At this time last season, who would have known that the Dallas Cowboys were going to be one of eight teams remaining in the 2009 season?
Yet, after Sunday’s performance against the Chicago Bears, the Boys have forced their fans into panic mode. Although, knowing that the season has just begun, here are a few things that need to happen in order to start their winning ways again, but also to keep Jerry Jones, the owner, happy.
1.) The Defense – The Cowboys have a “doomsday” defense, which can provide pressure to opposing team’s quarterbacks, running backs and receivers when necessary. Although, where has that pressure been? Why haven’t they attacked the quarterback? Also, why hasn’t Wade Phillips, not allowed his defense to be more physical? Didn’t San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary make it clear in one of his many press conferences that all NFL athletes need to hit their opponents extremely hard and often?
Their defense ranks 19th in points permitted and 11th in yards allowed, which is 279 yards per game. Although fans should know that two sacks thus far belong to both DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
This defense last season provided a great deal of physical pain and pressure to their opponents early and often, especially when they derailed the New Orleans Saints undefeated season last November. When playing against the AFC South, such as the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts, they need to provide more pressure and energy. They need to appear alert and ready to play too. Also, the Cowboys defense needs to play mentally smart because against the Bears, they looked extremely lost and unsure of their assignments.
2.) Tony Romo – After a record breaking and impressive ’09 campaign, Romo has started the 2010 season with 2 touchdown tosses and interceptions. Although, throwing the ball for close to 700 yards is rather impressive, especially since it is still week two, but in order to start up this offense, especially a very talented one, it all starts with QB-9.
Romo was out of sync on Sunday, especially in an end around pass that was directed toward running back Tashard Choice. Not only did his passes not seem energized, but also his vision appeared rather weak. He was not hitting his receivers in stride and did not come across as the true leader that he usually is on Sunday’s.
If the offense is to turn around, it again starts with Mr. Romo. More film sessions, repetitions in practice and communication with his offensive line, receivers, tight ends and running backs will help the Cowboys start producing more points.
3.) Coaching – The coaching has been incredibly sloppy and not good at all. Head coach Wade Phillips has not been too impressive and doesn’t seem in sync with his various coordinators. What has happened with his relationship with the man who calls all the offensive plays, Jason Garrett?
The coaches need to get back on track. Even FOX Sports broadcaster, Joe Buck alluded to how throughout the entire training camp and preseason, the Cowboys kept saying, wait until every player is healthy. Well, despite a few bumps and bruises, this coaching staff needs to utilize the younger and stronger talent to the extreme. Keep drawing up plays that will confuse their opponents, as well as pressure the ball.
If the coaching staff can start working together, wouldn’t the team do it too?
4.) Kicking and Special Teams – This has been the weakest unit for the Cowboys. Not only has the place kicker David Buehler looked completely lost, especially after he missed a game tying field goal on Sunday, but also the entire special teams squad.
Similar to the defense, their leaders needs to pick up, but the only positive note from this group is punter Mat McBriar, who has done a fantastic job with setting up poor field position for the other team.
5.) Penalties – The biggest issue of them all is penalties!
So far this season the Cowboys have hurt their chances to win not only one, but possibly two games by calls against them, especially on offense. Whether it is roughing the passer or holding, the Cowboys need to be more attentive and realize that by seeing yellow laundry on the field is not a good sign. They need to correct their mistakes fast and play smart fundamental football.
Again, these are just a few pointers for all Cowboys fans. The season is still young and there is plenty of time left. Do not panic Dallas, the Cowboys can surely turn it around and it all starts against the 2-0 Houston Texans on Sunday September 26, 20