Initial random thoughts on the 2012 NFC East Championship Game

Blind squirrels and nuts and whatnot.  In hindsight, the Skins’ ability to run all over the Cowboys was extremely obvious.  The Cowboys were missing linebackers galore, and were playing DEs at NT.  OF COURSE the Skins were going to run all over them.  The gameplan for this thoroughly banged up Cowboys D didn’t require anything more sophisticated than “Run, run, run, repeat.”  Credit Kyle Shanahan for not out-thinking himself.  Again, it was obvious.  18 passes, 42 rushes. Kudos, Shannies.  And kudos, Alfred Morris, for actually, you know, handling your part of the equation.  200 rushing yards.  Wow.

• In 2011, the Cowboys were 8-6 and lost their final 2 games, including the equivalent of “playoff” game for the NFCE crown against a division rival.  In 2012, the Cowboys were 8-6 and lost their final 2 games, including the equivalent of “playoff” game for the NFCE crown against a division rival.

• I feel bad for Tony Romo.  I can’t even pile on.  I just can’t.  He’s going to have a horrible 8 months ahead of him… Well, aside from having a boatload of money, a hot wife, and all sorts of other perks that the rest of us will never know.  But my guess is that once you have those things, you kinda get used to them.  Repeatedly hearing that you’re one of the biggest chokers in the history of sports is probably something you never get used to.  Not that those “choker” comments are my personal sentiments of the guy.  OK, maybe a little.

• Rob Jackson is a very good player.  After the game, he gave a very humble summation of his bigtime INT:

Rob Jackson

Jackson’s statement is true, however, he didn’t just pick that pass off because he was lucky.  He’s been getting into passing lanes all season, and he did it again.  Here’s what I said about Jackson a few weeks ago:

I’m a huge Rob Jackson fan.  Honestly, I really don’t think it’s been much of a dropoff from Brian Orakpo to Jackson, and I say that as a compliment to Jackson, not the other way around. Jackson’s INT was a laser from short distance.  Great catch.

I meant that then, and I stand by it now.

• The Cowboys will be drafting 18th.

• I have no idea what the back judge was doing on the missed delay of game call.  It was clearly at zero well before the Cowboys got the snap off.  I hate the explanation that comes with that, by the way.  Announcers always say “The official looks at the 0, then looks to see if the ball has been snapped.”  First of all, how long can that possibly take.  Like… 1/20 of a second?  I mean, it’s not like your eyeball is going to get stuck at a red light or a traffic jam within your cornea in the fraction of a millimeter that it takes to travel from focusing on the play clock to the center.  So let’s just get rid of that.  Institute a loud ass buzzer that takes out the guess work, like the shot clock in the NBA.  Also, there’s no reason whatsoever why that call shouldn’t be reviewable.

• Skins rookie 3rd round pick Josh LeRibeus saw his first action of the season when Kory Lichtensteiger went down.  LeRibeus pancaked Tyrone Crawford on his first career snap.  Plus, he’s an accomplished male model.


• Hey Cowboys, you know how the Skins were blitzing guys up the middle on like… every passing situation?  You ever think of running a little middle screen to the back to try to offset that pressure?

• Good job by NBC instituting the wide angle shots of the field pre-snap.  You can actually see the safeties!

• Who’s the hotter team right now?  The Skins or the Seahawks?  I have my thoughts on that one, but I think there are a ton of different answers so I’ll leave it to you.

• Great block by Pierre Garcon on RG3’s TD run around the corner.

• Sav Rocca grabbed Dwayne Harris’ facemask with one hand and his dreads with the other as Harris was running by at full speed.  Football is brutal.  Even the freaking punters can do serious damage.  Harris was lucky he wasn’t seriously hurt.  And yet, I can’t really blame Sav.  You gotta do whatever you can to keep him out of the end zone there.  That’s just the culture of the NFL.  And he did.

