Can We Now Face Reality?

In the wake of the Cowboys' first-round play-off loss to the San Francisco 49ers at ATT on Sunday, it is time for Cowboy nation to shake themselves from their delusions about this team and face the truth. It is time to face the fact that at the most important position in football, quarterback, we are contractually obligated not to an elite player - one that is capable of overcoming deficiencies in their own offenses and carry their team to victory - but rather a player that struggles to accomplish the basic requirements of a starting NFL quarterback.

What is obvious, is that Dak lacks the natural instincts that elite players at his position possess. Dak needs to see that his receivers are open before he lets the ball go. He is a quarterback that has worked hard to be a NFL quarterback, which is admirable. He is, however anything but an instinctual quarterback He lacks the reflexive ability to perform at a level comparable to the best in the league. Dak struggles with pocket presence, that is, both in his ability to get rid of the ball in a timely fashion as well as his ability to navigate the pocket in the face of pressure. He holds the ball too long and often steps into the rush instead of avoiding it. He is all too often reluctant to throw the ball away when that is clearly the best option for the play. Dak seems to have an allergy to checking down to Zeke or Pollard. Unfortunately, Dak is also inconsistent with his accuracy. The result is that this team piles up statistics against some of the worst defenses in the league - that is, the NFC East teams - but struggles mightily when facing teams of playoff quality. The facts are obvious. This franchise has a middle-of-the-road quarterback.

This is not the only issue this team faces, in fact, it is not the most important. This team is filled with players that are regarded as stars, yet fail to consistently perform as such. Gregory, Lawrence, Cooper, Lamb, Tyron Smith, and Zeke are inconsistent performers.

It has been clear since mid-season that the Cowboys cannot run the ball. Fans continually think of this offensive line as one of the best in the league, however there is absolutely zero evidence that is accurate. Fans need to face facts: this team cannot run the ball and is not even good at protecting a quarterback that cannot perform while facing pressure.

While it is certainly disappointing to watch this team fail to win a first-round playoff game, it is anything but surprising. Take a look at how this team played over the last two months. They failed to beat any team capable of competing for a super bowl. This offense was pathetic unless they played horrible defenses. What now?

Unless the team rebuilds their offensive line, reevaluates their offensive scheme (or lack thereof), and becomes realistic when evaluating the level of talent on the roster, we fans can look forward to nothing better than a future filled with over-hyped individual players, impressive results against the worst franchises in the league, and an occasional playoff birth ending in decisive losses against teams with a realistic understanding of what it takes to succeed as an NFL franchise.

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