Breaking Down the Dallas Cowboys Mess: Who's to Blame, What Must Happen Next?

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 18:   Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts between plays against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Even with the win today, the Dallas Cowboys are once again a colossal disappointment, and we're approaching the part of the season when we have to begin examining what Jerry Jones can do to turn his franchise around in a hurry. 

Jones' Cowboys are 5-5 and have been one of the more inconsistent and underwhelming teams yet again. Dallas is currently in second place in the competitive NFC East, but all things considered, the Cowboys don't have a great chance at making the postseason in the ultra-competitive NFC. 

With the Cowboys suffering from trainwreck-like symptoms, it's time to start assigning blame to the guilty parties. It's also time to begin looking toward the future to find a game plan that will allow the franchise to turn around in the near future. 


Who's to Blame?

It's easy to start at the top for Dallas. Head coach Jason Garrett has had a miserable season at the helm of things, both in terms of schemes and simply controlling his locker room. 

Garrett is routinely out-coached, as evidenced by the miserable offensive rankings. The Cowboys are elite in terms of passing yards and total yardage per game, but they rank near the middle of the pack in points scored per game, which simply means Garrett is not putting his team in a position to win. 

Garrett also has issues controlling his players. The Cowboys have committed 13 or more penalties in four games this season. It's a discipline issue that Garrett clearly cannot correct. 

There are other serious issues on the team that deserve some blame, such as quarterback Tony Romo. He's been inconsistent at best and has cost the team games with crucial turnovers. 

Injuries have also derailed the Cowboys' season. Losing running back DeMarco Murray certainly hasn't helped the offense. Defensively things have been great, but the unit has been unable to overcome the offensive inefficiencies. 

While these are all problem areas, Garrett deserves the blame. It's ultimately his job to right the ship, slumping players and injuries or not, and he has failed to do so.


What's Next?

The next move for Jerry Jones is simple. He has to bring in a new head coach and put an end to the Jason Garrett experiment. It may be close to the end of the Tony Romo era as well, considering he may want to test free agency. 

Jones, of course, has interest in his good friend Mike Holmgren, who is on his way out as the President of the Cleveland Browns and reportedly has interest in the head-coaching gig in Dallas

Holmgren is a match made in heaven for the Cowboys, as he could instill a winning culture and actually control the locker room. He's not the only candidate, as options such as Sean Payton and collegiate coaches could be explored. 

Jones needs to find a way to have more consistent drafts as well. The Cowboys have an extremely talented roster, but the front office cannot afford to continue to have inconsistent drafts that result in a mixed bag of talent. 

On paper, the Cowboys are a great team. Jones needs to find the correct mixture in the coaching staff to turn that into an elite team on the field. 

It starts and ends at the top. For the Cowboys to turn things around, Jones is going to have to make some major changes this offseason.