Monday, September 13, 2010

Thoughts on the Redskins Debacle

My reaction to last night's game is probably coming a little late. But I don't like to post my comments on my blog when my blood is boiling like it was last night. I don't want to come off as someone who turns on his team at this first sign of trouble. So I've waited for about 24 hours to allow myself to gain a little perspective.

Don't mistake what I am saying. I am furious over the way the game went last night. It was embarrassing as a die hard fan to have to face the mockery today from the seemingly endless Cowboy haters. And there was no defending what happened last night. There were two plays in that game that were so ridiculous I wouldn't believe they happened if I didn't see them myself. The last play in each half basically determined the outcome of the game. And Alex Barron had a hand in both of them.

I'll start with the last play of the first half. I was shocked the Cowboys decided to run a play to finish out the half once they were moved back by a penalty. But I figured that they would just let Romo throw the ball as far as he could and hope for a pass interference call or a miracle catch for a score to end the half. The play was such a mess it was hard to determine if it was supposed to be a screen pass to Choice or a Hail Mary play that was defended by quick pressure on Romo. Either way I don't fault Romo for the dump off to Choice. Sure, it would have been nice if he had just slid down for a sack or just run for a short gain. But the dump off seemed safe until Tashard decided he would fight against three defenders for a meaningless extra half yard on the play. It was a horrible call by Jason Garrett/Wade Phillips and an even worse play by Choice. And the missed block by Barron caused the rushed throw from Romo that started the disaster.

The last play of the game was just ridiculous. I can't remember a game where I actually celebrated an apparent victory for a few seconds only to have the moment snatched away by a penalty flag. Alex Barron flat out stinks. And the holding penalty he committed was ridiculous. I can understand trying to slow the guy up when you are beaten, but wrapping him up with both arms and begging for a holding call was too much. The officials probably would have let a little bit go on the play and Romo probably still would have escaped the pressure to make the winning play. But Barron made the penalty so obvious that the officials had no choice but to throw a flag.

And what was worse about Barron was his post game reaction. He was shown on the field just a few seconds after single-handedly costing the Cowboys a win smiling and fist bumping friends from the Redskins. He clearly didn't care one bit that he was the goat. He has a big salary for this season and that appears to be enough for him. I wish the Cowboys would just cut him loose but they will probably at least have to wait until they know Colombo is ready to go and Sam Young is healthy as well. Even without Colombo next week I don't see how Brewster doesn't get the start. Barron is a complete joke as an NFL player.

But, on the positive side, the last time the Cowboys played a disaster of a game like this one the outcome was far worse than a loss. I'm referring to the Arizona Cardinals game that ended with a blocked punt for a score in overtime in the 2008 season. Not only did the Cowboys lose the game due to horrible play on the offensive line and countless mental errors, but they also suffered multiple injuries that ended up ruining the season. As bad as the loss Sunday night was, the Cowboys did escape without any major injuries. There was a big scare when Demarcus Ware went down late in the game but he appears to be good to go for next week.

So the end result is this. It was an embarrassing and potentially costly loss down the road in the playoff picture. But it isn't a season ender. The Cowboys will be much better next week with the starting offensive line back together. And I think the last of the preseason kinks were worked out during the Redskins game. It is very early in the season and I'd much rather see the Cowboys take a loss now than late in the season when it is too late to make up for it. I still believe this is a team that can go deep into the postseason but they need to get it going now.

The sky is not falling. The season is a lost cause. But things need to get better right now. The real Dallas Cowboys better show up against the Bears next week or there will be major cause for concern. The team should be ashamed of their performance and that should provide motivation for next week.


  1. I too was horrified. I watched both end of the half plays and didn't even believe what had happened.

    Problem is those two plays were not the problem. Romo was told not to let plays develop. Garret and Phillips had him convinced that the line could not hold and he rarely gave them a chance to do so. Romo is quick enough that he could and did dodge a few times.

