Cowboys-Bears initial thoughts

• The Cowboys should open up the roof to let the stink out.  The OL is not good, but there’s nothing new there. The more alarming issue that reared its head in somewhat surprising fashion was the complete and total breakdown by the Cowboys secondary.  Bears receivers were wiiiiiiiide open all night.

• Dez Bryant had one of the worst 100 yard receiving games you’ll ever see.  To be determined (or not) who was at fault on the Charles Tillman INT return.  I’ll be honest – I’m inclined to just always blame Dez (he also shot JFK… and JR), but Gruden did a good job breaking down what he thought the communication was between Romo and Dez pre-snap.  It sure looked to me like Romo was expecting a hitch, and Dez ran a go. His drop on the deep ball was horrid.

• Mackenzy Bernadeau is not a good player.  I want to be careful not to overreact here, but it won’t surprise me if he’s not starting when the team returns from its bye week.  It started on the second offensive play of the season, when Lawrence Taylor, er, Rocky Bernard blew right past Bernadeau for a sack, and hasn’t gotten much better.  Last week the Buccaneers tried to run stunts to get one on one matchups with Michael Bennett on Bernadeau, and were very successful with it.  Bernadeau couldn’t block him, and he struggled all night with Henry Melton and others.  Teams are going to begin game planning around exposing Bernadeau.  It’s time to get him out of there.

• Speaking of benchings, the QB numbers tonight:

Player Comp Att Yards Avg TD INT Rating
Tony Romo 31 43 307 7.1 1 5 60.1
Kyle Orton 9 10 89 8.9 1 0 137.1


Ha, just kidding.  I actually thought Romo played very well tonight… for about 3 quarters.  The shovel pass (or whatever it was) that Lance Briggs took to the house was a mess, and his two other picks in garbage time were ugly.  But he put together a scoring drive in which he got no protection on multiple occasions, escaped sure negative plays and somehow got the ball down field to his receivers.  He has no help.  Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are dropping passes like madmen (although Witten didn’t have any tonight), guys are running wrong routes (or quitting them), and he has no protection whatsoever.  I suspect a lot is going to made of his 5 INTs and the fact that he now leads the league in that category, but really, I can’t imagine too many QBs having any success in the situation Jerry Jones has surrounded him with.

• Hey Rob Ryan, when the Bears have the ball at their own 6, and you can use a big play in the worst way, maybe that’s not the time to drop DeMarcus Ware into coverage.

• I wonder what percentage of that stadium was Bears fans.  Terrible job by Cowboys fans.

• The Cowboys have off this week, and when they return, they face the following schedule: At Ravens, At Panthers, Giants, At Falcons, At Eagles.  Ouch.  The Cowboys had a chance to build some serious equity after their huge win on the road Week 1 in NJ.  Didn’t happen.

• Salaries are complex, but if you take the average yearly pay of each of the Cowboys 5 starting offensive linemen, it’s a combined $18.724 million per year.

• Felix Jones should just take a knee if he fields the ball anywhere in the end zone.

• Bright spots… Hmmm… Sean Lee?

• Some quick facts:

  1. Only one team (the Jags) has scored fewer points per game than the Cowboys.
  2. The Cowboys have the second worst point differential in the NFL (-23), behind only the Panthers (-29).
  3. Tony Romo, as mentioned above leads the NFL in INTs, with 8.
  4. The Cowboys went from the #1 defense in the NFL to #5 tonight.

OK, I think that’s enough for now.  More after I watch the tape.


  1. Nick Saban & Geno Smith Coming soon !

  2. Pat says:

    At what point do we say, Hey this Cowboys team is not as talented as the hype that surrounds them? I’m no analyst by any means, but it seems like consistency, and not potential, should be more important in evaluating the Cowboys. You can have all the potential in the world, but if you can’t bring it damn near every day, maybe one bad game a year, its hard to count on.

    I feel like this happens a lot on really popular, national spotlight teams: A player has a few great games strung together, and then they are considered elite for their career while having marginal effects on games for the rest of their career. Or even they have a good year and everyone is ready to anoint them “elite” status despite them being an average player. I’m not saying that the entire Cowboys team is like this, just an observation I have. There are too many “elite” players out there for them all to truly be elite.

    1. “At what point do we say, Hey this Cowboys team is not as talented as the hype that surrounds them?”

      3 years ago.

