Blog Entry

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

Posted on: January 16, 2009 3:02 pm

I am watching all the network and all forum posters and all the little blog boys and girls give their takes who is to blame for Dallas' seasonal disappointment. Most want to place 90% of the blame on Terrell Owens. Most of these people are also listening to the voices in their heads (I call them ESPN). But when I sat down an took a serious look at if from as many angles as possible I came up with the following list.

  1. Wade Phillips - He has created an atmosphere of softness and unaccountability to include the coaching staff and players a like. His leadership and diciplinarian skills are extremely lacking. Players may respect him as a person (I don't really know or care), but they definitly do not respect him as a coach. This is his own making and not the making of anyone else.
  2. Jerry Jones - I would put him above Phillips except for the fact that I don't believe for a second that Jerry Jones thought Wade would be this inept as a head coach. He hired Jason Garrett prior to signing Phillips and this seems to be a source of tention between the two. It is obvious that the coaching staff is not on the same page, therefore you can not expect chemistry within the team itself. Also, resigning himself to keeping Brad Johnson last season has proved to be a very costly mistake.
  3. Jason Garrett - His play calling skills have been non-existant in the 2008 season. They seemed to be diminishing towards the end of the 2007 season as well. I don't know if it is because the players stopped responding or if the lose of Tony Sparanno was the key issue but he clearly has a lot of work to do to set the offense straight. Granted he might not even return depending on the coaching carousel.
  4. Wade Wilson - Wilson has done little to nothing in improving Tony Romo's fundamentals. If Tony  is not responding to training then he needs to find another way or speak with Coach Cupcake and Red Jesus about it. This is one reason why he is 4th and not higher on the list is because of his lack of power within the organization.
  5. Tony Romo - He has, as stated above, has a serious lack of fundamentals the result in an series of extremely costly mistakes that cost the Dallas Cowboys more than 1 game. Under Bill Parcells, Romo managed to curve his fumblitis for the most part and became a top quarterback. We all know he has the talent but within the atmosphere created by Phillips, Romo is little more than an average signalcaller. The injury was a factor, but his decision making skills and his read progression have regressed back to the level of a rookie quarterback straight out of college. He above all other players needs to forgo his off season in lue of an extensive training regiem. Next season he could be up for the most improved player award or comeback player of the year.
  6. Cory Procter - He has been a major factor in Romo's regression into mediocrity. His complete lack of skills allowed more sacks in this season than any other line player for the Cowboys in the last 3. There is no hope for him.
  7. Brian Stewart - His inability to call a defensive play is well documented over the last two seasons. It was not until Coach Phillips took control of the defense turned them into the beasts that we all witnessed mid to late in the season that Dallas truely became a defensive threat. Unfortunatly, It was too little too late.
  8. Adam Jones - While his off the field exploits were well documented, Jones' on the field contributions were lacking in most areas. He played well on the defensive side of the ball deflecting the most passes for the season for the Cowboys given his limited time on the field. However, his return skills had grossly diminished from his days as a Titan and irresponsiblity and lack of accountability off the field let him to miss the a vast majority of the season. Even if his skills improve over the off season, his inability to stay on the field during the season makes him a great liability. Dallas, I believe, was correct in releasing Adam Jones.
  9. Injuries - The number of key players injured this season for the Cowboys was substancial. The fact that they could not get Felix Jones, Kyle Kosier and Miles Austin back on to the field was a direct result of their strength and conditioning staff. The Dallas trainers this season have failed the Cowboys. Injuries are apart of the game but the fact that all three players were injured and reinjured again during rehab just baffles me.
  10. Terrell Owens - While most believe that he is the key culprit in Dallas' demise, I believe that releasing T.O. will be the single biggest mistake this off season. My only faults for T.O. are missed opportunities on the field. He is known for dropping the ball in pressure situations. Part of that stems from the throw itself but sometimes he just stone hands the ball. He is known for quitting on a play. That was evident against the Packers when he chased down Charles Woodson after a Tony Romo interception. Another fault of his that is about 50/50 as far as blame is concerned is his "Media Magnet" ability. Early in his career he created this issue. Now he has become a victim of it. With media sharks like Ed Werder and Matt Mosley prowling around the lockerroom looking for "Anonymous Sources" that will ultimately be used as fuel to spark the soap opera that is Dallas. The media does everything they possibly can to spike their ratings by trashing someone elses reputation or precived reputation.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2009 5:02 pm

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

The thing that is missing from the team is a head coach with a heavy hand.  There is no excuse for this roster other than they weren't coached up.  I believe Coach Phillips is a great defensive coordinator, but too nice to be a head coach.  He has failed miserably simply because he is not tough enough.  Practices are not intense or physical, and nothing gets accomplished.  His in game decisions are fairly sound, but a coach earns his money and prepares his team during the week.  Sundays are a culmination of weekly preparation.  With that being said, the owner doesn't allow for a tyrant head coach in the organization.  He let Parcells, but he didn't like it.  He has had 2 head coaches like that, and Johnson won 2 Super Bowls, while Parcells didn't stick around long enough to see the fruits of  his labors.  Plenty of talent in Dallas, no accountability.

