Well, football is back. Aren't you glad?
Following the embarrassment of getting their butts handed to them by the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys are not going to have a lot of good news written about them. But then, if you watched the game, you know why.
There is not much disagreement out there about the bad job Tony Romo did. And it does not seem to be any kind of physical problem related to his back.
This was not an inauspicious regular-season debut. It was an inept one. A series of poor decisions by Romo and an early fumble by running back DeMarco Murray doomed the Cowboys to defeat before the game was 30 minutes old.
Ditto from Bob Sturm.
Already, many are insisting (Romos') back was not the cause of these picks, but nobody knows for sure. From this vantage point, the interceptions and general poor throws all day seemed to be a mixture of uncertainty, confusion, and looping throws that lacked velocity and accuracy when needed. Those elements conspiring together are a very troubling mixture that dooms any chance this team has if it is more than a bad hour of QB play.
Even the head coach piled on.
Jason Garrett on Monday on 105.3 The Fan. "He made three bad decisions in this game. He'd be the first one to tell you that."
"It's hard to overcome those three plays. It's decisions, the throw, it's whatever goes into making those plays. Tony has the ball in his hands, and he has to be better with it."
There is a telling quote from Romo in this article about how shocked the 49ers were that he threw into coverage. It looks like Romo was too locked into his primary receiver, even though an easy opportunity had opened before that.
The play was designed to go to tight end Jason Witten.
"By the time I spotted it, I was peeking out of the corner of my eye for Witten because we thought we were going to get him,'' Romo said. "In that process I missed Dwayne. It was a little different coverage than I thought going into it.''
This is one of several articles that mention the decision to pass on second and one from the 49ers' 2-yard line as a significant mistake and turning point in the game.
The Cowboys couldn't have had a better chance to tie the game in the first quarter. With a second-and-1 from the 2-yard line, it seemed a given that the Cowboys would punch it in, especially after averaging 6.6 yards a carry on that drive. But instead of giving it back to
DeMarco Murray, Tony Romoappeared to check off the run and instead looked for a pass.
Our Dave Halprin thoroughly dissects the same play. I won't quote, just follow the link if you want to see more.
Hey, we don't do slideshows. We have to build clicks somehow.
Todd Archer paints a larger picture of how the Cowboys kept going away from the run at times when it seemed to have been the logical way to go. Even after the play dissected in the preceding article, they still had a hard time deciding to go to Murray in a nearly identical situation.
Yet the Cowboys almost didn't learn from their first-quarter mistake by the third quarter. The outcome was seemingly already sealed with San Francisco up 25 points, but on third-and-1 from the San Francisco 2-yard line (sound familiar?), Romo missed Terrance Williams on a back-shoulder throw.
On fourth down, the Cowboys finally gave the ball to Murray, and he responded with a touchdown to cap a 14-play, 87-yard drive that made the score 28-10 with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the season does go on, and there are things for the Cowboys to do if they want to turn this mess around.
Just an acknowledgement that the problems were more glaring when the offense was on the field.
The Cowboys are using a new schedule that some other teams have gone to, where the player get Monday off to recover from the game.
In the past, the first day of the week was a chance for players and coaches to digest film of the previous day's game before an off-day on Tuesday. This year, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett decided to rearrange the schedule, with Monday serving as a player off-day while coaches break down the 28-17 loss to San Francisco.
The advantage seems to be better, faster recovery from the players. And with the access now through computers, the players tend to do their own film study on the off day, anyway.
Don't even start to think that the roster churn is over.
The club brought in two wide receivers, second-year player Reggie Dunn and third-year veteran Devon Wylie. They also worked out safety Keelan Johnson, a fellow second-year player.
All indications are that the team is just looking to strengthen the practice squad, although Johnson, as a safety, might have some shot at the 53 man roster due to their only being eight defensive backs currently on it.
It was easy to see and hear that there were about as many 49er fans in the building as there were Cowboys supporters. A lot of fans are a bit upset about this. The owner, who, I guess, gets his ticket revenues no matter who winds up sitting in the stands, didn't seem to notice.
"First of all, I don't acknowledge that there were half of them there." Jones said, feathers uncharacteristically ruffled. "Did you count them?"
Oh, it was pretty close to it.
"BS," Jones snapped. "I know you didn't count them. Anyway, nothing went through my mind. I was looking at the game."
Have a nice cruise on that river of denial, there, Jerry. And get used to a lot of games like that until the Cowboys get back to winning.
Just a couple of quick notes on some former Cowboys.
Seahawks placed CB Jeremy Lane on IR designated for return with a groin injury, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2014
Dallas Cowboys 7th-round pick Ahmad Dixon was picked off Minnesota's practice squad & signed by Chicago Bears. Back on active roster.— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 8, 2014
This is not a Cowboys story, but it is important. After a long stretch of controversy over the lenient punishment meted out to Ravens running back Ray Rice for the family violence assault on his then-girlfriend, and current wife, a new video showing what happened inside that elevator was released. You can watch the video here if you haven't seen it. After this hit the web, it was only a matter of hours before the Ravens cut Rice in the face of a tidal wave of criticism and outrage.
This is a huge black mark on the NFL, which mishandled this situation from the beginning. Aside from the fact that Rice committed this inexcusable act in the first place, the most disturbing part of all this are the allegations that someone in the league had to have seen the video before the two game suspension was handed down. How could anyone watch that and think this was not something that should lead to serious consequences?
Please don't ignore this issue, or laugh it off. Family violence is a huge problem. The fact that the victim in this case was shown apologizing for her role in the assault sums up just how twisted around these things can become. Always remember it is never right to strike and harm someone weaker than you. And always remember to try and get all the facts before you decide about any controversy.