  3. Anyone catch that Rick Reilly report about the Cowboys Cheerleaders? Pretty embarrassing evening for Big D all around. First they run a National investigative report on how Dallas used to have male cheerleaders up until the 1970s right before a National beat down on MNF.

    Rick Reilly: “So do your students/friends/family know that you were a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader?”
    Male University President in TX: “Ugh…they do now. I guess”
    Rick Reilly: “I bet Cowboys fans won’t want you to know they had male cheerleaders, but the truth is they did”

    Great night for Dallas. Swell.

    1. horatius says:

      teeee heeeee heee

  4. Starting NFC East quarterbacks have now combined for 19 interceptions. Griffin has 1 of them.

    1. horatius says:

      Ah. Is your handle a tribute to your fave QB McNabb??

  5. mutton_man says:

    Romo looked good? He was overthrowing wide open receivers all night… He had a couple of easy TD’s that he missed

    1. DerfDiggy says:

      Well hindsight is 20/20…..obviously…and I said he looked “decent”….not good.

      Again, he played considerably well through the first half..the drive to score before the half was a thing of beauty.

      Was simply stating that Orton benefited from a small sample size…Romo’s #’s were pretty similar through the first half.

  6. DerfDiggy says:

    Oh and regarding the Orton/Romo comparison..I know you did it just for fun, but Romo was like 9/10 or 9/11 early in the game. As much as the stats don’t show he played a pretty decent game until things got crazy.

  7. – I thought the Cowboys opened up there roof so that God could watch over them? Maybe having God watching over you doesn’t equate to having God intervene for you.

    – It doesn’t make sense for the Cowboys to run a hitch on 3rd and long. I side with Dez on this one. Tilman is on of them best tackling CBs in the NFL.

    – Tony Romo had a pretty good game before it got out of hand in the 4th quarter. He did miss two TD passes in the game, but he and Murray should be the least of Dallas’ worries.

    – Rob Ryan’s defense held the Bears to 10 points till the 4th quarter. The defense isn’t at fault for this loss.

    – Does anyone else think that Jay Cutler is a little bitch? McNabb had his issues with Kyle Shanahan, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him treat him publicly the way Cutler did to Mike Tice.

    – 2009 seems like a very long time ago. I can understand Jay Ratliff’s decline, but Miles Austin, Felix Jones, and Mike Jenkins were young players who created match-up problems for opposing teams. They should be in the prime of their careers right now.

    – I get upset every time I see Sean Lee play. Imagine having him and Kendricks as our LBs. Teo-Neishem and Clay Harbor were not worth it. Sometimes quality is better than quantity.

    1. +1 on Cutler being a little bitch.

    2. Smitty2K3 says:

      I hear you on Sean Lee. Kills me that we traded our pick to them and they got him with it. But right now I think I’d rather have Demeco Ryans for our scheme and our situation (in need of an outspoken leader).

      And before Cowboys fans jump all over me, I’m not trying to take away from Lee. Just saying I think Ryans fits us better right now.

  8. TommybK says:

    Maybe teams other than the Eagles should stop running shovel passes. That’s two in the past two days that didn’t work out.

    1. RogerPodacter says:

      the giants ran a shovel pass in the last game vs eagles that was pretty effective.

  9. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    I think the Cowboys should lose out, get the #3 pick in the draft, and trade three first round picks to move up and take Geno Smith.

    1. DerfDiggy says:

      Yay for Geno.

      But doing that will have Chucky or the Chin on our sideline…..I don’t know how I feel about the former, but I definitely dislike the idea of the latter.

      1. Jimmy Kempski says:

        Cowboys head coaching job is odd from an “appeal” standpoint. On the one hand, the Cowboys get more attention than any team in the league, so if you’re a “look at me” kind of guy, it could be an attractive place to coach. The downside is that if you take a job there, you’re partnered with a GM that really shouldn’t be a GM.

      2. Jimmy Kempski says:

        …not that Jason Garrett is going anywhere, nor should he.

        1. DerfDiggy says:

          Oh, I’m just replying to that scenario..heads would roll if the Cowboys won 2 games this year…I have about as much faith in JG as one can have, and think he’ll turn out to be a pretty darn good coach when it’s all said and done, hopefully that’s in Dallas. I don’t want “red genius”, or “red jesus”, or “red ball” gone at all.