Since: Oct 29, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2009 9:02 am


Excellent analysis X-Ball. Only thing I'd do differently is put Jerry as #1. I agree with you that Phillips is worse than Jerry expected, but I think that's a chicken vs. egg issue. Is Phillips naturally that bad, or is he worse because he knows it wouldn't matter if he were a disciplinarian - he knows all the stars would have to do is go crying to Jerry & company and what he did try to do would be undone.

I say get rid of Jone first, then see what happens!

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: January 17, 2009 8:47 pm

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

X Ball Hawk - Man, you nailed it. One thing you forgot to mention was the Special Teams. It was pathetic to see that group. As bad as the rest of the team was... that unit had to be one of the worst I have ever seen. Our kickers were good. but everything else made me sick.

Blu Cool -

Man, you just wasted an hour of typing the most rediculous thing I've ever heard about Romo.

1. Everyone knows the main reason they let Carter go was because of knowlege of a drug habit. Even if it was just marijuana (which reports say it was cocaine), why should they allow most important player on the team to do any of this? None of these "troubled players" were the QB.

2. The NFL has alot of good players that never get drafted.

3. Last this quote... "if he doesn't get it done this season coming,............HE AIN'T GONNA."  - WOW! How could you sit through the past 2 1/2 seasons and really beleive that load of crap? There have been several NFL good QB's that haven't won a Superbowl in their 1st few seasons. Some have never. Maybe he doesn't even do it this next season. To say NEVER is rediculous.

Since: May 28, 2008
Posted on: January 17, 2009 1:10 am

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

I'm looking at your assessment, and I'm wondering if a lot of your assessments is a curse of getting what you asked for.

I've looked at your list and after careful research have assessed that Jerry Jones largely is the blame for many of the symptoms of this talented cast not winning.  They are all by-products of Jerry Jones ego over riding his common sense.   His ego has proved 12 years after letting Jimmy Johnson go that he doesn't know where to turn to rebuild this team mind, body and soul towards the goal of winning a Superbowl.

You can buy talent, but you can't buy direction and focus, you have to instill it, every coach and every player.  

Wade Philips: We haven't seen him yet instill direct focus on winning the Superbowl.  Have you noticed in interviews how TO has been the only one not scared to say "I wanna win a Superbowl"???  Everybody else talks around it that, but that's the focus right??? Win a Superbowl not "win games" as Romo puts it because he's scared to say "We want to win a Superbowl".   See it starts with saying what you want then working toward it,........not hiding it by beating around the bush saying we need to do better.    The Bible doesn't say beat around the bush and I'll give you what you want does it?

It says "Knock and the door shall be opened, ask and you shall recieve" period.  It doesn't say be politically correct.  But the idea is in the mindset,........if they just want to "win games" as Romo puts it then they're never going to win a Superbowl, because a Superbowl is not just a game it'a thee game, and so is each playoff game,.........which is why they can't win any it seems.   They're busy trying to play by the book and win a game, and the other team is trying to win at any cost and they simply don't know how to do that and an easy going coach isn't going to get them to.

With Wade W, Jason G, and Tony Romo what you have is the Jerry Jones good ole boy system hard at work.   People who don't really deserve the job getting the job,........and then not doing it.  

Wade Wilson,.........okay name what he did on the field or as a coach lately if at all that was above what Troy Aikman did ever??

Jason Garrett has one good game as a Cowboy to his credit if you recall.

And then there's Romo:,..........lets go over exactly why Romo is the starter or even on the team for that matter.  It wasn't what he knew because at the combine he got passed up remember?  It was the fact that Sean Payton was an E ILL alum and that he pushed for him on that premise only to Parcells, who had the owner his pocket, and so because he knew some people who knew some people Romo got a roster spot,........didn't earn it, just knew the right people.

Now he's on the the team but never gets above 3rd QB on the roster,.........why because he can't compete because he's just not the guy for the starting job.   What happens,.......right when he's about to get cut from the roster, but because he knows some people who know some people, Quincey Carter suddenly gets the axe.   Now lets keep in mind the troubled players of the 90's and how even through this trouble Jerry Jones didn't cut em,..........AS LONG AS THEY WERE WINNING HIM SUPERBOWLS SO HE COULD LOOK GOOD.

But now suddenly for arguably less of a problem than any of his predecssors Carter gets the boot, and Romo gets to stay.   He doesn't prove he's better, he gets to stay because he knows some people who know some people,.........he ain't proved he could throw TD one, but he gets to stay over a guy who proved he could at least win the starting job.