    If we lived in a shoulda been world our coach last night would have been Shanahan. Phillips needs to go. Garret might need to go as well. I don't think he's as good as he thinks he is.

    It's always easy to pick a play and say if this had gone differently.. But if the 'Boys had performed they would not have needed to worry about 2 plays.

    That said.. Last night we got the spectre of the undefeated season off our back. 15 and 1 is good too.

  2. But in this case the Cowboys could still have won despite the conservative game plan and all of the mistakes. If not for the two most glaring and ridiculous mistakes I've seen in a long time the Cowboys would have won. Not many people would be complaining about the game plan if the Cowboys had managed to pull out the last second victory. That is why I can't get my mind off those two plays.

  3. I hope we can get Bill Cowher next year or a coach with some discipline. Wade is just too laid back! Ever since he's been her its just mental error after mental error, almost every game! What is he teaching these guys at prctice? And what was up with Witten last night? I think only 2 catches or so? Was he that well covered all night? D line surprisingly got very little pressure on Mcnabb. But Miles Austin is a beast! He is becoming my favorite player. He catches everything and is almost always open. Are you taking notes Roy Williams?

  4. As far as possible line upgrades, I hear that McNeil from San Diego is still holding out, why not make a go for him? He could take Free's spot at LT and Free could move back to being the backup tackle for either side.

  5. As far as the penalties go, if I remember right we had our fair share of them during the Parcelles era as well. I'm not saying Philips is helping the cause, but don't overlook the fact that while we had a very disciplined coach a few years back we still had a good amount of mental mistakes.

    And really, in my mind at the NFL level the coach REALLY shouldn't have to do much other than say "Fix your mental screwups". This is the pro level, the players have been playing this game all their life. If these guys can't figure it out on their own not to hold, or commit a false start, no amount of yelling at them during practice is going to help.

  6. I actually blame the coaches more for the disaster at the end of the first half. The reason why taking a knee is the smart thing to do is because something unexpected might happen. You take the knee specifically to avoid the interception run back for a touchdown, the fumble that gets returned for a touchdown, etc. Not that Tashard Choice shouldn't take responsibility for the fumble. He should. But I've never seen Tashard fumble before. I HAVE seen the coaches make the wrong call in a pressure situation before. That's what worries me.

  7. This type of play will end when the get a coach. Phillips is not an NFL Coach

  8. To gary: Witten was doing blocking for the most part. He was downfield very little.

    To Defending the Star bloggers. Look this is what we were talking about a few weeks ago. Camp Creampuff and not playing the starters enough.

    They were rusty. The rust is off. The game is on. We will see what happens in the next games. By the time we beat Texans everyone will be back on the bandwagon.

    So Doom and Gloomers :). See you in a couple weeks when your cheering.

    Much less take down 2 of any other teams O-Line.. Yea its going to be hard. Barren isn't anything new. Flozell part dues. So what about the rest of the team?

  9. I'm not dooming our season in week 1. I still think we have a great shot at going all the way. I merely mentioned making a go for mcneil from san diego as an upgrade. I think Free is a decent tackle that can play well at either tackle spot. Hence, he makes the perfect backup in my opinion. As far as I know, mcneil only has experience on the left side. I know this isn't madden and it would cost us some change to get mcneil, but didn't we free up some money by cutting some players like flozell in the offseason?

  10. Honestly after reading some things that came to light on Barren. I feel kind of let down in the Cowboys. Some nasty articles are out about what people have said about his penalty history. Apparently at this point we should be happy to get flozell back. Flozell was #2 in penalty's right behind Barren. -.- wtf boys.

    But oh well our main line is back again this weekend.

    Justin I wasn't beefing with you I was going more after the fans that are giving up already.

    If we had to choose a game to loose i'm glad it was the first and hopefully losing to the redskins is going to open up some eyes on the team. Redskins = greatest enemy .And they sucked last year. So cake walk was expected. That is why it hurt so bad. but it also hurt so good. Teach the boys not to take anyone for granted which is what I honestly believe is what the half time debacle was about.