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, October 02, 2005

They just stink

There are probably a hundred reasons Dallas lost. But there’s only one that really matters.

They don’t have “it.’ The stuff. The goods. What it takes.

It’s personified like this:

Larry Allen makes one block and quits. I know I’ve said that so much it’s like a mantra, but against the Raiders it really mattered. Warren Freaking Sapp whipped him. Larry Allen has two techniques. One pop, and if you don’t fall down, he just stops as the defender runs around him. The second technique, which he employed often in Oakland, is to lean on Sapp or whoever, until the defender just sheds or slips off him and proceeds to make the tackle.

Larry Allen is not a champion. He’s a big, fat, guy with enough muscle memory to be marginally effective.

Julius Jones alligator-arms a pass from Keyshawn Johnson because a defender was looming. Jones didn’t look right Sunday. He looked tired, or dinged, or something. I know he did get dinged, but even before that, he seemed to go down rather easily.

But what the hell, Julius? It wasn’t going to be a touchdown, but you have to make that play. The pass was high, but champions make that play.

Drew Bledsoe was under duress all day, but he was hurrying his throws right from the start. He did it all day whether he was being hurried or not, culminating in the final play which he just flipped out to Glenn which gave Glenn no chance to score even if he had caught it.

But it’s not all about heart. Sometimes you’re just not good enough, or you make a mistake, or you’re poorly managed.

On third down, Bledsoe passed incomplete to Keyshawn on a play that even I knew they’d run. But what followed was pure game butchery. Going by memory, that play, which STOPPED THE CLOCK, left about 1:32 to go in the game.

Bledsoe calls timeout.

Not after Sean Payton or Parcells had wasted time shuffling papers on the sideline and were paralyzed by indecision. He called it right away. Three different things are wildly wrong with this.

One, it didn’t occur to them that the 3rd down play might not work? They didn’t have another play lined up? They’re so confused by needing one play to go five yards that they couldn’t decide which one to run?

Two, THEN THEY PICK THAT PLAY? I doubt Glenn would have scored if Bledsoe’s pass was perfect. At best it would have gone to replay, and maybe they would have gotten a first down inside the one.

Three, it was their first time out. How do you take a time out when if you don’t score, you still have a chance to make a stop with all three timeouts? If they make the stop, Oakland punts from the end zone and Dallas has over a minute to probably drive only about 50 yards. Pure butchery. The very definition of “burning a time out.”

The Dallas D looked like they gave up after Oakland took over on downs, and I almost can’t blame them. Their coaches let them down. They put them in position to lose.


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10:46 AM


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