Free agency has come and gone, the 2014 NFL draft is history and UDFA signings have peaked. The results are what Jason Garrett prefers and expounds, as Cowboys Camp Battles are everywhere. Competition makes players better, right? Except at QB it seems, as we discussed on last nights radio show.
Since Jason Garrett has become head coach, Cowboys camp battles have been emphasized as Garrett strongly believes it’s the way to travel when building a team. This is not radical nor innovative. It’s refreshing to see however as the methodology is proven. Dallas fans need look no further than their own Jimmie Johnson or Tom Landry to find two coaches who preached the same mantra.
As you look up and down the Cowboys roster you see competition. Zack Martin, Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau will be fighting for one spot on the line. Devin Street and L’Damian Washington are locked in an obvious battle for the fourth WR position. Ronald Pughsley and Ronald Patrick will be looking at each other as they vie for one of the last offensive line positions. Holloman, Wilber, Durant and Carter have some things to work out at LB, Wilcox, Heath and Johnson are in the running for one seat at the top of the defense. Crawford vs Mincey, McClain vs Hayden, Bishop vs Coleman, Ben Gardner vs almost anyone along the defensive line. The front office even brought in competition for Ladouceur, one of the best long snappers in the league. At least pressure if not outright competition is applied up and down the roster, except at QB.
Why? Jimmy Johnson drafted Walsh to pressure Aikman. Bill Walsh traded for Steve Young while he had Montana in the house as preparation for the future. Johnson wanted Aikman more focused and productive. Aikman has been quoted as not being fond of the situation and didn’t think it was necessary. Jimmy Johnson has a different viewpoint. Walsh was concerned Montana was perhaps becoming injury prone and did not want to rest the Super Bowl aspirations of the entire team in one fragile basket after two consecutive years of Montana injuries (sound famalier). Montana was not happy about the situation at all if memory serves. How did it work out for the team however? Bret Favre and Aaron Rodgers fans may have individual favorites, but the team is the one that took home trophies with both players at the helm.
Tony is one of the best QB’s in the league and Jerry Jones has made it clear that Romo is his man. This weekend, Romo responded like a champion when asked about the Cowboys possibly drafting a QB. In his now famous stance Tony figured bring it, he would win any camp battle. He wasn’t crushed, he wasn’t a shrinking violet. He is an athlete who thrives on competition. Bill Parcells was reticent to give Romo the keys to the team until he had proven some things versus just being exciting. When Parcells left, all pretense of competition for Romo left with him.
As the Cowboys finish another draft with no QB competition or preparation for the future in sight, one has to wonder, have the Cowboys let Romo down? Would he have been even better with competition? Let me be clear. I know that Romo is uber-competitive and one of the hardest workers on the team. This is NOT a slam on Tony or his efforts. Quite the contrary I am focused on the environment the team has constructed and the effect it has on the win/loss column. The question remains, did competition at QB hurt Aikman, Montana or Brett Favre? The reality is, it’s a trick question. Did competition and preparation at QB help the team is the real query that should be asked and the answer seems obvious.
What say you Cowboys Nation?
Another Left Coast Cowboys Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over