Here we are again, in the middle of playoff football. Just a few of the best teams in football trying to fight for the chance to be called the best this year.
And once again, like seemingly every year, the Dallas Cowboys are sitting at home watching it happen.
At this point, it is no longer just a slump in the history of a storied franchise. It has become the trend, the part of a losing culture. The fans may be the same guys who remember Aikman tossing bombs to Irvin and Emmitt using the wrong words at the post-game presser, but these are not the same Cowboys by a longshot. They haven’t made a serious run in the playoffs since they beat Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX.
I just used a bunch of extraneous sentences to express a simple sentiment. That sentiment is Dallas sucks. Hard.
So naturally, in cases like these the team has to admit change is necessary. And vaunted owner, micromanager, and demented troll Jerry Jones has done just that by firing the person who was clearly to blame for the Cowboys’ struggles all year long.
And that person is…Rob Ryan?
Listen, I’m not saying the defense was great. It was so-so. It was ho-hum. It was other short, hyphenated words. It definitely didn’t launch the team to new heights like it was supposed to. And for a guy who has nothing but defense (and cholesterol) in his body, it seems reasonable to hold him to a standard.
The problem is that Jones hasn’t held everyone else in the organization to that same standard.
Wade Phillips got 3 years and was halfway into his 4th season – months after bringing Dallas their first playoff win in years – before he got shitcanned for offensive “mastermind” Jason Garrett. And you have to think that if Garrett doesn’t make the playoffs next year, he’ll be following Ryan out the door. So maybe coaches get the same “win or die” treatment from Jones.
Why don’t quarterbacks?
Romo had a good year. Career high in yards. Five comebacks. But he hasn’t won. And for a guy like Jerry Jones, who only cares about winning and making bets for fiddles of gold, you have to wonder why Romo gets continuous chances to lead his team to mediocrity while coaches aren’t getting that same chance.
Romo is by far one of the most questioned players in the NFL. He has had criticism his entire career. Yet in his whole time of fumbling holds, throwing interceptions that make you think Favre and Fran Tarkenton had a baby, and failing to make a deep run in the postseason, never once has Jerry Jones tested his quarterback. Never once has he tried to get competition. Never once has he made Romo feel like his job is at risk.
Jerry Jones went on record to say that Ryan’s defense was unacceptable. He pointed out games where the defense let down the team. In one of those games, Romo threw FIVE picks. FIVE! How can you say the defense is unacceptable in a game that Tony Romo gave the ball up FIVE TIMES? You shouldn’t believe Jerry Jones’ football analysis any more than you should believe a 17 year old girl’s Yahoo review of a Ryan Gosling movie.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter how nonsensical Jones is. It doesn’t matter how little pressure Romo has felt from his own team. Somebody had to be the scapegoat for another failed season. In this case, it was a scapewerewolf. You’d have to think that, eventually, if this happens again, bigger heads will roll.
But probably not. Here’s to Romo being the Cowboys quarterback until 2021!