The Digital Journalism Blog


A laundry list of problems: Your 2012 Dallas Cowboys.

By Danny Vernon

The Dallas Cowboys play on a different stage than any other NFL Team. They are “America’s Team.” They garner more coverage on ESPN that any NFL related entity this side of Tim Tebow. The only problem is that they have devolved into what amounts to a mediocre team that will sneak its way into the playoffs only if they are lucky. Everyone, including yours truly, gets blinded by the star on the side of those helmets. I’ve got a news flash for you, Tom Landry isn’t walking through that door. Here is the list of what’s wrong with today’s Dallas Cowboys.

1. Jerry Jones

Of course it’s Jerry. He is one of only two NFL owners who also serves as general manager, and the other is Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown. Let me give you an example of how well this set up works out. Since the Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1996, these two teams have combined for exactly two playoff wins.

Sure Jerry Jones won three Super Bowls, but it could be argued that Jimmy Johnson was the driving force behind those teams. Helping draft talent such as Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. Barry Switzer coached the third Super Bowl winning team after Jimmy and Jerry had their falling out, but that team was so loaded that Mr. Jones could have hired just about anyone to keep the train rolling.

The worst fear that Cowboys fans have is that Jones is only a few years away from morphing into what Al Davis was in his later years with the Raiders. An, old, decrepit, paranoid, out of touch, lunatic, who is running his franchise into the ground.

2. Everybody hates Tony.

I will never understand why Tony Romo gets as much heat as he does. If the Cowboys lose, it’s Tony’s fault. That’s the whole story. It doesn’t matter if the defense couldn’t cover a peewee team or if the offensive line couldn’t block my grandma. Of course, Romo has had a handful of famous meltdowns in big moments (every time I see him botch the hold on that game winning field goal in Seattle I throw up in my own mouth a little).

These famous flame-outs are the fuel that keeps the Tony-bashing fire blazing. You can’t turn on ESPN on a Monday or Tuesday after a Cowboys loss without being forced to listen to everyone debate topics like “Can the Cowboys win the Super Bowl with Tony Romo?” or “Are the Cowboys a contender or a pretender?” I’ll save them all some time. The answer to question one is probably not, but hey, you find me a quarterback not named Rodgers, Brees, Roethlisberger, Manning or Brady that has won the Super Bowl in the last decade. It doesn’t happen for a lot of guys. So let’s all lay off Tony Romo and see him for what he really is. A good quarterback who will win his fair share of games, but also throw a few away in the process.

One things for sure, the Cowboys don’t have any better options. He’s not going anywhere.

3. “Elite Talent” or so says ESPN.

The Cowboys are the most overrated team in the NFL, and it is through no fault of their own. I mentioned in my into people getting blinded by the star on the side of the helmet. Sure, the ‘Boys have some nice players. Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and DeMarco Murray were all guys who were coveted in fantasy football drafts across the country this year.

These are all guys who are trumpeted as among the best in the league by talking heads and fantasy football prognosticators every where. The only problem is that the only two that have put together solid careers at this point are Romo and Witten, and even they haven’t been models of consistency this season.

Austin and Murray are really just guys who each had a break out game that propelled them into starting roles. Each have been injured almost as much as they have been on the field since.

Dez Bryant is just an enigma. He is a freak of nature athlete who missed his last year of college football for hanging out with Deion Sanders, allegedly hit his own mother, got in trouble for having his pants sag too far in a Dallas mall, has his own security detail to help keep him in line and can’t focus long enough to catch a football in a big moment it seems. He’s a guy with a ton of promise who doesn’t seem interested in fulfilling it.

The Cowboys are 3-3 this year and it hasn’t been pretty. They got blown out in two of their three losses. In spite of this, they will still get the treatment that they are a good team when you turn on NFL Live or any other talking head show on ESPN. You know who else is 3-3 right now? The Miami Dolphins. I bet you couldn’t find the words Dolphins and Super Bowl in the same paragraph on ESPN.com.

 

This article was written like it would appear on Grantland.com’s The Triangle.

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