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Rams Route Romo-Less Cowboys 34-14.

St. Louis got their second victory of the year in a big way by whipping Dallas in St. Louis 34-14.  Many may try to say it was due to the lack of Tony Romo who roamed the sidelines the entire game with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand, but that wasn’t the only reason for the lopsided loss.

After starting the game with a very crisp 77-yard drive for a touchdown, Dallas seem to just shut down for the remainder of the game.  St. Louis responded quickly with a 42-yard strike from Bulger to Donnie Avery and never looked back while taking advantage of one Cowboy mistake after another.  On the Cowboys’ second possession, C Andre Gurode again made a faulty snap that pinned the Cowboys deep in their own end of the field where new punter Sam Paulescu only managed to kick out to their own 44-yard line.  This led to another quick score by the Rams to get to 14-7 with about 7 minutes left in the first quarter. 

The Cowboys third possession was no better as the Rams defensive line tipped a Brad Johnson pass at the line of scrimmage and into the hands of LB Will Witherspoon.  The Rams would punch it in from there for another short touchdown off the turnover on a 1-yard Steven Jackson run making it 21-7 and the route was on.  Jackson would finish the day with 160-yards rushing and three TD’s, including a 56-yard scamper in an apparent jab at the Cowboys for passing him over in the 2004 draft. 

Things would never get much better in the second half as the Cowboys’ Nick Folk missed his second field goal of the season, the offense and defense made more mistakes and Brad Johnson threw two more interceptions.  They barely managed to score a meaningless touchdown at the end of the game to get to the final 34-14 score.

 What is there to be learned from this, we might ask ourselves.   When the Cowboys lost to Washington, it was supposed to be a wake-up call for them to start playing more up to their potential.  After a somewhat shaky win against the Bengals, everyone said it wasn’t pretty but at least we won and then the heart-breaking and costly loss to the Cardinals again led to the pundits saying that the Cowboys just needed another wake up call.

What we’ve learned from this is that talent alone isn’t enough to win games in today’s NFL.  Every team has talent these days and it’s still a matter of going out and playing the game with your best effort and focus.  As Vince Lombardi said all those many years ago, the team that blocks and tackles the best will win the game.  The fact of the matter is this Dallas Cowboys team is not blocking and tackling as well as the other team.  Sounds simple, but it was a missed block on the punt in Arizona that led to the loss.  It has been poor tackling on both defense and special teams that has extended opponent’s drives or led to scores. 

Throw in turnovers and costly penalties and it’s easy to see why they have lost two games in a row and three of the last four.  You can’t make these same mistakes and expect to win or for some miracle play to get you in the game again.  So I’m going to go out on a limb here and just say it, coaching is the problem.  Why did we bring back Dave Campo and why do we have a head coach who never seems to hold any player accountable for their mistakes.

When you have a team that continues to commit the same stupid penalties and mistakes while not ever hearing of any corrective actions towards it, then it must be because there isn’t any corrective action taking place.  As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over but to expect different results.

I believe the Wade Phillips-era has come to a crashing close in Dallas.   Yes, there are many injuries plagueing the team as S Roy Williams re-fractured his forearm and will miss the rest of the season, but many teams are faced with the injury bug.  There is still plenty of talent on this team to get the job done,  they just simply aren’t doing their job. 

Saying that you’ve been taking things too much for granted is not an excuse, it is an error in judgement and coaching.  Jerry Jones may say he is not going to act during the season to make a coaching change, but if he doesn’t, I wouldn’t expect much from this year’s season.

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