett, we certainly propose the idea to our ownership. We wouldn't sell ourselves as the panacea, as we realize that we lost this play-calling responsibility in the first place because the production was flawed. But we can note that while we don't support change-for-the-sake-of-change alterations, we do believe that even with the same recipe (playbook) and ingredients (players), a different chef might cook up a better meal.

Jason Garrett has 'utmost confidence' in Monte Kiffin - ESPN Dallas
The offense, of course, is not the only problem the team has. The defense threatens to shatter several records for ineptitude. But the head coach is not down on Kiffin.

"He has done a lot of positive things," Garrett said. "I keep going back to the takeaways, but that is an important part of the game. That is a stat that can't be unnoticed because it impacts the game. It impacts our scoring on offense and that's a good thing for our football team."

DVOA Playoff odds report - Football Outsiders
A look at an aggregate of indicators to determine odds of each team winning its division. Dallas still leads the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, but it is a lot more narrow than it was.

Sam Hurd’s prosecution for drug trafficking more than meets the eye - The MMQB with Peter King
This is a long read, and for once, there is a good reason to prominently link the player with the Cowboys, since it was while recovering from an injury in Dallas that he first began the relationship with illegal drugs that led to his arrest and prosecution.

The work ethic that had lifted Hurd to the NFL would never lag, but his injuries and the randomness with which players' fates are decided contributed to a reliance on marijuana that increased when a friend from San Antonio flew in from California, bringing with him a canned energy drink that he cracked open to reveal a plastic bag of ganja-the kind that made what the wild Cowboys of the 1990s smoked seem like yard clippings. Not long afterward, Hurd met V, the guy who had grown that weed.

Hurd spent the summer of 2009 working out, smoking joints the size of his middle finger, playing Call of Duty and chain-watching documentaries on TV, all the while weaning himself off the hydrocodone pills and increasing his weed intake to Marleyan levels. By the time he regained full health, he had fallen out of love with the video games and movies. Only the weed remained.

It's a long story to read, and not as black and white as you might wish. But it is proof that making a lot of money to play football is not a solution for all problems. Not even close.

Report: Sam Hurd smoked and sold pot to 20-25 of his Dallas Cowboys teammates - DMN
The allegations that Hurd was not only using but was selling (at cost, it is claimed) came as a surprise from one current Cowboy who was there at the time.

Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, who was teammates with Hurd during all five of those seasons, said he had no idea that "any of this was going on with him."

"He always been a great guy in the locker room, a great teammate," Hatcher said. "It is very shocking to hear. But as far as like everybody smoking in the NFL, I don't know. Whatever you do off the field is your business. I don't really know what to say about that situation."

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