Brandon Weeden Continues to Fail as NFL Starter.

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Brandon Weeden hasn’t won an NFL game since week 14 of the 2012 NFL season. In fact, he has only won 4 games as a starter, EVER. If this was Tony Romo there would be a media frenzy. All we would hear is what a choker he is. Why do they continue to make excuses for Weeden?

Kellen Moore, Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden is 0-3 in games he started as a Cowboy. Even Jerry Jones (his biggest fan) is suddenly changing his tune. In an interview with 105.3 The Fan following the week two match-up with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jerry Jones opened his mouth and inserted his foot once again.

“This quarterback Weeden can drive the ball down field,” Jones said. “He’s a thing of beauty on throwing a football. His passing motion and his arm, frankly, you won’t see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it. If he can basically prepare, be the starting quarterback, come in and execute and keep his head right, then I feel good about Weeden.”

Following a loss to the 0-3 Saints Sunday night; a loss the pundits want to blame on the offensive line this time, Jerry sang a different song.

“I thought he did real good,” owner Jerry Jones said. “He did good all night long. He took his initial look and threw it. He does some real good things, though it’s not quite apples and oranges when the guy on the other side of the deal is Brees and you’re dealing with a guy who is as limited as Weeden. We got in it even running out of time, or short-handed. In 2-minute or what have you, then these quarterbacks like Brees make a difference.”

Brandon Weeden’s description went from “frankly, you won’t see a more gifted passer, power, accuracy, the entire aspect of it, to “you’re dealing with a guy who is as limited as Weeden.” “He took his initial look and threw it” says it all.

We have been saying all along that Brandon Weeden lacks the mental part of the game. He can’t get through his progressions fast enough and usually goes off of his first pre-snap read and that is why he had more career interceptions than touchdowns. We said that he has poor diagnostic skills and pocket awareness. We said he lacks touch and overall accuracy.

I have said many times that stats don’t always tell the story. Any QB can stand in the pocket, throw a bunch of check down type high percentage passes that are 5 yards or less and boast a high completion percentage and passer rating. The thing that separates good quarterbacks from Brandon Weeden is the ability to make all five reads after the snap. That just hasn’t been the case.

cole beaasley vs raiders
. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cole Beasley has always boasted the teams highest completion percentage. Despite his excellent route running ability, the coaches continue to limit him to short underneath routes. This has helped Brandon Weeden’s stats as well. Beasley has been targeted 10 times in the two games Brandon Weeden has started and caught all 10 passes. Lance Dunbar was targeted 10 times vs Atlanta and caught all 10. He didn’t get a single target vs the Saints.

In the absence of Dez Bryant, Jason Witten is supposed to be that guy. He is a 13 year veteran and knows how to use his size, diagnostic skills and excellent route running ability to find the soft spots and get open. This is where you start getting in to the intermediate routes and the drop off in accuracy starts to show up. Witten has been targeted 14 times and has 10 catches. Again, the stats don’t tell the story. Witten would be 14 for 14, but Weeden completely missed him. There were several times vs the Saints that he was wide open and Weeden didn’t see him. In the game vs the Falcons, Witten was wide open in the endzone and Weeden checked down to Lance Dunbar.

Prior to the game vs the Saints, Terrance Williams had only been targeted twice by Brandon Weeden. In the Saints game he was targeted 10 times, but only had 3 catches. One of which was an amazing TD grab on an errant throw that he had to pull out of the turf. The defender (Byrd), was out of position and it was a simple pitch and catch, but Weeden over threw him and he had to make a diving catch. The stats begin to tell the story  here because  Weeden’s accuracy shows up on the deeper routes. Despite Williams being open, he just couldn’t connect with him. Do you see why Jerry is singing a different song now?

Pretty much all of Brandon Weeden’s incompletions were on the intermediate and deep routes. The other thing we have been preaching is that Brandon Weeden lacks awareness and mental toughness. This continues to be on display. Last week vs the Falcons with less than two minutes on the clock, rather than throw the ball away, try to tun for the first down or get out of bounds, he slid behind the line of scrimmage: thus burning valuable time off the clock. Last night vs the Saints, he took two totally unnecessary sacks. The first time he broke the cardinal rule and ran backwards. It isn’t rocket science for a QB to understand that football is a game of inches. If the pocket starts to break down you either run out of it, throw the ball away, or just fall on it. You NEVER run backwards. The other time, he had a nice pocket and instead of just standing there and making the throw, he decided to step up, ran in to his own guard, and pretty much sacked himself.

terrance williamsThe Cowboys have left too many plays and points on the field. On the opening drive Sunday night, Terrance Williams was wide open in the endzone and Weeden over threw him. The Cowboys had to settle for a a field goal.   On third down, Cole Beasley was wide open on the left side of the field, Weeden tried to force it to Jason Witten and it was incomplete. On another 3rd down play, Brandon Weeden had a nice pocket, Joseph Randle was wide open for a first down and for reasons unknown, Brandon Weeden booted right, threw an errant pass and stalled another drive. This is just a few examples of a multitude of mental mistakes.

