Far be it from me to be the turd in the proverbial punch bowl, but it’s never a good thing when your team allows Rex Grossman to throw for four touchdowns. That should only happen to a MAC team. But that’s exactly what the Cowboys did yesterday, continuing a baffling streak of defensive incompetence for your home team. The Cowboys have held opponents under 20 points a grand total of three times this season, and just once since Week 3. They did nine times last season.
Wade Phillips was fired at the beginning of November because of this collapse. And despite winning four of six games since taking over, the defense hasn’t really improved under Jason Garrett and Paul Pasqualoni’s watch. The Cowboys are second to last in scoring defense this year. They were second in the exact same category last year.
Now, you’re never the same team that you are from one year to the next, but that still represents an astonishing drop, one that can’t just be ascribed to turnovers.
This team still has the core of its defense from a year ago: DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Anthony Spencer, and so on. Yet with those same players playing the same scheme, the results have been a diametric opposite of what they once were. Tim Cowlishaw says this is because Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins have turned into horrible players, and indeed they have. The Cowboys also committed a number of stupid penalties yesterday, a problem Garrett was supposed to correct.
I have no doubt that Garrett will be named permanent head coach once this season is over. But the ongoing defensive collapse makes it clear that Pasqualoni isn’t going to be allowed to run this defense next year. Jerry Jones is gonna bring in a new coordinator (John Fox?) and force Garrett to integrate him. And if this defense still isn’t working 2011, then Princeton Boy is gonna find himself right in the crosshairs.
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