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 16, 2005

Sean Salisbury is an idiot

I didn’t catch the whole thing, but Salisbury was on ESPN News Sunday night saying he couldn’t believe Dallas didn’t take a safety.

This would have been a stupid idea at the time, and in retrospect, it’s lunacy. Dallas recovers a fumble at their own 1-yard line. Two give-up runs and a throwaway and it’s fourth down at the one.

I’m not going to say it didn’t cross my mind to take a safety because it did. But the lead was 7. Making the lead five didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Dallas has already famously given up several long plays this year, so it was far from certain Dallas could make the stop even if they’d gotten off a nice free kick.

And there’s that. A free kick from the 20, unless it gets absolutely boomed, would have been fielded at the 30 or further. Just using averages, if they had netted 40 yards, NY would have had the ball at their own 40.

As it turned out, McBriar had his punt blocked, but this worked out fabulously because the returner was unable to field the punt. With a nice roll, it turned into a clock-eating 51 yard punt. The Giants took over at their own 48. So even if they had taken the safety and the free kick, they would have only been 8 yards better, maybe a little more if the kick and coverage were good.

And two plays later the Giants still would have scored. With the safety, they would have won. I know it’s not really possible to say that the same plays with the same results would have happened if they free kicked (kicked free?). But one way or another, a genius strategy of taking a safety would have bitten Dallas, and Salisbury would have been shouting how stupid it was.

Another win that just shows the hopelessness of it all

This is turning into the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line blog. More on that in a minute.

A lot of other stuff happened, like Roy Williams absolutely stinking at a critical time, AGAIN. There was a three-man rush that gave Eli Manning three and a half days to find a receiver, which he did. And there was not going for it on 4th and two inches at the Giants 10 yard line.

Doesn’t that violate many rules, written and unwritten. As ponderous as TMQ is, his “kick early, go for it late” mantra is a pretty fair one. Then there’s the “play for the tie on the road, for the win at home” saying. And maybe it’s just a saying, but it also works.

Yeah, yeah, you should go for the win regardless, but Parcells didn’t even do that. He goes for it at the dumbest times, then two inches from a chance to put the game away (or maybe not), his testicles shrink.

Can anyone tell me how Dallas controls the clock for 40 minutes, and then with the game on the line and the defense well rested, they give up two Giant plays in a row to tie it?

But the main thing that came out of this game is how crappy the OL still is, and it could get very very worse, very very soon. Center Al Johnson had a bad game inside, and it wasn’t just getting called for holding on what would have been a TD.

But worse, Flozell Adams left the game with a sprained knee and did not return. Adams isn’t as good as he should be, but his VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) is off the chart. His replacement this day was Torrin Tucker. Surprisingly, Tucker was not a sieve, but I thought it was very strange, and dumb, that NY didn’t bring pressure immediately from his side. That won’t last.

And Tucker wasn’t good, he was just kind of… there. He’s really big, and shows some ability. It just seems like his brain doesn’t tell his feet what to do quite quick enough.

So as hard as I’ve been on the OL, I was reminded how much worse it could be. This OL is so thin, and inconsistent, I don’t see the current pattern of looking very good one game/series/play, and atrocious the next, ending any time this year.