Don't Freak Out, The Cowboys Still Have a Bright Future
On Christmas Eve the Seahawks went to Dallas and won 21-12 The Answer to whos to blame: Everyone on offense including the coaches. In my opinion, the defense played tremendous. They allowed only 169 total yards from the Seahawks. If I were to tell you that before the game, you would have thought the cowboys would win. Not only did they shut down the Seahawks offense, the Seahawks had a ton of penalties which accumulated to over 140 yards. But offensive woes on the Cowboys side resulted in a loss and are now out of the playoffs.
After the Game, in the media, fans, etc. feel likes in man overboard in Dallas. You see or hear the coaches should be fired, a new QB and better receivers. But let me tell you something, it may be a hard pill to swallow but it was expected that the Cowboys were a borderline playoff team. Of course no one expected injuries for many key players or a suspension for Ezekiel Elliot. But at the beginning of the year we all knew how inexperienced their defense was, particularly in their secondary. We knew they would have a tough schedule which was ranked the hardest schedule in the league at the beginning of the year. They are in a much better conference in the NFC and we knew the receivers were getting washed up, particularly Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. In my opinion, this loss needed to happen for the Cowboys, they needed to realize where they actually stood relative to other teams.
Now who needs to go? If you asked Cowboys fans this week in HC Jason Garret needs to go, they might say yes and that he has led this team to, to many mediocre seasons around a record of 8-8. But let me defend Garret, He is coming off a 13-3 season last year, number 1 seed in the NFC and winning coach of the year. That year he had the closest thing to elite that he has ever had. These Cowboys teams over the year never had close to the talent they had then. As far as this year, they had a young secondary, the hardest schedule in the league, 1 key suspension and injuries to key players. Its hard to win regardless who the coach is in those conditions. There are some stats that are directly linked to coaching that we can look at and see that Garret is a good coach. Those stats are 3rd down conversions, penalties and time of possession. In 3rd down conversions, the Cowboys rank 4th, in penalties they rank 9th fewest and in time of possession they rank 1st. All these look good to me. Garret shouldn't go anywhere.
"Dak Prescott needs to go!" No, that's crazy. If the Cowboys can get a much better QB then sure but they don't fall off trees. From this season, we can determine that Dak is not elite. He is a system player, with the right pieces and system around him, Dak can succeed. Not to mention, almost all QB's and all other positions need a system to fit their strengths. Dak Prescott is still a good QB. Dont believe me? Look up QBR rankings this year. According to ESPN, Prescott has the 4th best QBR this year, ahead of some notable players like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rogers and Russell Wilson. And that includes the 6 games where Dak didn't have Ezekiel Elliot and had average to below average offensive talent around him. That brings me to my next point..
"Dez Bryant needs to go and we need new receivers!" Yes, totally agreed. Forget his dramatic antics, Dez Bryant is washed up and is not the same player he was, he is still competent but not a #1 wide receiver, In fact, there's not any team Dez would be on that he would be a #1 receiver. There was a time where you could just throw the ball up to Dez and he would go get it, he forced double teams and could have been in the argument as one of the best in the league at the time of his prime. But the time has come, Dez needs to go. He cant even catch the ball like he used to. But he isnt the only reciever that may find themselves on different teams next year or none at all. First lets talk about TE Jason Witten, nicknamed "Mr. Reliable." Witten is one of the best Tight ends in the history of the NFL but he is getting old. He is incredibly slow and doesn't block as well. Yes he is always there to bail out Dak in any given situation and Witten can still catch almost any ball that's thrown to him. But Witten needs to retire, the sad part is, the backups are worse, cause if they were better. Witten wouldn't even be playing anyways.
That brings me to the other receivers; Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Brice Butler. These guys are just average. or in Terrance Williams case, below average. Williams should have been gone years ago. He is slow, an average route runner and little to no vertical. He is a waste of space in my opinion. As far as Beasley and Brice Butler, they are some nice "role" receivers. Sure, fans would like all better players at the position. But its almost impossible to do a whole new revamp. So to sum it up, Bryant and Williams should find themselves on new teams next year and Witten should retire.
That brings me to a bold prediction I made earlier this December which could be read here, Odell Beckham Jr. could take his talents to Dallas next season.