Despite being banged up, the Cowboys’ defense held Drew Brees to only 13 points after 3 quarters of football. Once again, Brandon Weeden couldn’t sustain drives and entering the fourth quarter, they were tired. Considering the injuries the defense has stepped up and done their job. They need some help from the offense.

I see other analysts trying to blame the offensive line for this loss and that just isn’t the case. Brandon Weeden had a clean pocket most of the night and couldn’t get it done. As far as the running game goes? This is the same offensive line. The difference this year is: The current RBs don’t have the patience and vision DeMarco Murray did. They don’t wait for their blockers and when the hole isn’t there, they don’t have the vision to see the cutback lanes and make something out of nothing like Murray did on a regular basis. You see them run right to where the play was called whether a hole opened up or not. Patience and vision are what separates good RBs from the average ones.

It amazes me how everyone wants to make excuses for Brandon Weeden. Tony Romo never had an offensive line as good as what Weeden has this year prior to last season. Tony Romo spent most of his career with a sub par defense. I am not saying Brandon Weeden is expected to be Tony Romo, but at the same time, he effects the play of the offense and the defense.

The QB not being able to read the defenses and change the play at the line to attack it can make the OL look bad. Not being able to sustain drives despite having a clean pocket to work from, prevents the defense from getting a much needed rest and they fall apart in the 4th quarter.

Tony Romo managed to become second all time in career passer rating while running for his life with no running game to speak of. The old saying is: “if you give any NFL level QB time in the pocket they will pick you apart”, but with Brandon Weeden it will never happen because he doesn’t have the mental capacity, diagnostic skills, poise, or accuracy to do so. Let’s not make excuses for him that Tony Romo never got. The guy is 4-19 as a starter in this league for a reason.The Cowboys have absolutely nothing to lose at this point by giving Kellen Moore a chance. I strongly advise them to do so. The only thing he has ever done in his life is win.

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  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Tell us something we don’t know. I mean any knowledgeable fan will tell you he stinks. I hate losing, but if would have been better for him to just have gotten picked off at mid field on the last drive. Williams saved him his job for at least one more week. The brain dead coaches will see his late drive as a positive and keep him in, despite us trying like 8 different times on the same drive to throw to Williams and Weeden missing someone open several times in those final throws.

    • You are correct, but we have to report the facts for the benefit of the fans who believe everything that is reported by and NFL Network. You know we don’t sell any Kool Aid here. The average fan doesn’t study tape and/or see the things we report while watching a game.

      • Gabriel Carrasco

        You don’t get just how ticked off I am about the play calling, and the ineptitude of the offense. Everyone is saying the defense sucks, and that the O line isn’t playing well. And give Weeden a pass. Granted both could be playing better, however the fact that we run on first down everytime should tell you, that we can’t pass the ball, and because of that it makes the O line look bad for not beating a nine or eight man front. Same for the defense, can’t stop anyone when your offense can’t move the ball. The coaching has been horrendous, and so has the QB play, though too many are giving him a pass.

        • Al

          Trust me, we get it. We all share the same frustrations. The play calling clearly shows that Linehan doesn’t trust Weeden. They are playing not to lose rather than to win. The OL doesn’t stand a chance against these loaded boxes. Witten is the only solid blocking TE. None of the RBs are reliable blockers. The WR depth is awful too. Until Jerry stops calling the shots nothing will change. I am certain playing Weeden is his doing.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            I’d say Hanna is a solid blocking TE, he is what really helped last year on the run game to the outside. He’s not better than Witten, but he’s still pretty solid.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            Which tells me the Jerry is protecting his 2nd round draft choice instead of going with the better player. Watch Hanna go to the Saints or Patriots and becomes a good player like the rest of the TE we let go because of Witten.

          • jerry always protects his draft picks. They cut Keith Smith who wouldn’t have gotten burnt like Damien Wilson did

          • hanna can run block, but needs to improve in pass protection

        • BigDIndiana

          They have been bringing up a safety most of the time against Weeden. The 3rd and 1 against the saints they had both at the line as I screamed “don’t run” at the tube, only to watch us get hit in the backfield for a 2 yard loss. Shocker. Romo would have checked out of that in a nanosecond. Been a lot of bad play all around with some really good players out. Lots of blame to go around but we just don’t click with Weeden. Reads are iffy and doesn’t look the safety off very well.

  • Great job on the story Al. I wish the Cowboys front office was smart enough to see these things.

    • Al

      Thanks Cas

  • Lionone1

    Thats alot of hate for a backup qb. Of course, he’s not Tony Romo. Those unique abilities is what makes him sustain himself as a starting franchise QB in the NFL. The offensive line is not playing up to the standards they set for themselves. There is no legitamate deep threat. It’s all dink and dunk passes and runs. Opponents have figured them out. Stack the box, take away the run and we’ll take our chances with T.Will and Butler (who’s blows a hamstring on a big play that should have been a TD). There was way more things going wrong than Weedens play. 12 men on the field penalty is first to come to mind. Watching Williams get mauled all day and no penalty calls. How about Gachkar getting picked and wiped out on the OT drive? Just like last week and really throughout the season we need more from Oline, Defense and Wideout’s. 48 points for the offense in 2 games and I think 61 points allowed by Defense. Bad calls, untimely injuries. Is it 2013?

