For those Cowboys fans who somehow felt that the promotion of Jason Garrett as permanent head coach would somehow bring good fortune to America’s Team, let me throw two numbers at you.
Seven and six.
This is Dallas’ record under Garrett as head coach.
Just three games shy of a complete regular season’s worth of work, the Cowboys hover just a game above .500 and obviously show no resemblance to any contender I’ve ever seen under the stewardship of mad scientist Garrett.
Now some will still say that Garrett hasn’t had enough time in the position, despite having multiple Pro Bowl players on both sides of the ball. These fans, for some reason, overlook the mediocrity and embarrassment that has befallen the Cowboys since Garrett’s premature arrival as offensive coordinator in the winter of 2007.
Well, it has certainly been offensive.
You did not have to watch Sunday’s loss to a so-so New England team to know exactly where the problems are … again.
Rushing attempts in this contest were more than respectable with a total of 24. This should put you in position to win most games in the NFL, unless, of course, you only averaged a paltry 3.2 yards per carry.
Poor rushing performances are a hallmark of the Garrett offense, which really has no true identity whatsoever. The dramatic shifts in strategy from week to week keep this team and its fans guessing as to which version of Garrett’s bankrupt ideology will appear next.
Looking for balance?
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has more than illustrated that he’s just as capable of throwing four interceptions in a game as Cowboys general Tony Romo. He did so again yesterday throwing a couple against Rob Ryan’s playoff-caliber defense.
But what was the difference here? Romo and Brady both threw as many touchdown passes as interceptions and Romo was on the lesser end of both.
Check this out: Football is not about slinging the ball all over the place, as Garrett-Top and much of the NFL believes.
Football is about running the ball, period. Passing is simply a way of occasionally moving the ball in bigger chunks and also forcing defenses to stay honest with fewer eight man fronts than they would like.
The NFL may have changed its marketing strategy as it childishly tries to add even more passing to a game that America already bought and made No. 1 in overall interest.
But the game, itself, has not.
The Patriots rushed 25 times for 101 total yards. They averaged exactly 4.0 per carry.
I recall former Dallas defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt telling former head coach Jimmy Johnson that if the Cowboys could score more than 20 points against San Francisco in the 1992 NFC Championship Game that the Cowboys would go to the Super Bowl.
Final score was 30-20 as I vividly recall.
See, Wannstedt knew that Emmitt Smith would run enough clock and keep enough passing lanes open for his defense to play its game as opposed to the other way around. The biggest play of that game was Alvin Harper’s mile-long catch and run late in the fourth quarter to set up 1st-and-goal from just inside the ten yard line. This happened because of the 49ers fear of Dallas’ running game.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick likely knew the same thing heading into the Dallas game Sunday. He knew the Cowboys wouldn’t be able to run the ball effectively and that Dallas would leave points off the scoreboard, which they did. The amazing thing is that New England turned the ball over four times and yet Garrett-Top still found a way to not capitalize.
Two weeks ago, Romo was blamed for Garrett’s silly passing frenzy with a multiple score lead against a highly overrated and demoralized Detroit Lions team.
This week it’s likely to be Rob Ryan and his defense’s failure to keep one the best quarterbacks in the game out of the end zone during a two minute drill at the end of the game.
The ugly truth is those awful rushing totals which forced Dallas to kick a silly field goal inside the 10-yard line on the previous possession, thus leaving them up by only three.
So, there’s another game that could have been won with any kind of quality offense … or head coach.