Dec. 21, 2016
Any Dallas Cowboys fan that had an inkling that the season was going to play out like that should stand up. Now please sit back down because you are lying. It really has been remarkable as they flipped the switch and with a few keys additions turned the team back to the 2014 team that was in contention for a Super Bowl run. Since the 2016 team looks to be a souped up version of the 2014 team it is important to look at a few factors so we never have another 2015 season.
1. Backup Quarterback. Let us hope we never go through another time in Cowboys history where we have such a mediocre back-up at the most important position on the team. Just imagine if we have spent a draft pick every few years once Tony Romo was the starter on a backup/developmental QB. We could have either been similar to the Packers when Favre was there and they got trade value for such players they developed like Aaron Brooks, Matt Hasselback and Mark Brunel or maybe developed Romo’s replacement. Let’s all be honest we got lucky taking Dak. Hopefully once Dak gets a few years under his belt we continue to spend mid round picks on a quarterback in an effort to never go through a 2015 season again. Funny how we kept drafting Jason Witten’s replacement with second round picks (Anthony Fasano, Martellus Bennett and Gavin Escobar) but the idea of developing someone behind Romo seemed crazy to the front office.
2. Stop With the Risky Picks. Everyone was flying high with the limited success of Rolando McClain and thought we can make Randy Gregory great again. Wrong!! When a talent like that goes without being selected until the bottom of round two bells, whistles and fireworks should being going off. Ironic a few picks later the Green Bay Packers selected Quinten Rollins at CB from Miami O and he has shown to be a bright young player. Imagine if instead of going for the high risk pick we went with a much safer pick. Teaming with Byron Jones, Rollins would have half the secondary locked up for a long time. Funny as the Cowboys will go into the 2017 NFL Draft with cornerbacks a need. Look at the 2016 NFL Draft where we rolled the dice on Jaylon Smith who I hope comes back and shines the way he played at Notre Dame but we could have selected Deion Jones from LSU who was taken later in the round. As a rookie Jones just leads the Falcons defense in tackles. Would you feel better about the Dallas Cowboys defense if instead of Jaylon Smith and Randy Gregory on our roster we had Quinten Rollins and Deion Jones? They knew the risk on both picks and I could understand the gamble if our defense was already top five but I would feel a lot better about the Super Bowl with Rollins and Jones on the roster. Two simple decisions that seem obvious could have set our defense up to be a top 10 defense this year.
3. The Importance of Loyalty to a Point. Many in the media/blogosphere were calling for Jason Garrett to fire many coaches on his staff. Most notable Frank Pollack the offensive line coach and Gary Brown the running back coach were names most mentioned by the “experts.” Amazing how having a legit quarterback and talented running back can make both men look so much smarter. Thankfully for Cowboys fans, Jason Garrett is a very smart man who looks big picture at everything and doesn’t make knee jerk reactions. Like they say if you listen to the fans you might find yourself sitting with the fans.
Don’t get me wrong when a player is coming to the end of his career and he doesn’t realize it we still need Garrett to put the team ahead of the player but don’t cut ties unless you are 100% sure. We likely will have some openings on staff this year as teams always look at success and want to copy it (by hiring from those that are successful). I have full faith in Jason Garrett that he will select the right guys to fill the spots.
Next Up: The Plans for the rest of the season and off-season.