    • Al

      You really need to stop drinking the kool aid bro. The OL doesn’t stand a chance against a loaded box. There are only 5 of them. Many times a DT requires a double team, so do many DEs. They cant block everyone.Recs are getting open and he misses them. Weeden isn’t even qualified to be a backup. Weeden doesn’t scare defenses. They know he can’t burn them deep even when people are open most of the time. Romo played lights out and still got criticized by the media. Weeden is horrible and it’s wrong to point it out? I don’t think so. You can’t sell the kool aid here. We are analysts who watch tape and grade players. Not journalists who push opinions or propaganda.

      • Lionone1

        I’m sorry i forgot it was the offense that gave up a 81 td in 13 seconds.

        • most of those points came off of the run. Once teams started taking that away, Weeden was useless. Thay defense was on the field wayyyyy too much because Weeden can’t sustain a drive. They are human and they got tired. Or maybe, they just thought screw it. We bust our butts only for Weeden to get a 3 and out and send us back out there. The bottom lne is he sucks! Stop defending him.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            They stacked the box every time, and you’re telling me, that Weeden couldn’t beat them? I understand that we aren’t healthy at WR, but someone is open somewhere, and Weeden isn’t seeing them. It’s either in the middle of the field or to his right, otherwise it’s an incompletion.

          • lionone1

            That was a nice pass to Butler and he’s out for the rest of the game. Then he throws a nice pass to Street for a first and he steps out of bounds. Its details.

          • every squirrel finds a nut once in a while. It’s the amount of bad plays that’s killing this offense.

          • Lionone1

            I don’t focus in on one player. There is a litany of bad plays that have contributed to the last two losses. A microcosm of things that got us to this point. Will getting some defensive players back help? I don’t know. Because now your WR’s are Williams and Street and i’ve never been high on Williams.

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            It’s common knowledge, in the game of football it’s not the number of good plays that you make, it’s the number of bad ones that you don’t. And Weeden has more bad than good by far.

          • Lionone1

            I’m not defending him I have said I think he sucks. But, I also only expected the offense without Tony would only generate 23 pts through 3 games.

          • well weeden has only generated 14 with the pass as the starter.

        • What pisses me off the most, is Romo had shit for an OL for years and always got the blame. Now people have the audacity to blame the best OL we had since the 90’s? sorry that wont fly with me.

    • That is sound analysis put in a story not hate. Presenting facts and hate are two different things. Romo, Rodgers, Brady, Warner, and countless others were backups at one time. Football is supposed to be a game with fair competition in camp or practice and the best guy should play. Bledsoe was a franchise QB for years, but when he couldn’t get it done, Parcells said next man up, benched him and brought in Romo. Jimmy, Landry and Parcells have been the only coaches in Dallas with that mindset. Weeden has never been any good. The fact is, the Jones and the Dallas media went out of their way to hype and sell him to the fans. Now he has been exposed. If they didn’t have anyone else, fine play him, but I know for a fact that Kellen Moore is a better QB. So does Linehan. Jerry needs to stop calling the shots when it comes to personnel decisions. These coaches need to grow a pair and stand up to him Like jimmy and Bill did. Not doing the right thing and saying next man up, will lead to this teams demise.

      • Lionone1

        I’m just tired of having to score 30 points to win a football game. You saw the Lions and Seahawks game. 13 points gets you the win because they have a defense that gives you some stops and take aways. They help keep you in the game. Those offenses are bad.

        • this offense is great with a decent QB. The defense is on the way back with players getting healthy or off suspension. If they stay with Weeden, our playoff hopes go down the drain.

    • Gabriel Carrasco

      Teams play 8-9 man fronts, primarily to take away the run, however it works to the detriment of the defense as well, because all it takes is for a QB to either change the play to a pass or disguise a passing play as a run, and throw it. And you can get beat deep easy. But the defenses and the DC say you know what, we bet that your trash QB Weeden can’t throw the ball, so we are going to stack the box, and dare him to beat us that way. And if he does ok, but we bet he won’t. No one fears or respects our passing attack. I said Weeden was trash when he started out here. And no the O line sure isn’t playing the best it could be, but crap play calling and a crap QB can make any unit look bad. Weeden took 3 unnecessary sacks. In three games before this one, the QB was sacked three times, and one of those sacks happened because the Eagles player decided to tackle Martin. So only two true sacks. It’s not the O line.

  • Kevin Sivells

    Hello all. I know it has been quite a while. have been very busy with the kids and family. Great article Big Al!! My feelings were hurt when they let Alex Tanney go. I believe he was the next to take over especially with his skill set. Weeden is a low cost stand in that Jerry is using to cut corners. Something has to give and soon. The good thing is we are in the NFC East and can still win the division to get into the playoffs. The scary part is the Giants are getting hot. When they get hot, they usually win Superbowls. All Weeden has to do is keep us in the hunt until the return of Romo and Dez. If he can’t SIT HIS ASS DOWN!