Check it out Sunday afternoon.
When the Cowboys’ defense is on the field, count how many of those 11 players are of true NFL quality.
I’ll spot you five, barring injury, who will be out there for 15 or more snaps against the Packers: Ware, Hatcher, Carr, Scandrick and Church.
Granted, only Barry Church of that group met expectations in the Monday night of Chicago misery. Yet another case of defensive unit humiliation happened.
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But the bottom line on this defense is that football boat people, with a pedigree of multiple pink slips in the league, and wide-eyed, not-ready-for-the-NFL kids, are being asked to hold up week after week.
That’s not an alibi for Monte Kiffin or any other defensive coach. That’s just fact. Blame who you want to blame for this talent shortage.
Me, I’ll blame the GM. When was the last time I didn’t blame Jerry? Probably 1993, mainly because Jerry didn’t matter back then. Jimmy was the GM. Super Bowls were happening.
Anyway, defensive dog-cussing rages on around here, and to each his own. Got no problem with the defensive dog-cussing.
I just disagree.
What this Cowboys offense has become is a much bigger joke than the defense having reached historic depths of ineptitude.
Even in Chicago, when the Bears scored on every bleeping possession, more local wrath should have gone to the Cowboys’ offense.
No, this is not a Tony Romo rip job. But when that game mattered, the Cowboys scored 14 points. They lost 45-28, but the last two TDs were only minor window dressing.
Romo is the quarterback. I repeat, a good quarterback. And 14 points is what you score?
Go back to the same drill from earlier. Count how many offensive players are of NFL quality.
Romo, Murray, Dez, Witten, Terrance Williams (the rookie is a player), Miles, backup receivers in Harris and Beasley and our longstanding rant against the offensive line also doesn’t necessarily apply this season.
Tyron Smith is a player, Doug Free has been OK at the other tackle, the rookie at center, Travis Frederick, is fine, and at least one of the guards, Ronald Leary, holds his own.
But this offense has given us an ongoing suck-fest since, since …
Well, here we go again. The Denver game on Oct. 6. That was the jumping-off point right there. That was a game of offensive heaven. Since then, nothing close.
It’s not about Romo, but it is about Romo. Because it’s about everybody involved, and he’s the quarterback.
Plenty of theories bounce around on the offensive slow-go. The most popular centers on the run game, or lack of run game. But in Chicago there was a run game, except it was obvious early on that this game was going to be a track meet.
The Bears’ defense is no better than the Cowboys’ defense, and had just as many injury issues.
I don’t know the original Bears game plan, but what happened quickly was the offensive coaching staff turned loose backup quarterback Josh McCown with an arctic air assault. Instead of a run-based attack, which Chicago does well, the talented receivers became the focus.
The Cowboys had 200 yards rushing, about a third of it when the game was out of reach. McCown, however, threw 36 times for 348 yards, and four touchdowns, adding a fifth TD on a rush.
Chicago was aggressive even with wind-chill hell going on.
The Cowboys’ offensive never showed for the track meet. The Cowboys had a tractor-pull offense.
What was Bill Callahan thinking? Where was Jason Garrett to order Callahan to get the offense into high octane?
The Cowboys have good offensive players, and a lot of them, but they don’t produce and haven’t produced consistently in forever, or since that Denver game.
One series was the stinker of all stinkers.
After halftime, the defense had “held” the Bears to a field goal. The scoreboard deficit was 27-14 when Dwayne Harris had a good kickoff return across the 50. A touchdown was needed badly. The field position was there.
But on a third-and-4, Romo airmailed a pass over the head of an open receiver. Simply a bad throw on a frigid evening when McCown had been repeatedly on target until deep in the third quarter.
Then came fourth down. The Cowboys had to go. No, Garrett ordered a punt. Total surrender.
I repeat, to each his own. The dog-cussing of the defense is, by far, the majority opinion around here. That’s fine.
A columnist friend even wrote for ESPN after the Bears game, “Don’t blame Romo.”
Bull. Do blame Romo, just like every other member of the offense. Tony threw 20 times for 104 yards. What? How many games in the NFL can you win throwing 20 times for 104 yards?
When it comes to an ongoing failure to produce on a consistent basis, and particularly when it comes to a total waste of the talent available, this offense far exceeds the incompetence of the defensive unit.
I just thought I’d say it again. You don’t have to agree.