All of the off-season Cowboys talk centered around DeMarco Murray’s departure and the failure to draft or sign his replacement. Perhaps the bigger issue is the team’s failure to address the lack of talent at back-up quarterback. Because that decision is now front-and-center for the foreseeable future.
Tony Romo is out for a while; possibly at least until Thanksgiving or so. Enter Brandon Weeden. Again.
With all due respect, Weeden has no business being a starter in the National Football League. We’ve seen this movie before. He’s 5-16 as a starter with eight consecutive losses. Ouch. Weeden started at home last year vs. Arizona and the results were not pretty. Didn’t Stephen Jones learn his lesson then?
John Wooden once said, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Cowboys prepared well for the season when it came to the back-up quarterback position. Better hope his O-line doesn’t commit the penalties it did Sunday and the Dallas D plays lights-out.
Now, to the Cowboys’ defense, most teams in the NFL don’t have back-up quarterbacks who are the best starters in the world. But my problem is a known commodity that the Cowboys simply allowed to return for 2015. I would have much rather them go out and find a veteran to back up Romo. Someone like Josh McCown (who Cleveland snatched up) is a prime example. Heck, even Philadelphia tried out Tim Tebow during camp before cutting him.
The real problem – Dallas has a shot to stay in the race for the NFC East in time for Romo and Dez Bryant to (hopefully) return for the final five games, or something equivalent. But to do so, Dallas needs more than a game manager; the team needs someone to make plays. Weeden ain’t the guy.
So how did Jerry Jones feel when he saw Romo go down?
“Just about a low as a crippled cricket’s ass.” he said.
Jerry, we get it, but I have something to add. To quote Eugene Levy in National Lampoon’s Vacation, “You think you hate it now. But wait till you drive it.”
Part two of the Weeden “test drive” begins now. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear for what results transpire as a result.
The Good News
Dallas may have lost their quarterback, but they won the game at Philadelphia, improving to 2-0. Those two wins are absolutely huge. First – they’re wins. They all count, and Dallas will definitely need them when it’s all said and done. Second – both wins came vs. the NFC East. Do not discount that fact, as any tie-breaker the Cowboys hold over the Eagles, Giants and Redskins are as a good as a half-game cushion in the standings.
So here’s what to root for – Dallas to simply survive between now and Thanksgiving. Even a sub-.500 record of 4-5 over the next nine games would give Dallas a 6-5 record heading into the 10-day break after Turkey Day with five games left. Those last five contests are at Washington, at Green Bay, vs. the Jets, at Buffalo and the season finale at home vs. the Redskins.
I’d like to see what Dallas can do with a healthy Romo and Dez back for that finish. Even a 9-7 final record might be enough to win this division in 2015. But first, the team must face a considerable stretch of the season without its best quarterback, wide receiver and running back from last season.