Due to various health related issues, I have not been able to follow sports, much less have the energy to write about it, for several months.
However, after watching my beloved Dallas Cowboys dominate their third game in four attempts this season, yet come away with their third loss in four tries—well, let us just say this is the first time in months that I have had the energy to write about anything sports related, or felt the desire to do so.
So, if you will indulge me, I would like to write about some things that I find inconspicuous yet blatantly obvious at the same time, especially for Cowboys fans.
I noticed (in the box score) from yesterday's game that Dallas dominated, and I do mean dominated, the entire football game: From yards passing to yards/rushing attempt; from tackles for losses, to a 13:28 advantage in time of possession; from quarterback, Tony Romo's first career 400+ yard passing performance, to (his counterpart) Vince Young again throwing for less than 170 yards; hell, Dallas even had three—yes, I said three—receivers with over 80 yards receiving!
A little recognized stat that will not be in the box score was that Dallas pretty much held Titans running back Chris Johnson in check until the fourth quarter, when he scored two touchdowns in the last seven minutes of the game.
Any way you slice this up, the Cowboys physically dominated and outplayed the Titans in every way a team can dominate another, almost embarrassingly so.
And yet, this team with more talent at nearly every position except running back still found ways to lose the game.
I mean, if one were to wake this morning and read the box score, that same individual would likely ask, "How in the name of Texas did the Cowboys lose the game?" Simply put, there were a few reasons.
And all of them have become painfully obvious, as well as repetitive.
First, consider Dallas had 12 penalties for 133 yards. This can be attributed to one thing: lack of discipline; and that can be attributed to one thing: poor preparation; and that can be attributed to one person: the head coach—he would be Wade Phillips.
Next, we look at the one glaring stat I intentionally left out, until now—the turnover battle. More precisely, interceptions.
This is a category that, over the years, we as Cowboys fans are used to seeing the Cowboys not necessarily lose in terms of numbers, but at the most inopportune of times.
Dallas committed three turnovers, all interceptions. Yesterday’s line for interceptions in the box score? Young 0, Romo 3. Points off INTs: Tennessee 14, Dallas 0.
I heard an “analyst” on ESPN actually try to blame the problems on the Cowboys’ offensive line. Well, this time anyway, you can’t blame the O-Line. Dallas became just the fourth team since 2005 to amass over 500 yards of total offense (406 passing, 141 rushing), and control the clock for over 36 minutes (36:44), and still lose the game.
Any way you dice it, that is controlling the line of scrimmage. So get off the offensive line and start putting blame where it needs to go: Wade Phillips and Tony Romo.
Let’s recap. The team, as a whole, is undisciplined. The fault here is wider than the San Andreas and lies squarely on the shoulders of the team’s head coach, Wade Phillips.
The team’s defensive performance was horrendous, giving up 34 points at home against a far inferior offensive unit. The fault here, well, you get the point…Wade Phillips.
And Romo, like his idol, Brett Favre, has done numerous times throughout his NFL career, committed more turnovers than did the other team - and more importantly, a fourth quarter turnover that was absolutely crucial in his team’s loss.
I am tired of hearing both of these men make excuses. I am tired of hearing both of these men say that it is disappointing.
And I am tired of keeping my mouth shut when the truth shall set me free.
We have gathered all the data we need. It is time to bring this experiment to its proper conclusion. It is time for both Phillips and Romo to go, now, while some shred of a season remains.
It was one thing being a fan of the Cowboys when we knew they were going to be horrible. It is yet another to be subjugated to watching these two men ruin what has become now the laughing stock of the National Football League.