Jerry Jones had only two options: stand idly by while his team perpetuates mediocrity or make a change that will, at the very least, change the direction of the ball club.
Growing up, a saying was around that used to make kids think about making the right decision. It went like this, “What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.”
This is one of those situations.
There was plenty for Cowboys Nation to like about the outgoing Rob Ryan, who brought the complex defensive scheme that we all believed this team needed in order to achieve the success its talent suggested. Ryan became the intense coach that fired up his players and, for the most part, his players performed for him.
Yet, despite his players’ willingness, the desired results were not achieved.
Because of this .500 loop, owner and GM Jerry Jones was forced to make a change. In fact, he promised a change. Now for the first time in the last eight years, Jerry Jones has done something that will directly impact the direction of this franchise.
In another season that was a huge disappointment, the Cowboys looked lost and confused on defense. The secondary looked puzzled on numerous occasions and allowed opposing offenses to expose them.
In 2012, the defense regressed in almost every area in relation to 2011. They surrendered 53 more points, just less than 200 more yards and allowed more yards per play.
As a unit, the Cowboys defense was penalized 52 times, 18 of which were pre-snap. Pre-snap penalties are a direct indication of undisciplined players.
The point is that when a franchise is .500 two years in a row and there is a developing trend of undisciplined play, then people are going to start losing their jobs. When you’re the coach of a defensive unit that is digressing, injury or not, you’re impact among the team is going to be questioned.
So what about the offense?
The numbers suggest that that something needs to improve on the offensive side of the ball as well, a unit that committed 66 penalties of their own.
Exit Skip Peete.
The Cowboys' passing offense remained relatively on par. They had more yards but yielded a bit in touchdowns. As a whole, the offense scored more points than they did in 2011.
The big issue was the running game.
The Cowboys regressed to the tune of .8 yards-per-carry less and 542 less yards. The Cowboys offense is known for its balance, but the lack of productivity from their running backs forced them to rely more on the passing game.
Tony Romo and Jason Garrett do deserve some of the blame, but there are other people on this offense who aren’t doing their jobs. Coaches and players alike, everyone must be accountable to their responsibilities.
So as we move on with this “uncomfortable” offseason, I anticipate more moves. Perhaps it’s the defense staff next (ESPN reports they will interview for their jobs), maybe it’s Bill Callahan, maybe it’s even a player getting traded. Heck, though I seriously doubt it, maybe Jason Garrett himself could be on the chopping block.
Jerry Jones is running a business and you can be sure he doesn’t enjoy losing the same way fans don’t. The Cowboys have become the laughing stock of the NFL because of their high expectations and consistently pedestrian performance.
This Jerry Jones means business. Maybe, just maybe, this is the Jerry the Cowboys have needed all along.