The possibility of going in a younger direction has been a popular topic of conversation at Blue Star this week, but it seems that our beloved patron doesn't share our interest in talking about options. Jerry Jones wants nothing to do with changing up the approach in Big D.
"We would not, in any way, compromise a chance to win the game by playing a player to evaluate or to give him experience," Jones said. "You don't, in my mind, do anything five to six games into the season but try to win the game. I'm emphatic about that. We will get enough opportunity, usually through injury, to see the players."
On the surface, Jones makes a good deal of sense. You don't stop trying to win games just because your first six tries were stupefyingly enormous failures. The NFL season is long enough that there's always time to change courses with enough time to take a look at everybody on the roster. The problem with Jones's viewpoint is that he's advocating sticking with players who have already made it clear that they can't win games.
The Cowboys don't have choices at every spot on the field, obviously, but they do have younger options at several places on the roster where the established starters haven't been producing. We admit to reaching a bit for the idea that Stephen McGee is a better choice at quarterback than Jon Kitna, but there are places where giving young players a chance is about a lot more than evalutation.
Tashard Choice deserves a chance to play because it is better for the Cowboys long term, but also because he gives the Cowboys a better chance to win than continuing to use Marion Barber. We've seen Barber do his business so often and with so little success that it is actually more than a little insulting to suggest that playing him over Choice is about winning rather than about fear of change.
We're a little less emphatic about the wisdom of upping the playing time of rookies Sean Lee or Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, but it is awfully difficult to see how putting them in the lineup ahead of Keith Brooking, Alan Ball or Gerald Sensabaugh is actually going to make things worse at this point in time.
It's defensible to say that the Cowboys need to focus on winning games, but totally closing off the idea of playing young players just because they're young smacks of nothing so much as thinking about issues of ticket sales, parking lot revenue and the like that have nothing to do with what's best for the football team on the field.
Things can only get better if you admit there's a problem, and honesty isn't Double J's policy at this point in time.
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