My friend Joe once gave me a bit of insight into how to build a successful NFL team. He said you should start with the lines and work your way out from there. It sounded like a good approach then, and it sounds even better now, the day after the Redskins completely had their way with the Cowboys 35-7.
To me, the Cowboys' problems in this game (and for the past few weeks) started with the offensive line. That's not where the problems ended; no one played particularly well. But, the O line was the root of all evil in DC yesterday.
We've watched the play of the entire line, and Torrin Tucker in particular, get worse each week. At some point, shouldn't they be getting, you know, better? Unless they're just not very good players to begin with.
I think that's where we are w/ Tucker. I just don't think he can play in the NFL. You hate to say that about a fellow human, but lets face it. Tucker spent more time on his back yesterday than a Thai hooker on Free Condom Night in Patpong.
Bledsoe has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's still got something, as long as he has time. A more mobile QB might not have taken 7 sacks yesterday, but even Mike Vick was going down at least 5 times. I counted at least four occasions where the offensive lineman (Tucker, more often that not) got blown off the line so far that he actually wound up 5 yards upfield from where his man had just crushed the life out of Bledsoe. For most of the game, it looked like Drew was standing in front of the main entrance at Pink Elementary at 3:00 on the last day of school. At least, that's what it would look like if the students at Pink suddenly all developed enormous thyroid problems.
Barber and Jones have shown enough over their very short careers to make me think that the lack of a running game is not completely down to them. Unless you're Walter Payton (and neither of these guys are), you need some holes to run through. What's happening on passing downs speaks for itself, thus the offensive line is suspect in all aspects, running game included. They are, to me, guilty until proven innocent.
Santana Moss has the Cowboys' number like no one else this year. The Cowboys' D may have been a bit overrated earlier in the year, but they did manage to carry the offense, and keep the team in most games. It's hard to blame them for getting torched by the Redskins. I'm surprised it took them until game 14 to finally wear down. They spent WAY too much time on the field yesterday, thanks to the offense's inability to do anything.
And I've got to finish up with a mention of the Pear-Shaped Football "Genius" and his staff. We've watched this team get worse from week to week since the bye. What, exactly, have you done to improve things? Is this REALLY the best we can do on the offensive line? There isn't ANY other combination of guys you want to try out? Didn't you draft an O lineman in the third round this year? Don't you even want to look at him?
And what the HELL was Bledsoe doing in the game when it was 35-0 late in the 3rd quarter and he was getting hammered every time he dropped back? Did you REALLY think there was that big a comeback in these guys? Romo and Henson haven't smelled the field yet this year. It hasn't been appropriate for them to do so in the close games, but yesterday was an outstanding opportunity to allow them to take one for the team. If Bledsoe gets hurt, it really is all over.
The Cowboys still have an outside chance to make the playoffs. The entire season basically comes down to this Saturday's game at Carolina. You think Julius Peppers is looking over his contract, counting up all the incentives that he can make against this ridiculous line?