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Dallas Cowboys – Aftermath 2019

Jason Garrett

Well, the long season is over. There is no more speculation. There is no more hope. There is no more hype. Long time Dallas Cowboys announcer Brad Sham described the season as the most disappointing in Dallas Cowboys history. I don’t know. Over the last 23 years, the Dallas Cowboys have had lots of disappointing seasons. The problem with this year was that the year started off with so much hope. We seem to have an offense that had the ability to both run and throw the ball. The defense is really coming on last year and there is no reason to believe they wouldn’t play as well if not better than they did last year.

The year started out with so much promise. We played the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and then the Miami Dolphins. We dominated all three games. Then, we went to New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints shut down what seemed to be an unstoppable Dallas Cowboys offense. The Dallas Cowboys rushed for only 45 yards. But, Dallas Cowboys fans felt pretty good because New Orleans Saints only generated 266 yards of offense. Yet, something didn’t seem right. The following week, the Dallas Cowboys had to play the Green Bay Packers. This began the start of what some called “slow starts” and Dallas Cowboys losses. The Dallas Cowboys got behind early. Aaron Jones, by the end of the game, has four touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys. (In the history of the Cowboys they had never given up four touchdown to a back in a single game.) So much for their vaunted defense. Well, at least the Dallas Cowboys would get a breather. They would get to play the New York Jets. Let’s just say that things didn’t go as planned. Once again the Cowboys got off to a slow start. The Cowboys are down 21-6 at halftime. Sam Darnold, who many believe has not lived up to his expectations and may even be a bust, was 23 of 32 four 338 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Dallas Cowboys made him look like he was ready for the Hall of Fame. This was a terrible loss. This is an inexcusable loss. This is the kind of loss that you need to start scratching your head and trying to decide what is actually going wrong. When you look at the game, we really had very little pressure on the quarterback. We only had two sacks all day against the lowly New York Jets. Although the Jets didn’t run the ball particularly well, they threw the ball extremely well. They don’t have a top 10 receiver. This game exposed the Dallas Cowboys cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers. The Dallas Cowboys couldn’t cover. Chidobe Awuzie was a high draft pick. He was supposed to become shutdown corner this year. That didn’t happen. As a matter fact, he was a good corner last year. He struggled all year this year. To date, he is been targeted 85 times and allowed 54 receptions. Opposing quarterbacks have a quarterback rating of 97.3. He has one interception and is given up three touchdowns. Looking at the stats he is a slightly below average for cornerbacks in the NFL. On the other side we had Byron Jones. He also was coming off of a good year. He just didn’t play well this year. Neither one of them did.

The most telling game of the Dallas Cowboys season was the Minnesota Vikings game. In this game the defense was clearly exposed that the Cowboys couldn’t stop the run or the pass. At one point during a drive in the third quarter, the Minnesota Vikings did that best impersonation of the Dallas Cowboys. The Minnesota Vikings ran the ball 10 straight running plays. Not once did the Dallas Cowboys stop the Vikings for a loss. The Minnesota Vikings ate clock. They ran the ball extremely effectively and they ended of the drive with a touchdown. Many people talk about the exceptional talent that the Dallas Cowboys had on defense. This one-game clearly exposed the fact that the talent was not that exceptional. As a matter fact the talent was average to below average. I would like to point out that Jaylon Smith was victimized and play after play. The Minnesota Vikings would run these zone stretch plays to the outside and Jaylon Smith would overrun the play time after time. Jaylon Smith is a good player who is just signed a big contract. Right now, he hasn’t played up to his ability or to his contract.

On offense, the Dallas Cowboys have to look at their offense of line. The offense of line was not as dominant. There were several times during the season when we needed to be able to do something special in the running game and it wasn’t there. Sure, there were times where Ezekiel Elliott just didn’t seem like he was running as hard as he could. He just didn’t seem to have that explosiveness that we’ve seen before. In tight games, the offense seemed to be completely unable to impose their will.

Jimmy Johnson used to always talk about there are three phases in football. There was offense. There was defense. And there were special teams. For some reason, it seems like the Cowboys completely forgot about special teams this year. Our special teams were abysmal. They were the worst in the league. The Cowboys can’t return punts. The Cowboys can’t return kickoffs. They can’t cover punts or cover kickoffs. This is simply unacceptable. At the very least you should be average.

Now, the season is over. The Dallas Cowboys have a perfectly mediocre 8 – 8 record. Jason Garrett will probably be fired in the next couple of days. I like Jason Garrett as a person. I think it’s probably an okay coach. But there have been games when Jason Garrett was just completely outcoached. I don’t think there were any games where Jimmy Johnson was outcoached.

The problem remains with Jerry Jones. He is the owner. He is the general manager. He’s the one that sets the tone. He’s the one that says is acceptable for Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper to tap their helmets and take breathers on the sidelines. If it was unacceptable he would make sure that that particular practice would change. Remember, last week, the Dallas Cowboys are playing the Philadelphia Eagles. It is fourth-down and late in the game. Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb are out of the game. They weren’t hurt. The season of the Dallas Cowboys was on the line and their best receiver was sitting on the bench. That is just unacceptable. Jason Garrett should be fired for that and that alone. The mediocrity will not stop until Jerry Jones will hire somebody who is a real coach. A real coach will take control of the team.

