The season isn’t over for the Dallas Cowboys, but the sparks are already flying with fans and media about the future of the team. At 8-7, after missing key players throughout the season, it wasn’t all bad, it was just a far cry from what many expected.
Before we close the books on this disappointing year, let’s set the record straight on some of the craziness that’s been mentioned. You know the stuff that’s out there, the “fixing the Cowboys would be easy if they just did this” type of nonsense. Let’s separate fantasy from reality.
Fantasy: The Cowboys should fire Jason Garrett. As I’ve noted numerous times here, it isn’t happening, so find something else to complain about. We all think it’s probably time to move on, but the man who signs the checks and makes those decisions is at least another subpar year away from this happening. Again, Jerry Jones needs to be right, and giving up on Garrett is an admission that he’s wrong about his handpicked golden boy. That is not happening, yet. Oh, and stop the nonsense about the clapping being an issue, dumbest thing ever to complain about.
Fantasy: Tony Romo will come back and be the offensive coordinator, or as coach. Folks, not to insult anyone who believes this has any chance of coming true, but this is the dumbest suggestion ever. It. Is. Not. Happening. Romo is happy in the television booth and is extremely good at his new job, he’s not coming back after just one season to be ridiculed by Cowboys fans again so soon after leaving. Let’s give him a few years in the broadcast business before suggesting this foolishness.
Reality: The Cowboys need another legitimate wide receiving threat. Dez Bryant still has his moments and is a very good receiver, believe that. Perhaps he’s not the true #1 receiver that he used to be, but he can still win those 50/50 balls, is a red zone monster and excels at digs and crossing patterns. Get him in space with the ball in his hands, he’s still a terror. However, he doesn’t have burner speed to stretch the defense (he never did), and it’s an element the offense sorely needs. The Cowboys don’t have anyone capable of doing that, it’s a major missing piece.
Reality: Cowboys need to look into another starting tackle. As much as it hurt to say this, the Cowboys cannot fully trust Tyron Smith anymore. He’s been hampered by injuries in the last few years and the back issues are a bad sign. Smith still plays at a high level, but he clearly wasn’t as dominant this season and the team cannot be derailed when he’s out of the lineup. Dallas doesn’t need to replace him, yet, they just need to be prepared to play without him, with a high quality tackle. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of the end for Smith, but that reality exists.
Reality: See above, just replace Smith with Sean Lee. Cowboys need to prepare to play without Lee and not have a catastrophic drop-off.
Fantasy: Dak Prescott isn’t the answer at quarterback. Let’s slow down the hate on Prescott, he wasn’t as good this year as he was last season, but pieces around him crumbled in his sophomore campaign. Dak needs help and probably some better coaching. His pocket presence was an issue and his accuracy/footwork still needs to be improved, but Dak is a hard worker and can play. After just his second season it’s amazing to see people jumping off the bandwagon, there was a lot of moving pieces for Dak and the offense this year, let’s give him some more time (possibly a new coach or two).
Fantasy, but could be reality: The coordinators need to go. This is a strange one, both insiders for the Cowboys, Bryan Broaddus and Mike Fisher have strongly hinted that both will likely be back, but Jones also said there will be coaching staff turnover. Of course, this could be part of the game, but it looks as though both will return, much to the chagrin of fans. Scott Linehan didn’t have his best season calling plays, but there was a ton of change mid-season and injuries never allowed the offense to be set much of the year. The lack of stabilization due to injury and suspensions really hurt the rhythm of the offense. Either way, ridding themselves of Linehan would be a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t appear likely.
Fantasy: Cowboys need to hire a real General Manager. This is the biggest fantasy of them all. Jerry isn’t firing himself and will remain the GM, please stop the madness. You really should find something else to complain about on this front.
This isn’t really the time for a post-mortem, but there is just too much trash out there regarding the direction for the Cowboys. It was too difficult to let sleeping dogs lie for another few days, some of these things just aren’t happening. Someone needed to let you know.
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