Saturday, December 28, 2013

Do cowboys fans really want to see the team beat the eagles on sunday and win the division?

To be flat honest, I don't.  I think it would do more harm than good to this team's future.

(Disclaimer:  I am getting over the flu and am quite drugged up, so this is going to be a bit of a ramble ---even for me.)

I have not been one to embrace this position, because I cheer against logic for Jerry Jones' success. You see, I like what I see of Jerry Jones, the person.

He is passionate, complex, and has a swagger.  He wants the Cowboys to be the best in the league.  He played a significant role in gathering the assets to build the championship teams under Jimmy Johnson, but gets absolutely no credit from the fans.  So he is a guy driven to succeed.

He has put the Cowboys into one of the best stadiums in the league --- a fitting cathedral for the main jewel of the NFL.  He seems to care about his players and he puts on a friendly face for the fans (all one can hope for, really).

I like Jerry Jones.

So how did I come to this position?

I find a lot of Cowboys fans, far more than most years, want to see this team finish out of the playoffs.  It is an angry, frustrated fanbase that is tired of having it's heart torn out.  They are done.  They don't see a team that can compete in the playoffs and are tired of buying into the hype to see another cowboys team falter down the stretch.

This year is really unusual in that regard.

Most seasons, a very small sliver of the Cowboys' fan base embrace the idea of hoping for an end of season loss to keep the Cowboys out of the playoffs.  Most of that crowd comes to that line of thinking hoping to punish Jerry Jones.

A smaller group are convinced that such a loss would "force" Jones to immediately change his ways and hire a GM and an elite proven NFL head coach.  (Not that a single loss would do this, but possibly a bad loss could cost Garrett his job despite what Jones is saying.  Jones appears to follow the "he's my coach--- until he isn't"  philosophy.)

This year I find myself falling into even a more fringe group.  The people who are hoping for specific, seemingly minor changes.

I freely admit individuals in this group are often even more unreasonable than the previous groups, but not always.

I am hoping for an awful game by Kyle Orton leading to a new backup and maybe a lot of other changes.

I think the success of the Cowboys over the next 3 years depends on an epic failure by Kyle Orton vs. the Eagles.

I think you have to consider how Jones thinks.

What if Kyle Orton wins this game and wins a game or two in the playoffs?  What is Jerry Jones going to think?

He's Jerry Jones! He's going to think, "If Romo was healthy we could have won the Superbowl."

The Cowboys need to lose like 48-6.  Or even worse would do.

I want to see the Dallas coaching staff run the ball 3 times in the first quarter and then forget about running the ball when the team is down 14-0.

I want to see them put it all on Orton.  And I want him to fail epically.

I want to see the line fail.  I want to see Mackenzey Bernadeau and Doug Free give up a pair of sacks each. I wouldn't mind seeing Ronald Leary give one up.  I want to see Orton flustered and pressured regularly.

I want to see the Orton of Denver and Kansas City show up.  I want to see him missing wide open receivers and feeding up pick sixes and fumble like he did when he handed the starting job to Tim Tebow in Denver.

I want to see the Eagles offense torch the Dallas "Tampa 2".

I want Jerry Jones to feel the heat.


For several reasons.

I believe you cannot have a culture of accountability when the president of the company is making huge, public mistakes and not taking himself to task as well as his employees.

I liked a lot of the changes Jerry Jones pushed through last year, but they were pointless without an admission by Jones that the roster he constructed had some major holes.  Jones has built a flawed team. Jones accepted no blame.

In "making things uncomfortable", Jones should have started by looking in the mirror, rather than effectively blaming everyone else.

Seeing Orton fail to rally the troops and spit the bit in epic fashion with a playoff slot on the line after Jerry Jones paid the guy $10 Million for this very scenario....Well, that just might be the 2013 personnel failure cherry on top that gets Jerry to acknowledge that most of the failings of this particular team were personnel ones.

