Cowboys fans are getting on my nerves! I love you guys, but if I have to read one more time how Jason Garrett should be fired because Brandon Weeden is winning with the Houston Texans, I might very well puke. That’s not too strong a reaction, is it? Certainly feels like an apt description.
I don’t mean to start this off so negatively; regardless of how it sounds, I love my Cowboys as much today as the day I became a fan (1992 Super Bowl). It’s just that I’ve gained the rather miserable perspective over the years that the Dallas Cowboys are not Dallas Cowboys fans.
I’m free to hate on one without condemning the other. A trait far too uncommon for my liking.
The only way I know to alleviate my pain is to make a case in hopes that someone might learn something from it. If all else fails, it should suffice as an effective <rant>.
So, all you Cowboys fans out there, and an insane number of Cowboys haters, too, here’s what’s up.
Weeden’s success in Houston is a product of his fit in that scheme
The mere existence of success by one player on one team after his failure on another team means nothing but how he fit into the scheme of each team. I keep seeing people talking trash about how Jason Garrett should be fired because he lost games with a quarterback that went on to win with another team immediately, and it’s all hogwash. Absolute bullshit.
First of all, the Cowboys have continued to lose behind 2 other quarterbacks besides Brandon Weeden. How on earth people can draw any conclusions without first accounting for that is beyond me, but there you go. If 3 guys can’t get it done, with all their varying levels of skill and experience, then no one of those 3 guys can be assigned blame or credit. They can only be assigned a measurable lack of credit as individuals. We’re not talking about Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady behind Tony Romo; then you could blame the coaches.
Second, the only guy to start a game we’ve won this year at quarterback isn’t just another plug-n-play peripheral; he’s the franchise quarterback. Yes, in 2 of the 4 wins this season the Cowboys finished the game with a backup quarterback, but that only attests to an ability not to lose the game.
Romo already won it, dammit.
Finally, keep in mind that while Weeden traded the Cowboys for the Texans and started winning games, Ryan Mallett traded the Texans for the Baltimore Ravens and started winning games, too.
The bottom line is no matter what you think of Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, or Tony Romo, what any one of those guys does on another team has feck-all to do with the Dallas Cowboys.
Tony Romo couldn’t have fixed this team by simply playing more
I can’t argue that Tony Romo being healthy would’ve created more wins for the team, but I concede that only because I know that the defacto standard 12-4 record just wasn’t in the cards for these 2015 Dallas Cowboys, with or without him.
Say what you will about injuries, and lord knows the Bruce Arians-commanded Arizona Cardinals bought into it wholesale last year, but injuries do affect the overall performance of a team. You can’t pin every loss on injuries, short of 90-percent of the starting roster being on injured reserve, of course, but it does contribute to the woes of a football club.
Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick; put these guys in for all 16 games this year and you’ve got at least a few more wins. Maybe even 8-8 after all is said and done.
But then you’ve got guys like Morris Claiborne, Sean Lee, Randy Gregory, Cole Beasley, Jason Witten, and Brice Butler all having repeated injury issues throughout the year. It’s a lot of small pieces that make up a football team and, as far as small pieces go, some of those guys are pretty big in the overall scheme of things.
Not seeing my point? Just look at the way Brice Butler and Kellen Moore worked together on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills; they’ve been practicing with each other more than any other QB/WR combo and it showed on the field. Remember, these two had experience together before ending up together on the Cowboys this year.
Never underestimate chemistry and familiarity.
Romo and Witten have had both for a long time and look at the rewards it’s brought us. Romo and Dez Bryant are working on something similar, as are Romo and Cole Beasley. It’s not just about Xs and Os on the field; it’s also about knowing what the other guy is going to do.
So no, had Tony Romo been healthy all season, these Cowboys wouldn’t be ruling any universes. There are simply far more variables than just one guy, albeit a guy capable of creating opportunities otherwise missed.
Kellen Moore is not the blue star savior
I like the guy. I thought that he showed good things against the New York Jets and again against the Bills, but “good things” loosely translates to “better than the last guy.” To borrow a phrase from Bill Parcells, we’re not anointing anyone yet, and for good reason.
Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Short of Roger Staubach or Joe Montana stepping into their glory days next Sunday in a Cowboys uniform, Moore, Cassel, and Weeden were only ever vying for 1st place loser. So what does it really matter that Moore hasn’t been as bad as his immediate predecessors? He’s not unseating the incumbent.
That said, I was talking with the guys over at the Pigskin Hub forums today about Kellen Moore and it occurred to me that I’ve been rooting for him just like so many other fans have rooted for him. Given the situation this team is in, I like what Moore has done these last 5 quarters of football; interceptions be damned. When you’re 4-10, a couple of interceptions and errant throws are to be expected. And that’s the problem; we’re spoiled. We’re spoiled by the way this team operated last year with Tony and Dez taking advantage of DeMarco Murray’s ground game.
The second Romo went down in week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles, hordes of fans dressed in black and called the season. Even more joined them on Thanksgiving Day against the then undefeated Carolina Panthers.
We’re so used to being up Schitt’s Creek once Tony Romo gets injured that we’re clamoring for anyone to wow us. As if a guy who went undrafted and spent the majority of his time on practices squads the last 4 years before clearing waivers multiple times this year is going to start popping out wins like Golden Eggs or something.
Patience is, indeed, still a virtue
I hate the way this team has performed this year. I can find just as many bright spots and consolations as the next guy to get me through, but when it comes right down to it, the 2015 Dallas Cowboys have sucked. And it’s been hard as hell keeping optimistic all this time, but I’ve done it, as most of you have done it.
You know your team’s in trouble when advancing draft position is big news. Just saying.
Coaching changes have been on-going for several years now. If you think Jason Garrett is the problem, that he’s too lenient or doesn’t understand the game of football, whatever your particular brand of hate happens to be, then why do the Cowboys even employ assistant coaches? They obviously mean nothing to the success or failure of the team so why hire them in the first place?
Because Garrett is a manager. He manages shit. He sets goals and agendas and trains his people to carry out their tasks in a way that fits some grand plan he’s concocted. He does not sit at the helm of a ship barking orders to machine-like pilots and co-pilots to steer the thing, he has to rely on these men to do their jobs. That is, to produce results from their guys (the players).
Jason Garrett merely manages things.
The next time you’re complaining about how someone on the team is playing, try looking at other guys in that unit as well. There are coaches for the wide receivers, tight ends, quarterbacks, offensive linemen, running backs, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, and defensive linemen; and each of those guys are as crucial to the success of every play as Jason Garrett is.
I hate to be obtuse about this but it is a team sport.
There. I’m done. I’ve said my peace. I can now go about my day with a renewed sense of optimism for the new year – personally, professionally, and as a football fan. Thanks for sticking around for my little </rant>. Happy New Year!
P.S., Mad respect to @DCBlueStar for the cover image used on this post.