• As this chart will show, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog, most of the country was rooting for the Skins:

However, the downside of the Cowboys losing to Redskins: DeAngelo Hall will think he’s good again.  OK, so I bust on DeAngelo quite a bit, but credit where it’s due.  Hall really did have a great game being left on an island 1-on-1 covering Dez Bryant all night while Jim Haslett repeatedly blitzed Tony Romo.  That gameplan required Hall not to be awful.  And he wasn’t.  In fact, he had a great game.

• Rob Ryan has been a defensive coordinator for 9 years. During that span his teams have never had a winning record.

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  1. dans105 says:

    RG3 needs to tuck his legs in when he slides. He was clearly sliding early to avoid contact, but it seems like he slides on his back and lets his legs fly up in the air unprotected. That’s what allowed Ngata to hit his leg in the Baltimore game, he slid and his legs just go flying up in the air over his body. Slide and tuck in the legs my man.

  2. Jeff says:

    Wow, what a game. I like the observations except for the Pierre Garcon seemed a bit too much like a hold to me(its not like they called any of the others anyways). Here’s a couple more for ya.

    What I haven’t heard is any outcry from this game regarding the play of Carr and Claiborne. Playing press man or press 2, several times followed a crack (one for a TD) losing the defensive edge! Not to mention critical allowed receptions to keep drives alive!

    Secondly, why was Rob Ryan so content to play two high safeties and undermanned boxes? I understand them trying to rob the Dig/Post Routes, but why commit to the Nickel package for that many snaps!? Plus, if you’re going to play press, why play man?? The DE’s took plays off and were generally, part Ryan’s fault, put in terrible situations. You’re playing with x number of backups and you’re going to try and “contain” the run game? Scared of the big play much (first meeting)?

    Lastly, what was Jason Garrett thinking? No help for Romo on this one.

    Really, it seemed, the Redskins impact players make plays, while the Cowboys stars collapsed (yes that’s a pun). It’ll be interested to see what kind of “change” Jones will commit to this off season.

  3. tcvegas says:

    “a hot wife, and all sorts of other perks that the rest of us will never know.”

    Jimmy, why do I have the strange feeling that this comment may come back to bite you for…oh…maybe the rest of your life??? I don’t know if you’re married or not, but pray your wife or future wife doesn’t read this gem…..speaking of gems….it’s the only way out of this comment for you!

  4. triplej says:

    Congrats to the redskins. If andy reid was the coach he would have passe it 42 times and ran it 18 despite what the cowboys injuries were. In his press conference, the storyline would be: ‘We thought we could throw them off by passing when they expected us to run’.
    Goodbye and good riddance, andy. You will not be missed by this Eagles fan

  5. rabbit says:

    and the next time someone calls the cowgirls “americas team”, just show them that poll-graphic.

  6. Juz Saying says:

    C u guys next year!

  7. SteveH says:

    The Cowboys just could not stop Alfred Morris tonight. It wasn’t like his 200 was a couple fluky 50 yard runs or something, he was consistently getting 5-10 yards on every carry. It was ridiculous. It was like watching the circa 2006 Eagles D trying to play run defense. The running game worked so well that even a gimpy RG3 suddenly became dangerous again on the option, had the Cowboys ends jumping inside all game.

    Another Eagles parallel is how bad the Cowboys pass protection was. I feel bad for Romo because this game it really didn’t feel like he had much of a chance. He was more or less under siege all game long.

    Basically the Cowboys tonight were the worst parts of the 2006 and 2012 Eagles mixed together.

    And I loved every minute of it.

    1. afinemessi says:

      Kudos on the late night write-up, Jimmy… Spot on observations. Incredible what this redskins o-Line comprised of other team’s backup castoffs (silverback excluded) has been able to do. Alfred Morris’s long td run tonight is testament to that.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        Football sucks.

        1. A fine messi says:

          Welcome to my world for the past 20 years….

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