I’m not blaming Brandon Weeden. I’m simply calling for him to be benched.
Nothing about Sunday’s loss to the Falcons really surprised me. The defense was too banged up to stop Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. And the offense – though powered early by a strong running game – was eventually shackled by a backup quarterback who just doesn’t have “it.”
I’d seen enough of Weeden to know it before Sunday. Now I’ve seen more than enough. I’m not predicting Matt Cassel as some sort of savior. (Players cut in Buffalo rarely wear halos, for crying out loud.) But I am saying he should start Sunday night in New Orleans. Because, until Tony Romo returns around Thanksgiving, he’s the Cowboys’ best stop gap.
Weeden’s now lost his last nine NFL starts, two of them with the Cowboys. Let’s nip this in the bud.
Strange to rip a player who went 22 of 26 for 232 yards. And Weeden completed his first nine passes against Atlanta – and now somehow he holds the franchise record with 21 consecutive completions. But it was Fool’s Gold. You knew it. And so did the Falcons.
Weeded was the SmartCar, going 55 in the right-hand lane. Safe? Sure. But when it was time to step on the accelerator and merge with the legit cars, forget about it.
He mastered the 4-yard slant throw to Lance Dunbar out of the backfield. But when he dared color even one stroke outside the lines of his elementary playbook, all Hell broke loose. An improvised interception. And, in the second half, the Falcons took away the short, safe stuff and dared Weeden to beat them deep. They put an extra defender in the box to stop the run, and suddenly Joseph Randle starting going backward.
The result? Weeden threw nine completions in the second half for a whopping 68 yards while Atlanta out-scored Dallas, 22-zip. Just like every opponent will do, the Falcons shrunk the field on the Cowboys’ offense. Took away the wide receivers. And eventually shut them down. And out.
Again, Sunday’s loss wasn’t all Weeden’s fault. The defense allowed 39 points. Jason Garrett got out-coached by Dan Quinn.
But it was reiterated what we already knew: Weeden just isn’t good enough to win a game when things are going bad.
It’s time to find out if Cassel still can.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.