Dallas Cowboys

USA Today

The Dallas Cowboys Are Boring

Don’t worry, Jason and Scott are on it.

September 13, 2018 - 9:53 am

The Dallas Cowboys offense could not have been much worse in the final eight games of last season. They averaged 16 points per game, Dak Prescott threw for less than a touchdown per game, and only went over 200 yards twice. To put it another way, their offensive production in the second half of 2017 was lower than a crippled cricket’s ass.  Not my words, but the words of Jerry Jones. 

So they made a lot of changes in the offseason. A number of coaches not named Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan were canned. Dez Bryant was released. Jason Witten took a job in the booth. And the offense was supposed to be re-designed to better fit Dak Prescott.

Knowing that, and the fact that Dallas would have Ezekiel Elliott to start the season, everyone was eager to see the new-look Cowboys offense in Week 1. Until it actually took the field. And then nobody wanted to see any of it. Because it was ugly. Seriously ugly. And not only not better than last season but arguably even worse.

How ugly? Dak Prescott: 170 yards passing. Zero touchdowns. Six sacks. 

Ezekiel Elliott: 15 carries, 69 yards. One touchdown. 

The offense as a whole was shutout for the first 51 minutes of the game.  That bad.  That ugly. 

So what the hell happened? Dak Prescott was the face of the franchise, the next legendary Cowboys quarterback, and now he routinely struggles to get over 200 yards passing? Ezekiel Elliott gets 15 carries in a whole game? 

That was, in a word: garbage. Just a hot, steaming pile of garbage. And worse than being bad, it was boring. That’s the greatest sin of all. There’s no shame in losing, but there’s plenty of shame in being boring. Especially if you have the ultimate look at me owner in Jerry Jones. The last thing that guy ever wants is for all of us to think, nothing to see here, keep moving: and that’s exactly how things are with the Cowboys: they’re just not worth wasting our time on. At least give me a train wreck that I can stop and rubber neck on.  But they’re not even that. They’re just boring. Right now, they just don’t matter. They’re irrelevant. Boring. Vanilla. Not worth talking about. Not only are they a bad football team, they’re not the worst team content of all. Borrrrring. 

Then again, that’s just me talking. What do I know? I’ll defer to someone who does know…someone played there and stacked Lombardi’s. Troy Aikman. And Troy Aikman, said during the broadcast that he was “not seeing any creativity” in the Cowboys’ offense. He’s right. And he couldn’t have put it any more politely than he did right there.

But Stephen “Son of Jerry” Jones, wasn’t cool with that.  At all. The team vice president was asked about Aikman’s comments on a radio show and his response was, pretty curious “I just think at the end of the day, everybody can play armchair quarterback and point fingers after the fact. I do think we need to figure out how to get in a rhythm when you use six receivers and make sure everyone’s in there for what they do best. I think that’s a little bit of a work in progress.”

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Hold up. Did Stephen Jones just say that Troy Aikman was playing “armchair quarterback”? Did that really happen?  Now that is freaking rich. 

Because if did, that is a legendary comment. Because Troy Aikman is not an armchair quarterback, he is a HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK. Implying that Aikman is an armchair quarterback is so ridiculous, so dumb that there isn’t even a cliché or trite phrase to apply to it. It’s not the pot calling the kettle black, because in this case, the pot isn’t even a pot. It’s a saucer. If that.

I could spend a whole hour on how ridiculous it is for the guy who’s the vice president of a team because his dad owns the team to imply that a Hall of Fame quarterback is an “armchair quarterback,” but I won’t. Because it’s too easy. And too absurd. 

What's next? Stephen Jones throwing the never played the game card at Roger Staubach?  Maybe stab Emmitt Smith in the back too. 

Furthermore, it’s not like Troy Aikman is going out of his way to carve up the Cowboys. He’s a Cowboy legend. He has always represented them with honor and class. He was a true professional as a player and he’s a true professional as a broadcaster and that means that he’s going to call it as he sees it. And he was seeing a boring offense. A vanilla offense that can’t move the ball, and an alleged star quarterback who looks like he’s lost his mojo. And is now just another guy under center. All truth, all things he could have said, but didn’t, because he has too much class and because he rocked the star on the side of his helmet. What the hell did son of Jerry expect him to say: that the offense is fire?  Cutting edge? Impossible to defend? 

I mean, I guess it’s creative to take a pair of Pro Bowlers and turn them into completely anonymous players. That is kind of creative. And takes a lot of work, but Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan did manage to do that. 

But don’t worry, Jason and Scott are on it. They’ve got big changes this week. Linehan is moving up to the booth instead of calling plays from the field. 

Garrett said it was "Just something that he felt like he wanted to do. He's done it before in his career. He's continuing to call the plays in, just from that higher vantage point."

And went on to say: “People will tell you when you’re up above, you see the whole game better. You see all 22. When you’re down on the field, maybe you have a better opportunity to connect individually with the players (but) you don’t have as good a vision on the game when you’re on the field as you do when you’re up above.”

Yep. That’ll do it. That will totally open up the offense. I’m predicting a 300 yard game for Dak and 200 yards for Ezekiel. Because nothing turns an offense around like the offensive coordinator changing where he sits. I’m sure that’ll fix everything and elicit an apology from Troy Aikman. 

Moving from the sideline to the booth or the booth to the sideline is the second biggest kiss of death in the NFL. The only thing worse than an offensive coordinator changing where he sits is when the head coach gives him a public endorsement. Oh, and Jason Garrett did that, saying: "I have a tremendous amount of faith in Scott.”  

Well, that makes one of you, Jason. And everything Aikman said was true. Pretty much anything anyone says about the Cowboys right now is probably true. But look at the bright side: at least we’re still talking to you; and with Jerry Jones, the ring isn’t necessarily the thing, but us looking at him and talking about him is. And we’re doing that. At least for now.