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It's Too Late for the Cowboys to Make Sweeping Changes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Leonard Davis is going to keep his starting job, something that's sure to upset many Cowboys fans. Wade Phillips is going to keep his job and that's sure to infuriate an even larger number. Everyone is going to be angry that there doesn't seem to be any solution to the latest loss but a lot of empty-sounding cliches about working harder, executing better and getting back to basics.

    That anger is understandable, but it is more than a little misguided. We're heading into Week Six of the NFL season and that means the Cowboys aren't going to make fundamental changes. For one thing, they aren't out of anything just because they are 1-3 and sweeping change can involve taking steps backward before realizing any gains. This team might well wind up throwing away this season, but there's no reason to help the process along by making some change just for the sake of change. 

    You make big changes -- firing coaches, altering schemes, acquiring new personnel -- in the offseason because that's when you have the time to allow those changes to really take effect. Those are the kinds of changes you make when you have absolutely no other option at your disposal. 

    The things that are costing the Cowboys games don't take any grand intervention to go away. For starters, they commit way too many penalties, miss too many field goals and turn the ball over too often without forcing enough of their own. It is naive to simply suggest that the team stop doing that because they probably wouldn't be doing it if they had the proper level of control over these things. 

    The offensive line was a big worry entering the season and it has proven to be worse than feared. Phillips isn't suddenly going to become a different coach and neither will Jason Garrett for that matter. Mike Jenkins plays corner the way he plays corner and the locker room is full of players who seem to have a hard time motivating themselves on a weekly basis. These are not things that can be changed in the middle of a season.

    That's not to say it is okay to simply accept the status quo. Players who don't deserve to be on the field shouldn't be on the field. If Davis isn't better than Montrae Holland, go ahead and make a change. It's just that it is foolish to believe that a change like that or a new kicker is going to suddenly change the fortunes of a team that is experiencing problems at a more systemic level.

    This is the Cowboys team of 2010, like it or not, and it is going to be up to them to fix what's wrong or go down in flames.   

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