For me, it was Brad Johnson’s second interception.
That was the moment I said “Why not see what Brooks Bollinger can do?” Not that I confused BB with a savior, or someone even halfway decent. I just figured nothing could be worse than what we were seeing from Bad Brad.
Maybe, you had this realization at another moment -- kickoff? After his first pass? After his first series?
Whenever it was, what anybody who watches this Cowboys team with any regularity had to be thinking was "How can they keep going with Brad? How can they not see how this will end? WTH?"
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What I do not understand is how I am alone in feeling that about Coach Wade as well.
Just like the Cowboys had to switch from Bad Brad to Brooks, they need to go from Coach Wade to Jason Garrett now, just to see if it can get any better because it can’t get any worse.
A Cowboy team once favored to win a Super Bowl this year is in danger of not making the playoffs, is last in the NFC East, is choking again and in need of a leader to jump-start them after this bye.
Does anybody at Valley Ranch really believe Coach Wade is going to Mr. Fix This after what we’ve seen, after what we saw last season? Really, Jerry?
“I'm not looking through rose-colored glasses as to where we might be at the last game of the year, whether we’ll be watching on television or playing in it,” he said afterwards.
And how is this possibly OK?
We are talking about a team Owner Jones insisted has the greatest coaching staff he has ever worked with in his almost 20 seasons with the Cowboys, spent $83 million in signing bonuses on and, until recently, had been slapped with Super Bowl expectations, not just a playoff win.
What a ringing endorsement for Coach Wade that simply sneaking in now looks like a big-time year. And to expect anything more from Coach Cupcake is to ignore history -- his, and the Cowboys.
He failed with a healthy, hungry team that rolled into December last season. And we expect him to turn around a hobbled and humbled group this year?
Good luck with all of that.
It is akin to thinking Brad Johnson was going to be better if he just played another series or had another week of practice. To borrow a Parcells-ism: People always show you what they are. Listen.
What Coach Wade has showed in a season and a half is a guy who is incapable of getting his team to rise to challenges. About the only thing he excelled at was not being Big Bill, which got him to Dec. 1.
Will Jason Garrett fare any better? I don’t know, just like I had no idea if Brooks would.
But you find out. The Cowboys owe it to themselves to at least try.
This season is not over, no matter what everybody says. What is needed is a 5 and 2 mark down the stretch to give them a chance and this is certainly doable with Tony Romo, Felix Jones, Kyle Kosier and possibly Terence Newman returning after the bye.
And if JG is what Owner Jones thought he was a year ago when he threw money and promises of being the coach someday at him to keep him from bolting to Baltimore and beyond, maybe, this Cowboys team rebounds and sneaks into the playoffs. If not, Owner Jones knows he has to prostrate himself in front of Bill Cowher this offseason with promises of power and cash.
Like I said, who knows.
What we do know is Coach Wade is not the answer. He is merely the Brad Johnson of coaching and it is time to fire both of them.
While I try to find a flight to Cabo for the bye week, let’s chow down on another helping of Monday Morning Musings:
1. Repeat after Jimmy: A playoff berth is not guaranteed.
Everybody banking on three NFC East teams reaching the playoffs as a way for this Cowboys team to sneak in had better listen to Jimmy Johnson. After Sunday’s game, he dropped this little bomb:
“There is not going to be two teams from the East with wild cards”.
His logic was simple. These teams are going to be beating on each other down the stretch. Three of the Cowboys final seven games are against the NFC East so to be a playoff team they have to beat the East (where they are currently 1-2).
2. Do not blame Brad. Do not blame Brooks. Instead blame whatever football geniuses decided to keep them as back ups to Tony Romo.
In other words, Owner Jones.
Ignore this latest spin job that his football people, namely Jason Garrett talked him into keeping Brad. Owner Jones decided to roll with Brad despite having serious reservations about his ability.
Dallas had them. Or why flash interest in Chris Simms?
They screwed up. They gambled on not needing Brad. They did. He failed. What has to be learned from this colossal screw up is in the world of dicey backups -- and any team who has any real cash invested in their starter is playing this game -- is you always go with a kid. Teams are better off trying to develop a young QB and seeing if they might stumble upon a Romo or a Brady than trying to squeeze a couple of good games from a 40-year-old has been.
3. Please send apologies to Tony Romo, c/o The Dallas Cowboys.
Apologies need to come from 1) Those ripping him after Arizona; 2) Those questioning his toughness, and; 3) Every idiot who called for Brad Johnson before Romo’s injury.
