What They Should Be Thinking Today: Dallas Cowboys

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 24, 2012

Sep 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett argues for a call with head linesman Wayne Bernier (10) during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

In an attempt to get inside the heads of NFC East teams, we occasionally take a step back by looking at what each squad should be thinking at any given point. After holding on to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, here's what should be going through the Dallas Cowboys' heads.


We have the talent

You know how rare it is to win despite three turnovers, 13 penalties, four sacks and 11 negative plays on offense? And yet we did exactly that Sunday. We're much better off being a mistake-prone team with the personnel to win a Super Bowl than a careful, efficient team without said personnel. 

But this can't continue. We now lead the league in penalties, and only four teams have worse turnover ratios. Obviously, we won't always be able to win in spite of such sloppy performances on offense. So we have to take the fact we have the talent to overcome the majority of these errors and use it to inspire us to eliminate said errors.

We were bailed out Sunday by great defensive play and a terrible offensive performance from our opponent. We're not expecting a bailout next Monday night against Chicago, so we have a lot of work to do this week.


Our four best defensive backs must be on the field as often as possible

With Barry Church out and Gerald Sensabaugh hurt, we're razor thin at safety. And considering the lack of depth we had at that position heading into the season, it's not an ideal spot to lose starters. 

But on the bright side, safety's sister position, cornerback, is our deepest, and we have three corners capable to taking safety reps if need be. We put Brandon Carr in Sensabaugh's spot often against the Bucs, but Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick could get snaps going forward too. 

So rather than sending Danny McCray or Mana Silva out there consistently, we oughta consider using three or even four cornerbacks at a time. That way, we're ensuring that we're squeezing as much talent as possible out of the 11 players we have on the field.


Jason Witten might need a breather

We can't concern ourselves with Witten's feelings here. He's obviously playing through pain or is simply not producing for whatever other reasons that might exist. Regardless, he's struggling to such a degree that he's hurting our offense right now.

This isn't baseball, where we could just drop him down a few spots in the lineup or give him a day off, but we're still considering giving John Phillips and James Hanna some extra reps going forward. Might as well see what we have in them, because right now it can't get much worse than what Witten's bringing to the table.

With the offensive line struggling, we need our tight ends on point more than ever. If Witten doesn't get his game together very soon, we might have to bench him.