Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Offense: Anybody got a play for 3rd and 50?

Off. Bad. Sour. Stale. Rotten.

Past its sell-by date.

All synonyms for rancid, which is the first word I’d use to describe the Cowboys effort against Arizona. The Cowboys have gone bad, and they’re not coming back.

I’m sure this corpse can be prettied up and made so the smell can’t immediately be detected. Weaknesses will be covered up or schemed around. They’ll win some games. They have a few superior players.

Julius Jones. Jason Witten. Mat McBriar.

McBriar’s the punter, by the way. Damn fine one, too.

But this squad is bad where it really matters – the line.

Again, Andre Gurode. Parcells must have moved him to Center to just give him one last chance. He was a bad RG. He was terrible at C last night.

I’m watching with Tivo, and I’m replaying every play 2-3 times, and I can sense my wife is about to give me the, “are you going to watch the whole game this way?” With the perfunctory eye roll and/or groan.

Instead, she gave me, “you really like Tivo don’t you?”

Right then, Gurode tackles a guy and I say, “that’s going to be holding, number 65.” Mike Carey says those same words and I tell her I didn’t even need Tivo for that one.

Thing is, Gurode wasn’t even the worst OL in the game last night. That had to be RT Torrin Tucker, who somehow started 13 games last year.

In case anyone thinks I was joking about 3rd and 50, check this series of plays after the Cowboys actually got something going, and had 1st and 10 at the Cardinal 15 early in the second half:

Holding by Tucker. 1st and 20.

Holding by Tucker. 1st and 30.

Run for minus 4. 2nd and 34.

Run for minus 1. 3rd and 35

False start by Crayton. 3rd and 40

Holding by Peterman. 3rd and 50

Meaningless preseason? Meaningless 2nd/3rd team results? I’d hang on to that if the 1st team had done anything. But they netted 12 yards their first five series.

Larry Allen makes one block and quits. Marco Rivera was not bad, but not really good either. They have no Center. After they mercifully got Gurode out of the game, Al Johnson was flattened on one play where he was pulling. Even the Cowboys announcers said he got creamed. They started a rookie at RT, and he played awful.

Flozell Adams wasn’t horrible.

The OL is full of average to downright bad players. There will be no turnaround for this group. Even the players with some talent, like Allen and Adams, are either unmotivated, over-the-hill or otherwise disinterested. They are past their sell-by date.

Hard to say about Rivera. He wasn’t a turnstyle, but he didn’t show much either.

After that, there is a steep drop in talent that I don’t think can be schemed around.

Here are some possible solutions that might make this season bearable to watch but still ultimately unsuccessful:

Find a Center on the waiver wire.

Run the ball a whole lot

Use three step drops almost exclusively.


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10:52 AM


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