The Sad Reality of Being a Dallas Cowboys Fan
Writer: Jameson White
Week nine of the NFL season just wrapped up with the Dallas Cowboys having played a Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans; a Titans team coming off a bye-week that has struggled all season to get back to the basics of their offense by failing to run the football, having a young, inconsistent dual-threat quarterback, and an improved, above-average defense. If you’re a Cowboys fan, does this sound familiar? That same Titans team, one who had lost three straight games, just beat the Dallas Cowboys by two touchdowns in a primetime game while having fumbled the football twice within the first 13 minutes of the game and missing a field-goal in the third quarter. It was a game in which Dallas should have had at least a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the Cowboys missed a field goal on their first drive, and then proceeded to score a touchdown and throw an endzone interception on the two extra possessions they got in the first quarter by recovering fumbles. Once the Dallas defense had seen that the offense couldn’t capitalize on excellent field position spoon-fed to them by the Titans offensive turnovers, they portrayed their worst defensive performance of the season; once Tennessee got rolling, the Cowboys defense couldn’t cover a Tupperware container.
Once again, Dallas’ offense did nothing noteworthy despite the opportunities they receiver. Having a former top-five draft pick of a wide receiver in Amari Cooper traded to them provided an early spark, however, he ended the game with only 58 yards receiving. Ezekiel Elliott only had 61 yards rushing. The vaunted offensive line allowed five sacks. Scott Linehan called multiple screen passes on third down-and-long that got nowhere close to being a first down. In other words, it was the same story as it has been for most of this season.
Jason Garrett talked in a press-conference the next morning saying the offensive coordinator would still be the one calling the plays. “I thought we did some good things” was a reoccuring statement from the man with the most bland personality from a suck-up excuse of an NFL head coach that I have witnessed in my lifetime. How both Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan still have their jobs after a loss like that is beyond me.
Jason Garrett’s tenure as the head coach of “America’s Team” has been less than stellar to say the least. His first three full-seasons, he was 8-8. His fourth season, he went 12-4. The next, he was 4-12; in other words, extremely mediocre. What is the most mind-boggling is when you look at the talent he has had in his tenure; he inherited one of the most dominant pass-rushers in NFL history with Demarcus Ware. He had Jason Witten, a top five tight end of all time. Garrett also fielded multiple All-Pro running backs, two different league-leading rushers with Demarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott. Garrett had the most dominant red-zone threat wide receiver of 2011-2014 in Dez Bryant. Jason had three All-Pro offensive linemen, all arguably the best at their respective positions. Although often injured, Garrett had one of the best linebackers of the last decade calling the defense with Sean Lee. Garrett now has up-and-coming defensive stars in Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, David Irving, and Byron Jones. Oh, and not to mention he was given one of the best quarterbacks, statistically, in NFL history with Tony Romo, who was ran out of town in favor of a fourth-round pick who won Rookie of the Year and had the hot hand.
About that fourth-round pick…
Dak Prescott was a Pro Bowler in his first season with Dallas; he was exceptional for a rookie. However, in his sophomore season, he had a touchdown/interception ratio of 22/13. This season, his third as a starter, it is 10/5. He barely averages more than 200 passing yards per game and forces the team to throw the ball within ten yards of the line-of-scrimmage a majority of the time due to poor accuracy. Yet, team owner Jerry Jones keeps reiterating that Prescott “will get an extension.” For any team, wanting a guy to be your “quarterback of the future” while posting back up-level stats is just begging for failure.
If you want to give a quarterback who is just 25 years old the benefit of the doubt, fine. However, if that is the case, the first thing to go should be the coaches. Considering the absurd amount of times that Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan have talked their way out of getting fired, it should be getting close to their time. I am not sure if the Jones’ are worried about starting over or just delusional. Garrett has been the head coach for nearly a decade and has one playoff win to his name; he built a ground-and-pound team that can’t ground nor pound. Linehan is calling plays that might have worked twenty years ago, however, are more than predictable now. The solution to this particular should be relatively clear.
It is the same story nearly every year; a team that boasts a lot of talent, yet, fails to produce the results that made them “America’s Team” in the first place. This is the sad reality of being a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. The Jones’ consistently let personal fear get in the way of the success of the team. Jerry Jones, for once, please listen to the ones who are around you; their voices may be able to lift the Cowboys out of mediocrity.