Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals: Five Things We Learned
1. Tony Romo is carrying this football team.
Sure he’s having the worst year of his career. But he is playing on an offense with four starters on the offensive line that will not be starters next year.
The Cowboys really didn’t address the offensive line in the offseason and it shows.
Romo is running for his life half the time and sometimes makes bad decisions. The Cowboys' run game is nonexistent and he still isn’t on the same page with his receivers.
It’s getting better but it’s not where it should be. Romo is a special quarterback. Bash him all you want. An average quarterback on this team would have no more than three wins.
Sure, he makes mistakes because he feels like he has to carry this team. I mean look how they’ve played. They’re awful. But look back and see how many games he has won. As long as No. 9 is on the field he gives the Cowboys a chance to win week in and week out.
2. The real Cincinnati receivers didn’t show up Sunday.
If A.J. Green and the rest of the Bengals' receivers would have the majority of the passes thrown to them the Bengals would have won this game easily. They were uncharacteristically plagued with bad drops at the absolutely wrong time. Expect the Bengals' receivers to play a lot better next week.
3. NFL teams reflect the personality of their coaches. The Cowboys are no different.
The Cowboys in critical game situations either make a stupid mistake, commit a bad penalty or both. Jason Garrett has been known to lose games because of a bad decision or two at the worst time.
The same goes for his defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who got flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct Sunday while the Bengals were in the red zone moving them 15 yards closer to 6 points and a new set of downs.
I have been watching football for a long time. I can’t remember the last time a saw an NFL coach or a coordinator get flagged for such a stupid penalty.
4. NFL football will be very different in 5-10 years.
The hit on Dez Bryant by Reggie Nelson shouldn’t have been flagged. Nelson did everything he could within his power to keep Bryant from catching the ball. Bryant wasn’t hit in the head and he wasn’t defenseless. If penalties like this and lesser ones continue to be called, defensive players will start to be gun shy and not play to their ability.
Wide receivers will catch every ball thrown to them unchallenged by the defense. It will start to look like a 7-on-7 drill. If the NFL continues to limit a defenses ability to stop an offense player, the game will be reduced to a boring watered down un-enjoyable product from a league that is afraid to be sued by former players who have made millions in the NFL to begin with.
5. The Cowboys' offense is getting better but their defense is getting worse.
If you watch the Cowboys like I have you will have noticed that the defense is getting progressively worse. Some of that is due to injury and some of that is due to scheme. The Cowboys have been gutted up the middle by the run and pass. If the Cowboys don’t get this fixed they can kiss the playoffs goodbye. Again.