There's no way to sugar-coat it. The Cowboys were terrible on offense yesterday in their 10-6 loss to the lowly Eagles. The offensive unit, which has been lighting it up big-time all year, finally laid an egg. It took 'em 14 games to do so, which is a heck of a lot better than anyone could have expected.
There are several culprits who need calling out, and a few who really need to be let off the hook. To wit:
Our Golden Boys on offense, Jason Garrett and Tony Romo, are probably the most culpable. For reasons I don't understand, the Cowboys completely abandoned the run early on, and never came back to it. They are clearly a pass-first team, but have successfully used the run to keep defenses honest. They bailed on it yesterday, and the guy who calls the plays (Mr. Garrett - who knows a hell of a lot more than I do about all things football) clearly did so for some purpose which remains a mystery to me.
Instead of a bit of running, the Cowboys stuck with a passing game that flat wasn't working. Some of the misfiring can, and should, be laid at the feet of the Eagle defense. Jim Johnson had his boys in the right places at the right times. But I think more of the responsibility lies w/ our newly rich QB. Romo was awful. His normal laser accuracy was barely in evidence, with overthrows, underthrows, you-name-its flying all over the place. The receivers didn't do him many favors, with TO Owens and Sam Hurd having the most obvious cement-hands. But Romo so totally didn't have it yesterday.
Props to the defense, with special shout-outs to Demarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff, both of whom had monster games. The defense played well enough to win. They bounced back well from getting torched by Detroit last week and did their part.
I have to pause for moment to single out Roy Williams for some special scorn. Is he the dumbest human in sports? When the league enacts a rule specifically to prevent a tactic you have employed to injure three different players, and goes so far as to name the rule after you, it might be a good idea to refrain from the newly-outlawed tactic, right? So it is w/ Roy and the so-called "horse-collar" tackle. You would think Roy would steer clear of this move, right? Right? Not so much - he drags Donovan McNabb down by the back of the shoulder pads, then throws a fit when he gets flagged for it. Roy, you are an idiot. You deserve the suspension you got from the league, and you deserve a beating from your team-mates.
While we're calling out players for individual actions, Brian Westbrook deserves special mention, but for a completely different reason. When he gave up a sure touchdown with two minutes left to, instead, ensure his team could run out the clock and prevent the Cowboys from getting the ball again, I was stunned. This was the most unselfish, headiest play I think I have ever seen. I was a fan of Westbrook's before. Now, I'm in awe of the guy. Pure genius!
And a final note: For those of you who think Jessica Simpson was to blame for Romo's performance or the loss itself, I have one question for you: Are you people high? Please tell me you're kidding. This theory is too stupid for me to even comment on. Tony, congratulations. I hope she's at every game. Keep it up. It gives me an excuse to post this: