News out of Valley Ranch has slowed to a crawl now that Rob Ryan has been hired as the defensive coordinator. But there has been a few small tidbits of information over the last few days that have interested me.
First and foremost, congratulations to Jason Witten on earning the second All-Pro nomination of his career. It was deserved and, in my opinion, the voters should have him first on the list more often. While guys like Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark and Tony Gonzalez are great players, Witten plays a great all around game while the other guys I mentioned are primarily receivers. Witten's ability and willingness to be a big part of the running and pass protection are what sets him apart from other players at his position. The stats that Witten compiled this year while playing with three different quarterbacks are nothing short of amazing considering the circumstances.
Here is my two cents on the Jay Cutler debate. I am absolutely disgusted by the way Cutler didn't even really put up a fight to stay in the game against the Packers. Sure, his knee was legitimately injured. But plenty of guys have played with injuries just as bad and done it successfully. Cutler's teammates are coming to his defense, but I would not be able to forgive him if I were a Bears fan. It wasn't just the fact that he didn't play. He also sat on the bench and basically sulked for the rest of the game instead of doing what he could to help the team out.
Just compare Cutler to some of the players on the 6-10 Cowboys team this season. Jason Witten looked like he was ready to knock out the doctor in the game against the Bears when the doctors wouldn't let him back into the game. And Tony Romo tried to go back into the game against the Giants with a broken collarbone. Cutler didn't seem to have much fight in him.
I personally have actually played quarterback with a sprained MCL. Sure, it was in high school but my injury was similar to the Cutler injury. It was the MCL in my left knee and it was taped up to the point I felt like I had a robotic leg. It hurt on every play and it hurt whether I was walking or running. But I played for several weeks with the injury. And I didn't even have a pain killing injection in my knee like the one's Cutler had available to him. They can say the doctor's pulled him if they want to make excuses but they wouldn't have let him back on the field in the second half if they didn't think he could play with the injury. I'll never look at Cutler the same way again and I think a lot of players in the NFL agree with me.
I really hope the owners and players are going to work out this CBA mess so that we don't get shortchanged on the usual excitement of free agency. The Cowboys have a lot of holes to fill on the roster so they really need a full offseason to sign players and develop they guys already on the roster. With Rob Ryan installing his defensive scheme it is going to be important for him to have time in mini-camps to get the new defense installed.
I'll be pulling for the Packers in the Super Bowl mostly because I don't want the Steelers to get a 7th Super Bowl title and pull further ahead of the Cowboys. Hopefully it will be an exciting game, but I don't need to hear any more about all of the Cowboy playoff records that the Steelers are breaking or tying. For one game at least...Go Pack Go!