I heard an interesting thought on the radio today about how some Dallas fans want either Philly or Washington to win the division. It was an interesting thought I want to expand on.
The NFC East is cursed this year. Anyone who wins it ---with the exception of the NY Giants --- will regret it for years.
If the Eagles win the division or tie for the division, The Eagles owner will have an angle to defend retaining Chip Kelly. If they win the division, Kelly for his part might actually see if some of the decisions he made that didn't pay off this year might pay off next year. It's an Eagle's fan's nightmare. Now if they miss the playoffs, he is either fired and someone comes in who can use this talent better or he totally trades out his assets again on another crapshoot on improvement.
If the Redskins win the title and make the playoffs for the first time in forever, they kind of have to make a serious investment in the flawed but developing Kirk Cousins. Unfortunately their owner is Dan Snyder --- an owner who has never met a player who he wouldn't overpay and a QB he wouldn't coddle. Goodbye hard working Kirk Cousins, Redskins fans meet the next RG3!
If the Cowboys make the playoffs winning at least 2 of the next 3, does anyone think they are going to beat anyone else in the playoff field? As grounded and sensible as the front office was in 2014, they were delusional risk takers in 2015. This team entered a "contention year" with no depth at QB behind an injury-prone vet, with what appears to be a substantial downgrade at OL coach, and with no quality running backs. What did you think was going to happen? I said before the season this team had a 25% chance of winning the super bowl and a 75% chance of finishing with a top 10 pick. Those decisions were entirely on Jerry and his son, who appear to have taken their accolades to heart after a very good 2014 and are not currently accepting any blame for this season when it is in fact all on them. This is a solid team with some deep flaws. (Plus at this point I feel pretty darned vindicated in my Tim Tebow-for-backup-QB advocacy. Does anyone really think he'd have gone 0-9 on this team?) Heaven forbid Dallas makes the post-season and they rush Romo back for a second time and break his collar bone again! Should Dallas make the playoffs, Jerry will think that with a healthy Romo, this will be a super bowl contender next year---even though a healthy Romo may not be possible in the coming years.
Only the Giants would profit by making the playoffs. That would again be Tom Coughlin outrunning the coaching grim reaper again. The Giants are really only one draft away ---two good defensive lineman --- from being a dangerous darkhorse again under Coughlin. And there is always a possibility that a healthy Victor Cruz could emerge. Should that unlikely scenario occur, the Giants would again be a divisional power and super bowl threat. If they fire Coughlin though, they will likely see rebuilding attrition gut their roster.
Dallas and Jerry Jones are in the driver's seat --- if Jerry can just be sensible
When you look at the "prize" for winning the division meaning falling from #6 or better to the 20's in the draft, it is insane for Dallas to keep trying to win.
One of these NFL owners is going to be a sucker who thinks the status quo plus a piece of gum equals the super bowl. For once, can it not be Jerry?
Jones is the only one in the lot who's fans would be totally fine with him tanking the rest of the season. He has the option to do so.
And if Dallas finishes 4-12? What then? Currently at 4-9, Dallas today would have the 6th pick in the draft. It is entirely possible that everyone in front of them may still have a win in them this year. It is entirely possible to see NFL teams winning 1/3 games at any time in the season.
If we can just go 0-3, I could see Dallas with the second pick in the draft.
Jared Goff would be fantastic behind this offensive line for the next 10-15 years. Goff needs some refinement, but our offense is basic and structured in a very QB -friendly manner. He is a game competitor with some skills who will be a hit if he lands on a team with a good offensive line ---or a David Carr-esque bust if he doesn't.
And pick 1(35) could be say....OT Jason Spriggs out of Indiana (or the best OL available then)? ...Finish out your OL for the next 10 years.
Then maybe 3(68 or whatever) you land a DT (Sheldon Rankins of Louisville?).
When you are picking that early in each round your second is like a late first and your third is like a late second.
In fact I think there is a very good shot you might land a player who could start with your fourth round pick --- maybe a RB? (Jerry might be able to use his "Arkansas exception" to the new Jerry rules and overrule his scouts so he can pick between Arkansas RBs Alex Collins or Jonathan Williams in the fourth, push the pick into the starting lineup, and then watch him disappoint... eventually turning the job over to Robert Turbin.) .
3/4 is not bad!
This Dallas front office has finally gotten to a good place drafting. Let them draft in an optimal spot!
That is really what you are talking about. If you just tank these next 3 games, Dallas is good for the next decade.
But should Dallas win one of the three, maybe Dallas is picking 8th and we miss on Goff and then everything is a lot less certain.
There's a very good chance Tony Romo's bones are now just slightly stronger than Jerry's. (ie. he's freaking old, he was always undersized, and Jerry let him get beat to hell for about 8 years. Probably done. For once, lets play the odds rather than putting everything on a Jerry favorite.)
How to blow the next 3 games --- It is exactly NOT what the Dallas front office is thinking.
There is no guaranteed way to lose the next 3 games. Matt Cassel usually plays well one out of 3 starts, so you are going to have to spike the road somehow...
The reason Dallas has lost all these games in a row is because they have a very inconsistent starting RB and they had the worst backup QB in the league in Brandon Weeden who they upgraded to the second worst backup QB in the league, Cassel.
(On the radio show they spoke to former Cowboys RB Tashard Choice who said something that filled in the missing piece of the puzzle for me on Jerry Jones. We have all heard the comment that whoever has Jerry's ear last is who he is going to listen to and we have seen enough to know there is a lot of truth in that. Choice pointed out that whenever Jones overpays a position, he next goes a complete 180 and doesn't pay the position crap until he gets burned and finally realizes it is a mistake. Kyle Orton makes millions doing nothing so Jones goes 180 and gets a QB no one else wanted ---at the time --- on the cheap to back up Romo. Why didn't the team pay a slightly lesser amount to keep DeMarco Murray? Why didn't Dallas pay less for Mark Ingram? Why didn't we draft a RB? Because Jerry thought paying RBs at all was wasting money when he had a good OL..And it even extends to coaches. Remember when Jerry thought 2 coordinators was a waste of money?.... Mind blown. It all makes so much sense now...)
This team knows Cassel won't actively win a game for them. They knew that about Weeden too. Unlike the Dallas front office, the players have seen both of those guys play in the NFL.
Barring a big play on defense or special teams, this team knows it is beaten when either of those guys steps past the sideline
So for the love of God don't bench Cassel!
Dallas's front office may think playing Kellen Moore would be the way to tank games. The trouble with this thinking is that Kellen Moore makes good decisions and players rally around backups who make good decisions.
Cassel is killing the spirit of the team. Please...Let him do it for 3 more weeks.
Cut Kellen Moore. Throw him back on the practice squad. Sign JaMarcus Russell as your backup for the last 3 games as a tryout.
Shut Dez Bryant down for the year on injury concerns. Perhaps shut down Sean Lee, if you can.
Instruct Garrett not to play Robert Turbin with the idea of locking him up at a nice price for 3 years.
And cut Greg Hardy. He's a little more toxic than you thought when you took him on and he isn't making a difference on your team this year anyway. Let him go and sign a free agent DT next year with his slot.
That's how you tank this team to win.