Monday, November 12, 2007

Credit, Where It is Due

I was very unhappy with the Cowboys hire of Wade Phillips. Actually, I was cautiously optimistic until Chris dragged out my real feelings. I thought that he was a retread coach who had failed his previous two coaching chances with the Broncos and the Bills. I was annoyed by Jerry Jones hiring his offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, before he even hired his head coach. I was was leery of Garrett anyway because he had one year of coaching experience, an decorated year as the QBs coach at Miami.
However, after an 8-1 start to the season in which the offense looks like a juggernaut and the defense is improving dramatically as it continues to return starters such as Greg Ellis, Terrence Newman, and Anthony Henry, I have to admit that, at this point, I was wrong. Wade Phillips has been exactly what this team needed after Bill Parcells. He has allowed the team to play looser and more confidently.
I give Jason Garrett a lot of credit for the development of Tony Romo. I love the aggressiveness that the offense shows every week. I think this team is going places.
Up until the last couple of weeks, the Cowboys had not played a tough schedule. Their biggest game was the Patriots game at home. As I look back on that game, I'm feeling better and better about their chances. They led late in the 3rd quarter and were ready to retake the lead when a penalty killed a drive and the next drive ended in a turnover. Now every single game turns on penalties and turnovers. It's often the difference between winning and losing. Case in point is last weeks Giant's game. As the Giants are ready to tie to ballgame, a holding call on Brandon Jacobs' touchdown run forces the Giants to settle for a field goal and the Cowboys never looked back. But in the Patriots game, they went toe to toe, but they lost. No one else except for the Colts have even given them a game.
The question for this team is will the avoid the late season meltdown that plagued them during the Bill Parcells years. Baring injuries, I expect the Cowboys to continue to win leading up to the big game against the Packers. That may be for home field advantage in the playoffs. Once you get to the playoffs anything can happen.

1 comment:

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