So he gets to stay, but he still is on the bottom of the depth chart,........until Bledsoe self destructs because the writing is on the wall.  Now lets be straight here Bledsoe was not the first failed attempt right???    There are no less than four other QB's while Romo is on the roster that start ahead of him one of which was a draft pick, and through them all Romo can't get the starting job in competition,........why,.......because he constantly makes bad decisions in pass rush traffic (I'll bet you never knew that did you), how does he finally get the job,.............because Bledsoe finally fizzled out and there was really no one left remember that Giants game?

So now he's not just the guy who had to step up lets not forget, HE'S THE ONLY GUY THEY GOT.  So this was never Romo beating anybody for the job, it was him hanging on waiting for other people to fizzle out.   But now through two full seasons we've watched Romo be consistant in just one area, forcing bad passes into traffic,....................

But hey you wanted this guy and this is what you got in Romo so far,...........a guy who it doesn't look like he can get it done.   Oh and news flash,......if he doesn't get it done this season coming,............HE AIN'T GONNA.

In about the same time playing, Aikman was already on the road to winning Superbowls and playoffs, you judge for yourself. If you want to sit through another season of wondering if he's still the guy when he never was, have at it.   Another by-product of the Jerry Jones ego trip gone sour.

The rest of the players you named and the fact of the injuries,..........hey every team has playes that don't own up to their responsibilities, and injuries are what really tell about a teams true strength for if they can't over come those common and regular occurrances that are part of the game then they don't deserve to be called a strong team.

The Giants proved that with just the absence of one player(Plaxico).   How far did this ridiculous "Earth Wind and Fire" running game everybody made so much about get them without the benifit of the passing threat Plax allowed that seperated the defense and made them easy pickings underneath????

So if they were truly strong the absence of one player shouldn't have made a difference, but no one could step up so it was just a  matter of time before they fizzled.   I saw one Giants fan remark on how they still got the number one seed, without Plax,........what he was ignorant to is that all teams are not going to face an opponent with the players to counter your other threats and so it just ends up being a matter of time before you face a team that can stop you,.........but in the end, if you don't have players that can step up in another players absence, your opponents will expose your weakness',.......that's what happened to the Giants,...........and the Cowboys, was just a matter of time before the right teams with the right players and coaches exposed their weakness and then anybody could beat them.

It still boils down to three things.

Jerry Jones has to get over his ego and let a guy step in who will instill a crew of coaches with the mindset and will and discipline to want to win Superbowls not games.  And a team that will say in and out of the media spotlight that they want to win a Superbowl, not just games, and get better.   A team that is not full of guys who are great one dimensionally as in Ware is great at getting sacks, but has yet to show ability to get into the QB's head or direct the front seven to stop offenses like lets say Ray Lewis.

And Romo has yet to take that same responsibility and do more than throw the ball around.  When's he's going to do his own studying of defenses and learn to single out defenders and defence's and out think them on his own without relying on the play being called in,.........why is TO the only true leader who will speak up and say "I WANT TO WIN A SUPERBOWL"????

Why is he the only real player on the team?

The answer is Jery Jones ego, for 12 years it's been the same answer, and it will be until Jerry Jones changes his tune. 

I lay all those afore mentioned at Jerry Jones feet as evidence to his in-ability to get over himself and his ego.  Jimmy Johnson must laugh every day at this really dumb decision.

The rest

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:08 pm

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

The major topic that everyone is fixating is Terrell Owens. My issue with that is, if you have strong leadership from the top of the organization (Owner, GM, Head Coach) then you can minimize the impact that a strong personality has to the rest of the organization and channel it into a viable productive leader within the locker room. With that said, TO should not be the scape goat in this scenario. The true cancer would be, as you said, discipline. Discipline comes from the coaching staff, but when you have two coaches that are not on the same page (and both are head and assistant head) your locker room chemistry is dead before you even get to the players. Respect is lost from the get go and the team as a whole suffers because they fail to realize what the true issues are and they become consumed by their own petty prides. TO gets a lot of blame because of everyone within the Dallas Cowboys' organization, he is the most visible and the easiest to exploit. Bruce Read was a good start. Brian Stewart was a much better demonstration. Now if Garrett goes to St. Louis then Wade will be the ultimate sign that Jerry is serious about chemistry and change in his organization.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2009 9:13 pm

The Blame Game: Dallas Cowboys Edition

Bro, this is a pretty concise assessment of what is wrong in the big "D." That being said, the main cancer in the organization stems from another "D" discipline. Phillips, Jones (the owner), and any other top dogs should reconsider the laisse faire attitude of the recent years. Top notch talent withstanding, there needs to be distinctive management styles enforced on players according to their personalities and motivational capacities. You can argue that Pac Man & Terrell are in need of disciplinarians, but the 'boys should have adjusted to this ahead of the game.  From the outside looking in, Phillips is a little lax to handle these type of personalities. Then again, it is my opinion that most coaches would have difficulty with these two individuals.

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