So, everyone had jumped on the Cowboy bandwagon. They had been ranked near the bottom of the league in week 1. In week 7, everyone was drinking the Kool-Aid. SI had Dallas ranked 1 and NFL.com had the Cowboys ranked 2. Not in the division or in the conference, but in the league. I said that the Cowboys still had some huge problems. I didn’t understand how the defense was working. McClain was playing out of his mind. The corner backs and safeties were playing way above their pay grade. Then came the lowly Washington Dudes (I’m refusing to use that R-word. I know it is insulting. We need to move beyond it) who didn’t believe the craziness.
To describe the Washington team as having issues would be an understatement. Quite frankly, they have been awful with a capital “A.” They were still awful when they played the Cowboys. They made just about every mistake that you can make. Critical, thoughtless drive-killing penalties. A 3rd string QB who should be coaching some high school team threw a knucklehead interception into double or triple coverage. It wasn’t just a poor decision. It was a terrible moonball throw which any high school corner back could have gotten under.
The Cowboys lost this game for 3 reasons. First, DeMarco Murray put the ball on the ground for the 5th time this year. We had driven deep into Washington territory. We were going to get at least 3 points. He was fighting for a couple of extra yards and 15 or 20 (seemed like the whole team) of the Washington Dudes were holding him up and stripped the ball. There is no excuse. You can’t fumble. Emmitt Smith was great for a number of reasons, one of the primary reasons being that he didn’t fumble the ball. Secondly, the Cowboys defense was awful. They gave up over 400 yards of total offense to a Washington team without Robert Griffin III. That’s just crazy. DeShawn Jackson torched the Cowboys with not one or two, but three big plays. I have to mention Jordan Reid was just about unstopped on short yardage plays. Everyone knew Colt McCoy was going to throw to Reid, but we didn’t stop it. Finally, our much heralded offensive line couldn’t figure out how to block an all out blitz. So, Washington used it time and time again. There was nothing fancy. It was everyone…. At the line of scrimmage… everyone was coming or everyone was dropping into coverage. DeMarco Murray missed blitz pick-ups at least twice. Dez Bryant needed to win this one on one match up with a 4th round draft pick rookie, Breeland, who played like a first round draft choice. Bryant had to win that battle but he didn’t.
Many people are getting all caught up in the argument on whether or not to put Tony Romo back in the game or not. I don’t think that it matters. The problem wasn’t Tony. The problem was Dez, the offensive line and our defense.
Look for the Cardinals, who have much better corner backs, to blitz early and often. Until the Cowboys have proven that they can handle the blitz, look for the NFL to blitz on just about every passing down.