Monday, October 3, 2011

The Blame Game

I don't even know where to start. I was at the stadium for the worst collapse in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. It was a completely helpless feeling to sit there and watch Tony Romo and the Cowboys give away a 27-3 lead and lose a game they should have won in a blow out.

I place the majority of the blame for this loss on Tony Romo. Like I said when he made the throw on 3rd and 21 last week against the Redskins, Romo does things that a quarterback isn't absolutely not supposed to do. Sometimes it pays off like last week and sometimes it loses the game like yesterday.

The first interception just looked like Romo didn't see Carpenter covering out in the flat. A boneheaded mistake but at least understandable. The second interception is probably more on Laurent Robinson than on Romo because the receiver has to get inside the defender on a slant.

The third interception is the one that really makes me mad. The Cowboys were still clinging to a 6 point lead. The game was still in the hands of the offense. A few first downs and the game is over. The worst part of the play was the fact that Romo threw the ball late off his back foot and forced it into coverage when all he had to do was throw the ball away. It was just a flat out stupid play by Romo.

But we can't forget Jason Garrett's role in this disaster. He is the one who was calling high risk passes with the game on the line. All the Cowboys needed to do was run a ball control offense for a 4 minutes and the game was over. But instead he went for the jugular. The smart move would have been to be safe and milk the clock. It was just horrible on Garrett's part to even allow Romo to have the option to screw up again in the game.

And as much as I don't want to put blame on the defense they had a lot of chances to make a play to stop the Lions as the collapse slowly occurred. Sure, Romo and Robinson handed the Lions 14 points. But the pass rush disappeared for the Cowboys in the second half. All it would have taken was a sack or two or even just one turnover in the 4th quarter and the game would have been won even with the mistakes by the offense. It seemed like Rob Ryan went conservative in the second half when the aggressive, attacking style was what helped shut down the Lions for the first quarter and a half.

So where does this loss leave the Cowboys? They have won two games they should have lost and lost two games they should have won. So 2-2 feels about right considering the inconsistency that the team has shown. All is not lost. But at some point this team needs to put it all together or we are looking at an 8-8 team who can beat any team in the league or lose to any team in the league.

I'm giving Jason Garrett until midseason to clean up this mess. It seems like a lot of the mistakes that plagued the team last season are still popping up. I realize Garrett didn't get an offseason to fully implement his system and that is why I am cutting him just a little slack. But the slack is starting to run out. Either he gets the team to pull it together or I have to start questioning whether he is ever going to change the culture of the team. I believe he has improved the team's practice habits but he needs to get them playing smarter. The clock is ticking.

If there is a bright side to the mess we saw it is that we got a glimpse of how good the Cowboys can be if they can play good football for four quarters. It will just be a question of whether the players on the team are capable of playing smart, fundamentally sound football. There are 12 games to go. Hopefully the Cowboys will find a way to fix the mistakes that are costing them games.


  1. I agree with you about 50%. Not on the last int. though. The only thing wrong with the throw is that it was slightly under-thrown. Witten was behind everyone, and if romo makes that throw, which 9 times out of 10 he does when healthy that seals the game with a go ahead score with the score 37-27. My question is, why does it always have to be romo who carries the team, when "big ben" makes mistakes, who cleaned them up for him, his defense, when eli manning makes mistakes who cleans them up for him, his defense, even when rex grossman has made mistakes this year, his defense won it for him. Nobody is romo's supporting cast, he has to win every game or there is little chance. After what romo did the last 2 games of the season and the 1st loss not totally his fault (special teams gave up the lead) I will cut him some slack. Without him we are 0-4 and a lot of people forget that. I am not disagreeing with you on what you are saying, or trying to say that you are wrong, but plenty of blame is there to go around. The Defense in the second half made Matthew Staffords line, one of the worst in the league look like tom bradys, they have to take some blame too. There is a lot of blame to go around.

  2. IMO...we HAVE to be able to run the ball, at the goal line and throughout the game. When we were up 27-3, we need to be running the ball, running little drop passes, just whatever to keep the clock moving and avoid throwing interceptions..they better get it figured out quick, New Englands high powered offense is next..i sure hope they lay out pretty boy Brady A LOT...time to make a STATEMENT!! GO COWBOYS!

  3. I'm glad you're spreading the blame around. No one is taking this loss harder than Romo. I'm also pleased that you're not one of the idiot "fans" calling for Romo to be replaced. He IS a great QB, has great numbers, and just needs to fine tune his game. No one questions his work ethic or leadership. We'll be fine. Go ROMO and GO Cowboys!!!

  4. I don't agree with a lot of this piece. This loss was Romo's fault. Period. I can not believe how many people I'm hearing say "we should have run the ball and controlled the clock." That's not what those people were saying last week. Last week, I was reading that Garrett's playcalling got too conservative at the end of the game, that the Cowboys should go for blood. Everybody wants the Cowboys to be the 2007 Patriots and blow everybody out, show how dominant they are.

    No, the reason the Cowboys lost was because of Romo. That's it, that's all of it. If he doesn't make those three horrendous throws no one is questioning Garrett's playcalling, we're RAVING about the defense, we're noting that for most of the game the offensive line played well and we're ecstatic.

    Romo played great for the first two and a half quarters and then all of a sudden it was a nightmare. That throw to Carpenter was sloppy. That interception to Witten was thrown off his back foot and he was turning away. Nah, I am NOT a Romo-hater but he killed them. He single-handedly wiped out all of the good work by his team, even his own good play. Very, very frustrating.

  5. first of all, im a cowboys fan since drew P. was a wide reciever. second of all you can blame the defense all you want but Tony Romo was the one that lost this game and thats it.Jason garret sends the play in with Tony Romo and if you really pay attention to the fourth quarter, Tony gets to the line to run a running play and automatically yells "kill kill kill!" that means hes killing the run play and "HE" desides to change to a pass play. and yes Rob Ryan did play conservative, but why, because the defense played football all afternoon and he knew that his defense has been on the field holding their own for 3 quarters. The offensive line protected TONY ROMO all day and he repays them by making sloppy and non football plays. Yes, Tony is a GOOD QB but until he can prove to the organization and the fans that he can win a superbowl, then all he is,is a record setter and just a QB that play every sunday.

  6. I hope we beat the Pats!! i will be there and hope dware puts pretty boy on the ground