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Play-Calling Is Suspect, Once Again

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13: Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys walks on the field during warm ups to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Jason Garrett can't help the fact that Tony Romo was bad like Michael Jackson in 1987. He can't help that Denver's defense is -- or at least seems to be, at this early juncture -- pretty good. Nor can he help those God-awful orange Broncos jerseys (even though I wish he could).

    But after last week's two-fades-in-a-row debacle, one would think that he would take more care to help what he could -- namely play-calling. You know, that thing he gets paid to do. Apparently though, Garrett's still relying on dice-rolling, or a magic severed rabbit's foot or an oversized eightball, when the chips or down; I say this because, at the end of the game, there seemed to be little rationale involved.

    Last week, Garrett's faux pas went noticed, but only slightly as (a) the Panthers suck, (b) the Cowboys won, and (c) they did so with 21 unanswered points.

    This week, the redhead and former wunderkind wasn't so lucky.

    This tends to happen when you're playing a 3-0 team, when you throw at Champ Bailey--the consensus pick, pretty much, for best corner since Deion Sanders retired the first time--incessantly. On Dallas' only touchdown-resulting drive, Garrett went with the obvious, boring and right approach, giving the ball to a barbarian named Marion, and scoring on an ugly run.

    On the last drive, Dallas went to Sam Hurd twice. This isn't to make any implicit comment on the abilities of Sam Hurd; but he was covered by Champ Bailey who, not to be redundant, is really good at football--at least better than Sam Hurd. What this poor play calling will mean in the scope of the season, I don't know--Garrett could shape up and be anointed, once more, the future of offense in the NFL, for all we know.

    But in the context of today's game, it meant a certain loss, and another week of frenzied second-guessing for the city of Dallas, Texas. This doesn't augur well for that first, painfully optimistic, scenario.