From the Armchair: Dallas Cowboys, Week 4
If there's one word to describe the Cowboys at the quarter pole of the 2013 season, it would have to be average. Their 2-2 record certainly reflects that. The offense has been awesome (last week against the Rams), average (week 1 against the Giants) and, for the bulk of their loss to the Chiefs and in today's loss against San Diego, absent.
While the Cowboys D was solid through three games, today some big cracks were exposed as Phillip Rivers and the Chargers torched them for 30 points and 506 yards. That a linebacker, Sean Lee, led the team in tackles today with 15 also speaks to a glaring lack of depth on the defensive line. Overall for the 'Boys, it's also not so good that Lee's pick 6 accounted for a third of your scoring on the day.
As it did in the KC loss in week 2, the Cowboys offense went missing for the better part of the San Diego game, as the Dallas O put up 14 points in the 2nd quarter and never scored again. And, also paralleling the week 2 loss, the Cowboys again seemed to forget they had a run game, as DeMarco Murray had only 14 carries for 70 yards.
Tony Romo was actually a bit below his normal, average self, going 27-37 for 244 yards. He did toss two TD passes to Dez Bryant, who had to fight through double coverage most of the day. The Chargers keying on Bryant (and the absence of inactive WR Miles Austin) opened up the field for Jason Witten, Murray and rookie Terrance Williams, who combined for 17 grabs. However, it was William's fumble near the goal line that killed the Cowboys last hope today.
Even the normally reliable Dallas kicking game dropped the ball against the Chargers. The almost automatic Dan Bailey missed on his only field goal attempt (though it was a 56-yard try) and punter Chris Jones averaged only 34 yards a kick today.
Overall, the Cowboys get a D grade today. Yes, a C would be average but an offense that only put 14 points on the board and a leaky defense just exemplified what was an overall subpar day.
So, while the Cowboys have been remarkably average through four games, the good news is, they lead the NFC East thanks to poor showings thus far by the Eagles, Giants, and Redskins. Next week's game against the sizzling Broncos will likely show a clearer picture of the teams' fortunes for the remaining 3/4 of the season. If they put together a complete game on both sides of the ball, I still want to believe they can compete with Denver. However if the same average to sub par Cowboys team shows up next Sunday that took the field today, well, there will be blood.
(And because I have a sick mind and Jerry Jones is an absolute moron who has no business acting as a general manager and talent evaluator for an NFL team, I'd like to start the rumor right now that Jerry and the Cowboys are looking at Lane Kiffin to replace Jason Garrett should Dallas finish anything worse than 10-6. Because...well...Jerry has never let common sense get in the way of his ego and hunger for attention.)