          I also don’t think at this juncture in time, that JJ is anymore than a figurehead and mouthpiece. He talks…..and talks….and talks………………….and talks….and I’m sure that can get annoying if you’re trying to establish something. IE. the felix KR decision. I think Felix is still the best option on KR’s, JG probably feels that way as well…but because Jerruh likes to talk, it makes it seem that Jerry pulled the strings to keep him there.

          I think ultimately…JG(or any other coach), is pretty much responsible for every detail of the roster and decisions of that nature. Wade’s fail drafts should be an indication of that.
          Basically…with that said..
          Is it a unique situation, that many head coaches may not want to deal with? Sure….is it really a detriment in establishing a program, drafting your guys, and the such….Probably not in 2012 it isn’t.

          Some may disagree…..because that’s Jerruh’s history, and the storyline for the Cowboys…

        2. I always felt like Wade Phillips was unjustly criticized because of the way he looked. He doesn’t look like smart or enthusiastic, nor does he look stern or authoritative. He’s a brilliant defense coordinator, and the problems with the team stems from fundamental issues that are out of the HC’s control. We’ve seen 3 coaches, with 3 different coaching philosophies struggle with getting a talented team to not underachieve.

          1. DerfDiggy says:

            I wouldn’t say Bill Parcells “struggled”….His peaks and valleys were all his doing. He took over a disgustingly non-talented team, and overhauled the entire roster, he had his fair share of mistakes. People look back on Parcells faarrr too fondly for his time in Dallas.
            They were on the cusp, and Parcells abandoned football(and them) after a heartbreaking loss…As such we had the 13-3 season.

            Wade’s failures were based on bringing in guys that couldn’t play anymore(igor, Brooking, etc), or keeping guys far too long(, bradie james)…and his failures in the draft have been well documented. Add that up and the Boys just don’t have the “talent” that people thought they had. Top heavy team that with very little depth. There’s only so long you’re going to be able to field a competitive team if a) your team is old, b) the young talent isn’t very good, and c) there’s nobody pushing the talented players.
            Wade’s a great DC though…

            There hasn’t been continuity at the HC position, that’s got more to do with their failures than anything.

            JG is in the process of a overhaul and a change of culture…Will it work? I dunno? Is he the right man for the job, I dunno….But the way people look at the Cowboys historically is typically pretty wrong.

  10. DerfDiggy says:

    Yay for beer!

  11. Dan in Philly says:

    Remember when the cowboys were relevant? Me neither.

  12. Bob says:

    Ugh. That was so ugly.

    That shovel pass was a fumble.

    Is $18.724 million much for an offensive line? Nice figure, but I have absolutely no idea what it means.

    Witten was actually good tonight.

    Demarcus Ware in coverage? Why? He isn’t even particularly good in coverage.

    Dez, Dez, Dez. Makes me want to cry.

    1. deg0ey says:

      The Eagles starting OL (including Peters) would be on around $22m using the same method of calculating. If you look at their starting OL this season (Dunlap, Mathis, Kelce, Watkins, Herremans) it’s more like $13m.

      1. Bob says:

        We are paying $5mil a year more for that much worse product? Ugh.

  13. Jake says:

    Where are you getting the information about their OL’s salaries? According to Rotoworld’s figures, they’re not much over 10 million in base salaries.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      Doug Free alone is $8M/season.

      1. Jake says:

        Free signed a 4 yr/32M contract with 17M guaranteed. That doesn’t mean he counts 8M/season.

        AdamJT13, the resident Cowboys cap guru, also doesn’t have the OL’s cap hits near 18M either.

        1. Ugh. Who’s talking about 2012 cap hits? Read my phrasing.

          1. Jake says:

            I’m not trying to be dense or rude here; nor am I by any means an expert on NFL salaries. However, I can’t figure out where you’re getting the 18M number from.

            If you want to drop the argument at this point, that’s fine by me. We can call it a day.

            1. If you take the total money for each player’s contract and divide it by the number of years, then add up each player, it comes out to $18+ million. It’s not all that complicated of a statement.

              1. Jake says:

                Thanks. I gotcha. You’re including years and money that Livings/Bernadeau will never see. I thought your original statement was an assessment of how much a return the Cowboys’ were getting on their OL investment this year.

              2. They’ll never see that money if they’re awful, in which case it’s a bad investment no matter how much of that money they see or don’t see.

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