Landry Football: The Midseason Slump

Tom Landry's teams were famous for them. A fast start to the season, suddenly inept at midseason and then back to winning after the slump, helped by the 10-day break after Thanksgiving.

Of course in recent years the NFL makes the Cowboys do the next Thursday's game also, and you don't get the 10-day rest until after that one. And Landry's teams would usually lose 2 in a row in the slump, not 2 with a dominant game in between them.

But that's what this looks like. You just play through it and things start working again. During it, everything is going wrong.

Dak misses Gallup on a go route to start the game. Misses Wilson on a go later in the game, put that out in front of him and it's 6 points. Wilson dropping a 3rd down catch, although that was bailed out by penalty. The OL getting blown up on the interior, playing it's way to the worst unit on the field Sunday. On and on.

Down 19-6 and closing in on a score to start the 4th quarter. Get that TD and it's a different game.

Losing Lamb in the 2nd half. I believe Cooper can rest and the offense will still be fine for a while, but with Lamb out also it's a much easier coverage proposition. And Dak simply did not appear up to overcoming the various adversities of the game.

Holding the Chiefs to 19 at home, should result in a win. But the Cowboys came up with 9 and that's how it goes in a slump.

In reality the OL has probably been anchored to Martin and Smith, and masking problems that show up fast when one of those players is out. It needs an overhaul and a #1 pick in the offseason, assuming that player is there. Or you might have to trade up for the fix, given a win-now team with a cap-heavy QB. This is no time to get Dak beat up.


Russ_Te is the Cowboys screen name for Roy Greenfield / site author of the mid-2000's board "Cowboy Saloon"

- where the bar fights were legendary...

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