Jason Garrett grew up in this culture.  He preaches all the right things to his players ---a culture of accountability --- but every time Garrett has spectacularly screwed up, Garrett has refused to accept blame. Just like his owner.

I think that has become a problem now with building a culture of accountability in Dallas.

(Garrett needs to take a lesson from Arizona Coach Bruce Arians.  Arians demands precision from his players and accountability, but he also owns his failures.  That is how you build a culture of accountability.  His players run through walls for him.  He is the kind of coach Garrett should emulate.)

I liked Garrett, but I have begun to wonder if he isn't just another Norv Turner or Bill Callahan --- an offensive-minded position coach or offensive coordinator in over his head as a head coach.  I think coaching for Jerry makes him a worse coach every year.

I think it would be better for both if they parted ways.

A catastrophic loss could very well lead to Jerry changing courses and firing Garrett.  Jones has done it before.

It isn't like there isn't a quality coach who can deal with Jerry Jones out there.  Mike Zimmer worked for Jones for years and has built a strong case to deserve an NFL franchise.  He is a defensive coordinator by trade so you know the concept of running out the clock when you have a big lead isn't lost on him as it is on offensive-minded coaches Callahan and Garrett.

With a defensive-minded head coach on board, Jones might very well scapegoat Monte Kiffin for the season's failures.  Really it isn't Kiffin's fault.

The shift to the 4-3 makes sense for this personnel, it just should have been done when Garrett was promoted, not years later.  Spencer and Ware are rapidly becoming situational pass rushers and their injury issues this year would likely open the door for their contracts moving to reflect that.  They are just old. Their bodies are breaking down. (Frankly, telling Jones that the line depth was adequate during the draft, may end up costing Kiffin his job anyway.)

The safties responded to the Tampa 2, Dallas' cornerbacks, with their man cover skills, flopped.

The 4-3 was the right move, a strict "Tampa 2" 4-3 however is just not the right scheme for this defensive talent. Kiffin probably is not the right defensive coordinator for this team unless Dallas wants to cut both starting CBs and start over in the secondary.

The other coordinator position might also be re-evaluated.

Callahan proved to be a pass happy scrub of a play caller, just as he did in Oakland post-Gruden.  His over-reliance on the passing game really hurt this team. A few more starting caliber linemen would help too.

Romo calling the shots proved to be a bust.  He displayed little faith in Demarco Murray and constantly threw on called running plays. (Whether they were called as run/pass options or were running plays changed at the line isn't really relevant.)  Romo effectively helped this team gut it's running game.

There are players who are natural play callers.  That's not Tony Romo.

Statistics be damned, to me Romo's most dangerous years were under Parcells, a coach who could threaten to screw Romo to the bench and effectively end his career as an NFL starter.  Romo's best games since are when the fans turn on him and call for his head.

His career suggests Romo needs heat on him. Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett are simply too close.  They are effectively enablers.  Jerry Jones enabled Tony Romo jettisoning the cowboys running game.  There needs to be a person of great authority between Jones and Romo who can get in Romo's face and make him stay on game plan.

But it all boils down to Orton.

 If Orton plays well, Jerry  might make him Romo's backup for the rest of the Romo era.

That does nothing for this team.

If Orton fails miserably, it is entirely possible that Jerry looks at a 33 year old starting QB with a herniated disk and drafts a QB of the future in the first round of the 2014 draft to back up Romo.

Johnny Football would look pretty sweet sitting on the bench in Dallas for three years behind Romo.  QBs with magic are rare.  Romo has it. Manziel has it, but he is very raw.

Romo would feel a need to produce to keep his job.  Johnny Football would have 3 years to bulk up to NFL size, improve his consistency reading defenses, work on his footwork, and basically grow up.  He gets to work on his skills and become accustomed to NFL speed before having to start. He gets the Aaron Rodgers treatment.  Dallas has their QBs of today and tomorrow.

When Manziel is ready you have a nice cluster of veteran talent in him, Bryant, Williams, Frederick, and Smith.

Everybody wins.

No comments:

Post a Comment