Cowboys’ Garrett deserves much of the blame for struggles

By Kyle Anderson  |   Thursday, October 30, 2008  |  Comments( 9 )

Dallas Cowboys
Got something to say?

Log In above and share your thoughts on this topic with other fans!

Aided by seven penalties (including three on the lone touchdown drive of the game as time expired in the first half) and a strong defensive performance, the Dallas Cowboys">Dallas Cowboys narrowly defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers">Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend, 13-9. To this point, backup quarterback Brad Johnson has shouldered most of the criticism for the Cowboys’ struggles on offense.

Commentary: After watching their quarterback touch the ball only three times, Cowboys fans in Texas Stadium rained a chorus of boos on Johnson. After Johnson struggled in Week 7 against the St. Louis Rams">St. Louis Rams, Cowboys fans were unwilling to be patient with Tony Romo's 40-year-old backup.

Johnson struggled mightily against the team he quarterbacked to a Super Bowl victory after the 2002 season, as the Cowboys converted only three out of 15 third-down attempts. Twelve times Johnson walked off his home field to boos.

“Let them boo you – that’s OK by me,” Johnson said after the victory against the Buccaneers. "You’ve just got to manage the game.”

"Pathetic" is the best description for Dallas' Johnson-helmed offense. Johnson’s inability to throw the ball down the field is only part of the issue.

In reality, the team's inability to run the football is the root of its problems on offense.

Despite one of the largest offensive lines in the NFL, Marion Barber averaged only 2.8 yards per carry last week against the Buccaneers. If running the ball is about attitude, then perhaps the Cowboys are softer than expected.

Eerily, head coach-in-waiting Jason Garrett has escaped criticism. The offensive coordinator has not been creative enough in terms of play calling (or play designing) to jump-start a running game that the teams desperately needs. Johnson should not have been put in a position to attempt 33 passes.

Many point to the loss of change-of-pace back Felix Jones as a key reason the running game has struggled. The argument is that Barber’s violent rushing style does not allow him to run the ball 25 or 30 times a game.

If the Cowboys have any shot at winning this weekend against the New York Giants, they must run the ball early and often. They need Barber for 30 touches, especially with two weeks to rest. Garrett needs to convince both Barber and backup Tashard Choice that they must turn in their best performance of season to have any shot at victory.

If the Giants game is put in Johnson's hands, the likelihood is the Dallas will fall to 5-4 in the league's toughest division. Worse, the rival Giants will climb to 7-1, building a 2 1/2 game lead on the Cowboys.

Maybe the Cowboys finally learned last week that winning ugly is better than losing with flashy stats. For a team desperate to get back its starting quarterback and No. 2 RB, the bye week cannot get here soon enough.

Fan Pulse: Cowboys fans are looking for third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger to get playing time this week if Johnson continues to stumble.

Fantasy Football Impact:
Tight end Jason Witten has not yet been ruled out with a broken rib, but with Johnson running the offense, all starting Cowboys receivers will struggle putting up numbers. Witten is not worth the risk. Barber, despite last week's poor showing, remains a must-start option.

Injury Report: Witten's status is up in the air, while Romo and Jones are out until at least Week 11. In the secondary, cornerbacks Anthony Henry and Terence Newman, as well as safety Roy Williams, are out.

Got something to say?

Log In above and share your thoughts on this topic with other fans! (9)

About Kyle Anderson

Kyle Anderson is an avid sports fan of both professional and college football, as well as MLB. He is a high school history teacher and an adjunct history professor in suburban Kansas City. He earned a B.S.E. in Social Studies and Journalism as well as a M.A. in History from the University of...
Article Tools Share!   |  RSS  |  Bleacher Report About Bleacher Report
CommentsComments: 9  |  Sign Up  View all comments
01:55 PM
I agree to the extent that the lack of a rushing attack is killing the cowboys on top of everything else. I think Marion Barber...
02:24 PM
Yes good point spawn I doubt this would of happend if it wasnt for the injuries and pac man jones suspension etc. it never ends...
03:09 PM
Adam Jones suspension is the least of the Cowboy's issues. He was not making an impact in the secondary. Yes he had a few pass...
Team News  |  View All Cowboys Content
Romo’s clavicle is broken an...
I've heard the talking heads say for years that the Cowboys had no lea...
5 years, 8 months ago   |   Romo’s clavicle is broken and so is my heart. ( 2 )
How ‘bout them Cowboys???...
I have been a passionate Cowboy fan for decades. What a thriling ride...
6 years, 5 months ago   |   How ‘bout them Cowboys??? ( 6 )
Roy Williams is out of touch...
In case you haven't heard two days ago Roy Williams made a statement s...
6 years, 7 months ago   |   Roy Williams is out of touch ( 1 )
Cowboy Nation
Two Minute D Maybe it's just me, but the last two minutes of the half...
6 years, 8 months ago   |   Cowboy Nation ( 2 )
Cowboy Nation: TO vs RW
6 years, 8 months ago   |   Cowboy Nation: TO vs RW ( 3 )