Saturday, October 8, 2011

A view of the Cowboys

I know this is a Giants blog, but other teams in the NFC East are fair game. I am not going to write a long piece on the Cowboys, but will say that I watched a replay of last Sunday's Lions-Cowboys game on the NFL Network and came out with a much different impression than most of the NFL analysts did. Most of them came out praising the Lions as the real deal for pulling out a game on the road in which they trailed badly. They also seriously denigrated the Cowboys as a playoff pretender rather than contender and especially deprecated QB Romo as a choke who turns the ball over in crunch time and can't make plays. Even Redskins TE Chris Cooley got into the act laughing at and criticizing Romo as a loser and choke artist. Here's a quote from his interview on a Washington sports talk radio program:

“I was watching the scoreboard in St. Louis, and I didn’t see that they’d lost really until they end, I thought they blew them out so I kind of stopped paying attention. It’s amazing, amazing to watch him choke like that. I’m just saying, I’m up 24 points in the third quarter, if I’m the head coach, I feel like I could probably just take a knee for the rest of the game, punt it away and there’s no way that Detroit’s gonna drive on you that many times. The only way you’re gonna give up that many points is turnovers, right? It’s hilarious to watch him throw pick sixes, too, back-to-back. I loved it.”

I look at it somewhat differently. Lions were getting pasted by the Cowboys, down 27-3. It's true that Romo then threw three INTs, two returned for TDs and the third leading to a TD by the Lions offense on a short field. But the Cowboys offense was rolling and put up 27 points in a little more than a half against a team that is considered near the top of the conference. I had thought that the Cowboys OL was weak and would undermine their offensive weapons. But the OL was able to block the Lions strong DL and give Romo time to make plays, even witha somewhat slowed Dex Bryant and with Miles Austin missing.. Romo played very well in getting the Cowboys the lead. If you want to make this a referendum on whether Romo will ever be a Super Bowl capable QB, it's a valid question to consider. However, it is undeniable that the Cowboys have enough talent to put up lots of points and their OL may not be the liability that I thought it might be. Without trying to be a Cowboy apologist or one who rationalizes their failures, you can look at the game from the 30,000 foot view and have a different perspective. If you consider all of the offensive plays by the Cowboys, they had many more successful plays than failures. I certainly agree that you can't just eliminate the three turnovers and say "if they hadn't turned it over they would have won". But it certainly shows that the Cowboys have the talent to be a very productive offense based on their 27-4 lead and therefore have to be considered dangerous.


fs2117 said...

I agree. People love to hate Tony Romo. Sure, he could be playing better, but for the amount of value he adds to the Cowboys, he gets far more punishment from the media/public than he should get (I guess that's what you get for playing starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys). Why doesn't Matt Schaub get the same flak? Comparable talent around him, yet he single handily loses games for the Texans every year.

Probably not the best way to look at it, but if you put Romo on a team like the Ravens, he's a Superbowl champ. I think the Cowboys have the right pieces - it's the coaching that's holding them back.

A Redskins fan who would love to see the Cowboys go 2-14

wolfman said...

Good points.

There seem to be some good young QBs in the league this year, but some other up and comers of recent years that have taken a step backwards.

Flacco and Ryan are not playing well at all this year. Rivers seems to have regressed and Sanchez is a bit of a mystery to me.

One way to look at Romo is that he is a high wire act - a real gambler, which is why he sometimes makes some big plays and sometimes makes big errors.