It is obvious he was the only thing holding this pile of junk together. And there only realistic shot going forward, which is scary considering he had not played or passed in a month.
Of course, he’s still better than Brad and Brooks combined.
4. T.O., Good Roy Williams, Pat Crayton, all of you, shut up.
All were in various degrees of whine on Sunday, upset because Brad and Brooks were not good enough to get them the ball where they wanted, when they wanted, as often as they wanted. Like this somehow came as a shock to them.
Or did they not know that Brad and Brooks were spare backups?
NFL teams who survive with backups usually do so because other parts rally and play better. So about the only thing any of them should have been saying after Sunday’s game was: “We are without our QB. We needed to be better. We weren’t.”
Instead we get this veiled team-guy bull that a second-grader could figure out was a rip of JG. Why, yes, of course, this is The Redheaded Genius’ fault. If only he used Williams better or called more plays for T.O., then Brooks magically would have become Roger Staubach.
So zip guys. Especially you T.O.
Until you prove you can hang onto the ball in the red zone, why don’t you dial down the veiled shots at the coordinator?
5. Maybe what is missing from this offensive line is not Kosier but rather Tony Sparano.
I mean I like Kyle and he’s a pretty good guard.
What he is not is good enough for his loss to explain this line’s descent into awful status. Because what looks wrong with this line is what has plagued them for years, a serious lack of a give-a-you-know-what factor. They look to be going through the motions.
About the only time I saw them bustin' butt was when Sparano coached the offensive line, before Big Bill hired him down in Miami. He was one of those mean coaches the Cowboys hated, a real butt-kicker, which apparently is the only thing that works with this group. Because Coach Cupcake certainly is not getting through, only defensive linemen.
6. Speaking of Sparano: Anybody looked at what is happening down in Miami nowadays?
Miami has four victories already, which is three more than they had last season. Or exactly one fewer than your Super Bowl-worthy Cowboys.
Sparano wanted to stay in Dallas.
Owner Jones gave him a cursory interview when hiring Coach Wade and JG, then promptly demoted his to O-line coach despite him having a highly-ranked offense as coordinator in 2006. He escaped after last season, hired by Big Bill in Miami.
7. 2008 Cowboys=2007 Giants=Gigantic idiocy.
A theory being floated by various optimists is maybe the Cowboys are last year’s Giants. They struggled mightily in the middle of the season and looked to be falling apart but rallied down the stretch and came together to win the Super Bowl.
One problem. The Giants had Tom Coughlin, not Coach Wade.
Coughlin is a screw-tightner, a coach willing to be kick butt when needed and be honest with his team which is exactly what he did down the stretch. Coach Wade is “the soft one” who still thinks the best team lost in the playoffs last year.
No word on whether he thinks the best team won Sunday.
8. Thank God, Coach Wade gave his players last Monday off because what could they possibly have worked on in that usual day of practice, right?
Not tackling a Brandon Jacobs-type punt returner.
Not how to stay onsides during punts.
Not special teams, period.
Not passing accuracy.
Not how receivers can prevent getting stripped.
9. Your homework assignment was to answer this riddle: Corner turned? Or were the Bucs just bad?
We here at LBOH headquarters discovered that we do not have the market cornered on cynicism and snarkiness. The bad news? You were right. The good news? Sunday’s loss could not have come as much of a shock.
In no particular order, as we do every week, we present my favorite responses:
Jeff Scholl of Fort Worth writes “A month ago, they were considered by all in the local media and even the SI writers to be a notch on the Cowboys bedpost … all before the game had been played. We only got nervous around here after the way things started to slip after the Green Bay game. Let’s see who shows up against the G-Men”.
David Edwards of No Town Listed looks prophetic with his “unfortunately, I think the Bucs were just bad. As Cowboys’ history has shown us: They will get ‘full of themselves’ again after this ugly and uninspiring ONE win and think they are the Super Bowl favorites again. Then they will go out and get their butts handed to them by the Giants. The only corner turned will be on ‘Reality Blvd.’ WADE PHILLIPS MUST GO!!!!” and Dennis Bryant of Dallas noted “No way! Tampa played poorly and gave Dallas their only touchdown with a series of stupid penalties. … The Giants will put all of the Cowboy fans in a lynching mood come Sunday. Look out Wade, your time in Big D is limited.”
My favorite comes from Russell Barnes of Austin because he practically leaked optimism with his “It is really starting to look to me that the defensive and offensive lines really control the game more than most people seem to realize”. Don’t worry, Russell, you get a do-over.