There’s been a great deal of chit-chat this offseason circulating around “America’s Team” on whether or not time is running out for the Dallas Cowboys to make a Super Bowl run.
The Cowboys have yet to win a Super Bowl since the 95 season when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 to win their 5th title in franchise history. And since then, the franchise has only won two playoff games. The recent Cowboys rosters have been flooded with talent, but when the “Dog Days” of December kick in, the talent has done nothing but falter in the critical moments the game throws in the face of every team.
My ears have been open, and my soul searching has hit the inner core of what the real problem in Dallas has been. And with all the jibber-jabber working around the clock, it’s time for me to pull the plug, and give my top 5 reasons why the Cowboys have been missing in action on Super Sunday.
1: Situational Football – Example: Up 27-3 with the ball in second half against the Detroit Lions last season, the Cowboys continued to attack instead of managing the clock and protecting the lead. Instead of running the ball, they elected to make Tony Romo air it out and it cost them big time as the team ended up blowing 24-point lead losing the game.
2: Mental Toughness – It seems as if when the team doesn’t feel pressure, they play at their top level when relaxed. But when the “Football Gods” throw tough obstacles their way, the mistakes in every aspect of the game kick in that destroy a team. And I wonder if these Cowboys are willing to take on the responsibility of being their best when it’s time to be the best?
3: Offensive Line – You wonder why Tyron Smith and Doug Free have swapped from right to left tackle. Smith who made an expected high impression his rookie season at right tackle will now be blocking quarterback Tony Romo’s blind side. Mainly, the offensive line over the past 5 to 7 seasons has been inconsistent, and that’s not good enough to make a title run. You must dominate the line of scrimmage in this game.
4: Defense – Other than DeMarcus Ware, no one else on the defensive side of the ball has been a difference maker particularly on the defensive line. And although the team signed top cornerback, Brandon Carr via free agency and drafted top cornerback, Morris Claiborne out LSU to add young talent in the secondary, someone other than Ware on the defensive front needs to step up and make plays when Ware gets double-teamed. Without consistent pressure upfront, any secondary could get torched.
5: Coaching – This goes back to 1. I wonder if the coaching staff preaches the necessity of situation football enough. Example: Last season against the Patriots with the ball late and a slim 3 point lead and Tom Brady watching on the other sideline, instead of being aggressive, they ran the ball when the run game wasn’t working and punted the ball back to New England giving the game’s best quarterback too much time and lost the game in the final seconds, bad situational late game management.
So there you have it, the real reasons why “America’s Team” has vanished from the greatest stage. It’s not because of Tony Romo’s miscues like even Super Bowl winning quarterbacks have had from time to time. Let me ask America and fans overseas this question. How many first downs has Romo given the Cowboys on his own raw athletic ability when the offensive line got ambushed? How many games would’ve the team won without him last season? If anything, he gives them the best chance to win. The defense needs to step up and the offensive line needs to stop making him run for his dear life. Give him the protection and confidence that he’ll be able to stand tall in the pocket, and not have to move around to find the open man.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, time is running out on the veterans like Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, and Tony Romo who are aging. But a good chunk of young talent is in the process of breaking out. So maybe the window is closing on some, but not the entire franchise?