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Exposing lazy journalism

I try not to spend too much time going after most of the ridiculous articles that come out about the Cowboys, especially ones written by guys who don't really follow the Cowboys. I don't write anything in-depth about other teams because I don't watch them enough and don't follow them during the week to really know what's going on.

But this article by Ron Borges for MSNBC is just the kind of lazy journalism that deserves derision and scorn. Here are just a few of its flaws.

He starts with the premise that because teams now have a library of film on Tony Romo, he's starting to struggle. That's actually a sound premise and one that I believe is part of the problem with Romo's recent struggles.

Late into the night, coordinators readied for Romo by watching his drops, his reads, where he was comfortable and where he was not. They came up with plans to take away what he liked and force feed him the things that made him suffer panic attacks. Ever since that remarkable torching of the Buccaneers, Romo has not been on fire. He's been toast.

OK, I buy that. But where's the beef? The article is devoid of any attempt to explain what defenses are doing to stop Romo. How are they utilizing the game tape to create game plans to slow Romo down? He has no idea, so he just throws in a bunch of stats to prove that Romo is struggling. Anybody could've done that.

Next, you have the inaccurate statements that are sprinkled throughout the article. For instance, he references the Terry Glenn quote after the Philly game about not being involved enough. Then he drops this line on us:

In other words, Romo needs to throw [Glenn] the ball more than once a game, as he did against Philadelphia.

Wow, how stupid. It's true that Glenn had just one catch. But off the top of my head, without going back to look for all instances, I can think of at least four passes Romo threw in that game in Glenn's direction, and there may have been more.

Borges also bombs on this statement about Owens:

The sooner they get it to him, the sooner he can drop it, drops being the only receiving stat in which Owens leads the league at the moment.

Umm...OK. I think Owens leads the league in another pretty important category, TD receptions. But really, who cares about that. I mean, it's not like scoring TD's is anything important.

Finally, if you're going to critique a specific passage from a game, at least get the basic facts right. Like the goal line failure by the Cowboys in the Eagles' game.

Take, for example, a first-and-goal situation at the Eagles' 1-yard line. Dallas had four shots at it. Four times they handed the ball to powerful Marion Barber, and four times he was stuffed like a Christmas goose. Soon after the rest of his team was feeling pretty much the same way.

Once again, no. The Cowboys didn't have four shots from the 1-yard line; they started that sequence with a first down at the seven. The first play was a pass to Fasano that gave Dallas a second down inside the 1-yard line. Then we ran MB3 three times and he was stuffed like a Christmas goose.

If you're going to write a critique of a team, and expect anybody with knowledge to believe it, it helps to get the basic facts correct.

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