After three blowout games in a row, it is understandable why the typical Cowboys fan is demanding Jason Garrett’s job. They have their torches lit, marching toward the star and will protest day and night until Garrett is booted out of the Star in Frisco. Sorry Cowboys fans, but this team’s issues go deeper than Coach Red.
It does make sense to get rid of Garrett now, especially after ten years of the same type of issues, like poor in-game adjustments, game management and very predictable schemes. Former players have even said that the offense is predictable to the point where defensive backs would call out the exact routes the receivers would run. Yet, firing Garrett now for those reasons would not fix the main issue and that is the depth of this team.
On paper, the Cowboys boast one of the best offenses in the league, especially after what we saw in 2016. Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott ran an offense that really is unstoppable at times. Yet, if you take just one or two guys from this offense, it completely crumbles to nothing.
Once Zeke was suspended and tackle Tyron Smith went out for a groin injury, the offense production halted to a screeching stop. All of a sudden, Dak Looked mortal and his biggest weaknesses were on display. Not only could he not get the ball down field, but his receivers struggled to get open. Defenses were openly baiting the Cowboys to throw the ball. The offensive line struggled to keep the pocket clean and Prescott found himself sacked more times than he did last season.
The offensive production waned to just two touchdowns over the course of three games. It was evident that this team isn’t successful when not in full force,
On the defensive side it was far worse. Without linebacker Sean Lee, the Cowboys defense faltered from the start. Tackling became an issue and teams were scoring at will now against Dallas. Lee’s replacements were older veterans you signed off the street, a second-round bust who still isn’t recovered from his leg injury and a bunch of guys. The only one that really has played well in Lee’s absence was Anthony Hitchens, but he isn’t good enough to fix all the problems.
The defense has players finally on the defensive line that can rush the passer, but lacks the depth to help bring forth an attack on every play.
All these issues have to deal with depth and how teams can overcome injuries and suspensions with great depth. Look at the Eagles this season. They had multiple injuries, including two season ending ones to Jason Peters and Jordan Hicks. Both backups stepped into crucial roles and the team hasn’t missed a beat.
The fact of the matter is that the Cowboys are still struggling to hit on players late in the draft and it is killing their depth. This is one of the major things this front office has to look into before the draft this April.
In the salary-cap era, hitting on picks is how you build long-term success and other teams like the Eagles are winning in that game. For the Cowboys to really be a contender again, they need to look at it from bottom –up not top-down.
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