We'll get it out of the way right up front. The play that ended the first half of Sunday night's brutal 13-7 loss to the Redskins was a total abomination that should never, ever have been given a chance to see the light of day.
Jason Garrett should have told the Cowboys to take a knee and, failing that, told them that fighting for an extra yard makes no sense when you need more than 60 of them. After the Redskins accepted a holding penalty on Alex Barron, there was no reason for a Hail Mary and no hope of escaping the first half with any points. We know Princeton is better known for their work in the social sciences and humanities than football theory, but this is an issue of basic probabilities here and Garrett has to know better.
Wade Phillips took the blame for the call after the game, but we've all been around long enough to know that Uncle Wade has nothing to do with the offensive side of the ball. Double J's ginger obsession has total control of the offense and he must take the blame for the shortcomings.
That means he must take the blame for calling a halfback option pass inside the red zone in the first quarter. It means he must take the blame for targeting Dez Bryant more often than Miles Austin even though the rookie lost more battles to DeAngelo Hall than he won while Austin was having a night that justified his big new contract. It means he must take the blame for an offensive scheme that seemed to be totally predicated on smoke routes -- quick throws to take advantage of sagging defensive backs -- that the Redskins seemed to figure out within the first 15 minutes.
More than anything, he must take the blame for an offensive game plan that relied so heavily on passing when it was clear that the Cowboys offensive line couldn't do enough to make it work in pass protection. All offseason we wondered how the Cowboys would balance the workload of three talented running backs. No one ever imagined the answer would be that you'd simply ignore all of them while watching the passing game sputter and die over and over again in the first half.
Whatever particular point you'd like to emphasize, the point is that Garrett couldn't find a way to generate enough offense to beat a team that came up with two field goals on their own. The Redskins were as beatable an opponent as the Cowboys will see all season and Garrett couldn't come up with a plan that got the job done.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
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