Detroit Losses Suck Worse Somehow

Even without Tony throwing multiple pick-sixes, a game Dallas has wrapped up against the Lions is lost. In spectacular fashion. Even for Dallas. Made me sick to think about, so I word vomited on the Internet.

This game probably won’t matter since 8-8 is a statistical certainty, and that should be enough to win the division. Still, it was horrible to watch.

I’d loved Heath’s play at free safety all game, but I believe it was he who was late coming over to help on the 9/go route to the white receiver at the end. Glad he’s our backup; potential is there.

ESPN postulated that if church had been in, Kiffin might not have called as much cover 2. Should have called less cover 2, more quarters coverage. What’s easier for a safety to do? Cover half the field? Or a quarter of it? I think that even though cover 2 is what Kiffin does, even the modification that Seattle runs, it’s not always what we need to do. Carr and Claiborne should be in man.

Not saying this year is only because of zone change, but from what I can tell, Claiborne rarely played it at LSU.

I think it bodes well for next year, ifaranelli stays. Another draft, not using as many scrubs.

Dez needs more early targets. Does romo not trust him enough to throw into double coverage? Callahan? He’s the best player on the team, needs the ball all game until a D proves they can make dallas pay.

I wonder if Garrett will take back play calling? We’re scoring more points, Romo’s throwing less INTs, but look at the games. Which offense would you prefer? We’ve prayed for a player like Dez, but he gets ignored more than coverage dictates.

Anyone not in dallas media that criticizes Dez’s yelling shouldn’t. Until I hear that someone has talked to someone at VR, and they’re annoyed with it, I won’t believe it. He’s never been reported as a diva/TO. In fact, you hear more about him NOT being that. If you were great at your job, and weren’t being used on a huge project, and if the company didn’t nail the project it will lose the company money, and affect your bonus. But you don’t get put on the project and on busy work instead. Would you just take it?

Dez being targeted 3 times is a tragedy. And he should yell about it.

There’s no way to know why he wasn’t targeted more. You can’t say Romo for sure (and same for Callahan), because we don’t know the play calls. Maybe on that play, by the Will or strong safety alignment, the progressions are dictated to start on the right side of the play then go left. And Dez is lined up on the left. Bad luck. Makes sense. But after studying the Lions’ defensive tendencies, offensive coaches know the percentage of times that Detroit does x, and how that dictates y playcall. So they would know based on numbers and metrics how often the presnap chess game takes Dez off the board. You have to think about that. How do we get our second best player the ball?

But even if coverage “dictates” that, you should give your best receiver a chance to make a play. This isn’t end-of-career TO. This is in-his-prime Dez Bryant. Until the defense truly makes you pay, you keep throwing to Dez. Obviously not every snap, but I don’t think I could argue with every set of downs. His first touchdown was over two defenders. I bet coverage would make you want to look a different direction. But the (adjusted for age) best receiver in the game overcomes that coverage. Every time the cowboys get inside the 10 (I’d also say red zone, but I don’t want to dictate everything) and Dez doesn’t get a target, both a puppy and kitten both die.

As much as I hate it, and love so much about him, I think if you have to put the blame for the loss on one person, it has to be Tyron Smith. He’s a great left tackle, and without him, we’re not in games that we are. Romo probably has more cracked ribs. But his mistake on (third?) down is the earliest play where you can say something lost us the game. Any earlier than that, and it’s just a part of a game–mistakes are going to happen. But, the closer to the end of the game the more concrete an impact on the outcome your actions have. On the running play, in the huddle, someone should have said “yards don’t matter. No penalties, don’t go out of bounds.” Even if the play loses yards, the Lions end up getting the ball back with between 25-35 seconds on the 20 yard line or less with no timeouts. This defense can’t stop anyone without getting a turnover, but even I like the chances there.

Was the reminder given in the huddle? I doubt we’ll ever know. If it was, Smith’s play is even worse. If not, that begs the question of why not. Was it discussed in one of those “situational” drills at training camp? Did no one think to bring it back up since then? As if Dallas is never in a close game? Is that the problem with having a young offensive line? And those who aren’t young either suck or were injured for that play and not in the huddle? I find it hard to believe that Brian Waters wouldn’t have mentioned that had he not been sidelined with a triceps injury. But I also can’t believe that Tony or anyone else didn’t say it. There’s not a lot if thinking going on there. Tonys not having to check the defense, find the mike, determine any coverage. They know what you’re doing–running the ball to keep the clock going. Should be a glorified kneel down. It should be playcall, don’t hold, stay in bounds. Break. That question is, I think, systemic of the Cowboys as a whole. So close to being well run. So close to a dominant offense. So close to an acceptable defense. But the small part lacking in those phases is what separates mediocrity from not even greatness, just being good.