October 24, 2014

Behind The Star: The Latest on the Dallas Cowboys

Where to begin with the Cowboys?  They lost a game on Thanksgiving, at home, to a team with a rookie quarterback (granted a very good one), no number one receivers, and a defense that hasn’t been able to stop anyone.  Now they did end up scoring 31 points, but they were down 28-3 and were never in the game.  The secondary played terribly, constantly letting receivers run wide open and when they needed a stop most, once again they couldn’t get it.  This was a huge loss for the Cowboys as it now puts them two games behind the Giants for the lead in the NFC East.  It also puts them a game behind the Seahawks for the final wildcard but of course they lost to Seattle so they are actually two games behind them as well.  Not going to be an easy road for the Cowboys, and let’s face it, it’s not like they deserve to make it anyway.

 

Injuries are also really starting to mount up for the Cowboys.  Not having RB DeMarco Murray for yet another game has left the running game in shambles, not that it was doing much with Murray in the lineup.  This is mainly on the offensive line but Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner, and Lance Dunbar are doing absolutely nothing to help out the offense.  Wide receiver Miles Austin is also hurt again, has a hip injury to go along with his hamstring problems.  He’s probably going to suit up Sunday, but it’s anyone’s guess if he actually will finish the game.  The biggest problem is that ILB Bruce Carter was lost for the season with a dislocated elbow.  Carter had taken over for Sean Lee who is also on IR and was playing on a Pro Bowl level.  His loss will be huge.  Dallas doesn’t seem to have many playmakers on defense, but Lee and Carter were two of them.  Dallas seems to be losing a defensive starter each and every week.

 

Next problem for the Cowboys is why do they consistently take a half’s worth of action before their offense turns it on?  They seem to be able to make adjustments at halftime, but are pretty worthless in the first two quarters.  Are they being outcoached?  Should coach Jason Garrett turn over play calling duties to someone else? Probably, what he’s doing now isn’t working.  Owner Jerry Jones keeps stating that Garrett’s job is not in jeopardy but not only do the Cowboys lose, but coaching does seem to be one of the reasons why.  Garrett has to realize that the running game is not going to get it done.  Stop beating a dead horse and waiting until the second half to open up the offense.  Quarterback Tony Romo is your playmaker.  Yes he is going to turn the ball over some, but until you fix the OL and get Murray back you’re going to have to trust him to get the ball to Dez Bryant, Austin, and TE Jason Witten.  Can’t wait until the team is trailing by multiple touchdowns to open things up.

 

Penalties are another issue for Dallas.  Dallas is one of the league leaders in penalties as they have been for quite a few years now.  We are not talking about undisciplined stupid penalties, but mainly pre-snap penalties that always put the team in a bind.  What makes matters worse is that a good portion of these seem to always come while Dallas is in the red zone, forcing the team to settle for field goals rather than touchdowns.  Not sure how much of this we can blame on Garrett, but once again we have to wonder are there any repercussions for those that commit these fouls over and over again.

 

As for this week’s game, the Cowboys are playing the Eagles.  A team that in all likelihood won’t have their starting QB (Michael Vick), number one RB (LeSean McCoy), and number one WR (DeSean Jackson).  Not to mention they just released a guy who had 18+ sacks last season (Jason Babin), and have a coach that won’t return next season (Andy Reid).  Lose to this team at home, Sunday night in prime time and not only is the season over, but a few other things may change as well.

Dallas 27  Philadelphia 17

 

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