Let me first start off by saying that the Dallas Cowboys proudly stake claim to the most loyal and passionate fan base in all of sports. No team’s fans can sniff the enthusiasm that Dallas Cowboys fans have, and that reigns true throughout the entire country. But lately, I have become a bit agitated with our fans and the things I have heard them say about this team.
“Trade Tony Romo.” “Fire Jason Garrett.” “(Somehow) get rid of Jerry and Stephen Jones.” These are some of the solutions I have heard lately from fans who are inherently intolerant of a young, talented, inexperienced football team.
Tony Romo has made some inexcusable mistakes in the first five weeks, and that’s a fair criticism. But before we go shipping him off to another team for peanuts and give Stephen McGee the keys to the offense, let’s consider a few things here.
Over the course of five weeks, Romo has had a nearly non-existent running game. Both Dez Bryant and Miles Austin have missed games. At one point, his starting receivers were Jesse Holley, Laurent Robinson, and Kevin Ogletree. Prior to the bye week, he was playing with broken ribs and a punctured lung. The average age of his starting offensive line is twenty-five, and three of those starters have been rookies.
All that being said, if you would have told me that the Cowboys would be 2-2 heading into their bye week, with the two losses by a grand total of seven points, I would’ve taken it in a second.
Now I challenge anyone to find any quarterback in the league not named Brady, Manning, Brees, or Rodgers that could have done a better job quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys given those sets of circumstances. The mental errors Tony Romo makes are correctable, unlike athleticism or talent, which he has.
Fans have to understand that this is a young team. Any time you release the amount of underachieving veterans that the Cowboys did in the offseason and replace them with younger, inexperienced players, you will undoubtedly experience growing pains. The same thing happened in 1990 under Jimmy Johnson.
Fans also have to remember that the Cowboys are astronomically magnified by the local and national media more so than any other NFL franchise. Tony Romo throws thee interceptions, two of them pick-sixes, to help the Lions come back and win, and he’s absolutely thrashed by the media for two weeks. Yet the next week, Eli Manning throws three interceptions, Michael Vick throws four interceptions, both the Giants and Eagles lose, and neither quarterback is administered comparable treatment. Yesterday, Rex Grossman threw four interceptions to help the Redskins lose, and almost no attention has been given to his inability to play quarterback. That’s even after a certain familiar analyst (Deion Sanders) proclaimed Rex Grossman as the best quarterback in the NFC East. Shouldn’t he get comparable treatment to Romo if that’s the case?
Have some patience with this team. They are two or three plays away from being 4-1 or even 5-0. The teams they have lost to (Jets, Lions, Patriots) are pretty good.
The last ten games the Cowboys have played have been decided by four points or less. To me, that means this team is grinding the ax and trying to find ways to win close games. That’s a good thing.
I’ll take a team whose last ten contests have come down to the very last drive, win or lose, compared to a team that exerts no effort, like the one we saw during Wade Phillips’s last moments as head coach.