Jason Garrett’s lack of experience, game management, and inability to make mid game adjustments has been called in to question by not only myself, but other analysts on numerous occasions.
The debacle on prime time Monday night football in front of the whole world, gave Cowboys haters nationwide plenty of ammo to spew the I told you so remarks vehemently in to our faces. Once again, Jason Garrett was straight up outcoached. To make things worse, he played right in to the hand of Haslett’s game plan. He couldn’t have made it any easier for them to abuse Tony Romo.
As the old saying goes: “If it aint broke, don’t try and fix it!”
I caught a lot of flack from a lot of people when I said this OL struggles in pass protection and the only reason Tony Romo is staying upright is because they have committed to the run. Committing to the run stops defenses from pinning their ears back and blitzing.
I have never been a big fan of zone blocking systems because they are usually better at run blocking than pass protection. The reason being, they rely on athletic ability rather than size and power. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very powerful players in some of the systems, but they are taught to work together and rely on double teaming to move people. In most cases, members of a ZBS are not as good at reading stunts and blitzes and are not taught blocking techniques that change based on the defensive front. In other words, it’s watered down and much simpler for players to learn. It also attempts to make up for a lack of read and react skills.
The worst thing Jason Garrett could do to a young OL is repeatedly put them out there against a blitz happy defense with an empty backfield. By lining up that way they are not only telling the whole world it’s going to be a pass, they are hanging Tony Romo out to dry with no one in the backfield to pick up the blitz. You can’t expect these young players to be able to read all of these disguised blitzes and stunts.
It is no secret that the Cowboys had only lost one game prior to Monday night when DeMarco Murray had more than twenty carries. He had 19 Monday. I have studied the tape on every game the Cowboys playedÂ this year. I studied the tendencies of Scott Linehan, the play selection based on down and distance, the amount of passes to runs and so on. I had previously done the same thing when Jason Garrett was calling the plays. If I noticed one thing vs the Redskins, that game plan had Jason Garrett written all over it. It was the same thing I had written about numerous times before.
When I recently heard Jason Garrett say in a press conference that he wanted to limit the amount of carries that DeMarco Murray got, but it was to give the other backs more carries, I knew it was BS. He can’t handle Scott Linehan getting all of the credit and wanted to prove that the Cowboys could win with his pass happy ways.
The thing that aggravates me the most is hearing people say if the Redskins blitzed like that against Peyton Manning he would burn them. I had to laugh considering he is one of the most immobile QBs in the NFL. Anyone who studies football knows that Peyton Manning is one of the worst when he is under pressure. That is exactly why the Broncos run a QB friendly offense that allows him to get rid of the ball quickly. He not only has a great pass protecting OL, they run a lot of timing based quick outs as an extension to the runÂ that keep defenses at bay.
I was cussing at the television watching the Cowboys keep calling deep vertical routes 20 yards down the field when Romo barely had time to complete a 3 step drop. They have excellent weapons for the short passing game who are quick and perfect to use in quick timing based passes. There are very few LBs and safety’s with the speed of Beasley, Hanna and Dunbar. I agree with Bryan Broaddus saying they should have taken advantage of the mismatch Jason Witten created too.
Dez Bryant was pretty much shut down by a 4th round rookie CB. One of the biggest problems I see with this offense is they continually try and force the ball to Dez even when he is covered. They once again abandoned the run, even when they only needed two yards. It produced the same results. Tony Romo not only got sacked 5 times, he sustained a substantial injury and the Cowboys lost to a 2-5 team.
The old adage is that football is a business, well it’s time for Jerry Jones to make a business decision. He invested $118 million in Tony Romo: would it be wise to extend the contract of a coach who has repeatedly hung his biggest investment out to dry? Much like many other games that required mid game adjustments, Jason Garrett had no answer for the Redskins blitz. The team showed up unprepared and undisciplined. Once again Tony Romo suffered the consequences. Broken collar bone, broken ribs twice, two back surgeries and 5 sacks again on Monday. When is enough enough?