By |2020-01-19T01:20:26-04:00December 29th, 2019|NFL|Comments Off on Dallas Cowboys – Aftermath 2019

Colin Kaepernick and the NFL – 2019

If you’ve been living in a cave or maybe on a deserted island, you may not have heard of Colin Kaepernick. Here’s a brief recap. In 2011, he was drafted in the second round by the San Francisco 49ers. He was drafted out of Nevada. This is school which is not known for great NFL prospects. Yet, in his second year, he found his way onto the football field. He was tall, he threw a really good deep ball. He was also fast. He led the San Francisco 49ers not just to the playoffs but to the Super Bowl. He was a dynamic player. The San Francisco 49ers ran an unconventional offense and yet they made it to the Super Bowl. Now, to be honest, to be fair, Colin Kaepernick was not God’s gift to quarterbacks. He did not see the field particularly well. He tended to stare down his receivers. In summary, he was a dynamic quarterback who ran the ball well and through an exceptionally good deep ball.

As everyone knows, Colin Kaepernick decided to protest the police shootings of unarmed black men and women by kneeling during the national anthem. This caused public scrutiny of the NFL. In my opinion, it also caused the NFL to release Kaepernick. Since then, there’s been a lot of back and forth. There’s been a national debate without resolution. There’s been a lawsuit. So, as a “olive branch” the NFL offered a “workout” to Kaepernick.

Let’s all understand what’s going on. The NFL would like everybody to believe that if you have the ability you can play in the NFL. This is mostly true. On the other hand, you must understand that the NFL is an entertainment business. It is a multibillion-dollar entertainment business much like Paramount, Disney or any of the Hollywood studios. The NFL wants you to enjoy the product that they put on display every Sunday. They don’t want you to think about social unrest. They don’t want to think about protesting players. They want to spend your money, eat popcorn and enjoy the show.

Players like Colin Kaepernick prevent this harmony from happening. Whether he intended it or not, he started a controversy that gave the NFL a black eye. It has taken years for the NFL to get over this incident. Since Kaepernick, you had white men complaining about the NFL. White men!!! They live for the NFL. You had Donald Trump and others railing against the NFL and the protest. The NFL was worried. They were worried about profits. They have no intention of bringing up protests, again. Hiring Kaepernick would open up this wound once again. Therefore, I don’t care how well his workout goes. I don’t care whether he works out in Atlanta or San Francisco or on the moon, it simply doesn’t matter. No team in the NFL is going to hire this man. This is the reality.

Without looking at a bunch of stats we KNOW that Kaepernick is a better QB then 4 or 5 QBs who are currently starting in the NFL. He just is. Yet, he is sitting at home and they are playing. Why would this happen if the NFL is “all about winning?” This happens because the NFL is about about image first. Unless Colin and his agent can figure out how to re-brand him as a QB worthy of being placed on a Wheaties box, he is stuck. No one will hire him. This is reality.

By |2019-11-18T17:41:48-04:00November 18th, 2019|NFL|Comments Off on Colin Kaepernick and the NFL – 2019

Myles Garrett and the NFL

I love the NFL. I think that it is better entertainment product than college football. I think it is better than the NBA or MLB. I love the physicality of the sport. I love the fact that you have to be smart. Where are the holes in the defense? Did you pick up the blitz? Did your running stone that blitzing linebacker or did he get run over? I love it all.

It is also important to mention that football is a violent game. Big men are running very fast and hitting other big men. Yet, I really, really don’t want to see violence outside of the framework of the game. Albert Haynesworth (video here) is an excellent example. He ripped a player’s helmet off and while the player was on the ground, he stomped on the player’s head with his cleated shoe. There was no excuse for that. None. (Here’s an article on many of the over the top violent acts in the NFL over the last decade or so.)

The Myles Garrett situation is different. Mason Rudolph was tackled by Myles Garrett. Rudolph did something to Myles as Myles was getting up. It appears that Mason tired to rip Garrett’s helmet off. Then all hell breaks lose. Punches are thrown. More guys enter the fight. Myles rips off Rudolph’s helmet then, with a huge wind up, nails Rudolph in the head with his helmet. Many other folks get sucked into the fight.

The NFL is violent enough. It does not need to be any more violent. Everyone involve should be suspended. Garrett should never, ever play in the NFL again. Playing in the NFL is a privilege. These players get to play a game for lots of money. There is nothing else in the world that Myles Garrett can do and be paid over $24 million. (He has made just over $24 million in his 3 years in the NFL.) Because you are playing a game that millions of Americans watch you must be held to a higher standard. When you break that standard you must pay the consequences.  Everyone else who was involved in the fight needs to be fined and suspended. The NFL must send a clear signal that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

By |2019-11-18T11:29:55-04:00November 16th, 2019|NFL|Comments Off on Myles Garrett and the NFL