Why the Vick Signing Hurts the Cowboys

My colleague Scott Crisp penned an article last week lambasting the Eagles for signing Michael Vick, a move he thought made no sense, even when taken strictly from a football standpoint.

Now, I see where Scott is coming from in some respects. Scott’s a big Dallas fan. And when a team you hate (like Philly) makes a move like this, your first supposedly objective reaction will be critical. This is what Bill Simmons does with the Lakers all the time. Sure, they won the title this year. But did they REALLY win the title as convincingly as say, every Celtics title team ever has? Of course not. That’s his completely biased opinion, poorly presented as an unbiased opinion.

I do this as well. My analysis of players I hate is motivated by my sheer hatred of them far more than I care to admit. Brett Favre is a Top-10 all-time QB? Pfft. I don’t think so. Look at all the picks he threw. He’s barely a Top-50 all-time QB, if you want my absolutely fair and balanced opinion. Also, I can’t stand Favre and wish he would die.

So consider this post a counterpoint to Scott’s analysis. Here are all of the reasons that signing Michael Vick makes perfect sense for the Eagles, and why it hurts the Cowboys.

1. It takes the heat off of Donovan McNabb. Do you really think McNabb feels threatened by a backup quarterback who hasn’t played in two years and is less accurate than the average Chris Mortensen report? If anything, Vick’s signing is a direct indictment of Kevin Kolb, McNabb’s backup. Kolb played poorly after McNabb got the hook against Baltimore last year. In Kolb’s defense, he was thrown into an impossible situation. Even so, Kolb has yet to show anyone in Philly that the Eagles were right to draft him as McNabb’s possible replacement. If Vick has a relatively good year doing what is asked of him, it’s not unreasonable to think Kolb will be gone in 2010.

Furthermore, the idea that Vick presents a horrible distraction is off base. Remember, this is Philly. Every Eagles season has some form of manufactured distraction wrung from it by the local media and fans, regardless of its relevance. For too many years, these little melodramas have surrounded McNabb. But now, all of the vitriol and melodrama will be focused squarely on Vick, allowing McNabb to go about his business. ANDY REID IS STUPID LIKE A FOX.

2. It gives the Cowboys one more tough thing to defend. This Philly offense was already loaded coming into this season. With Vick in the fold by October, they now have the added firepower of what could arguably be the most dangerous Wildcat (or, as I have suggested before, "WildDog" when Vick is involved) package of any team in the NFC. Last year, the Eagles tried running the Wildcat with DeSean Jackson passing. He threw a pick. This would seem to represent an upgrade.

3. There’s nothing to lose. Dallas has been criticized in the past for signing the occasional troublemaker. The difference here is that Vick will NOT be asked to be a crucial component of everything the team does. When Dallas signed TO, that also meant they had to rely on him if they wanted to succeed. Not so with Vick. If Vick flames out, you cut him and move on. The team remains intact. If TO flames out, you’re stuck with Roy Williams as your #1 wideout. See the difference?

4. It highlights the instability of the Cowboys organization. Strictly based on perception, most people agree that Vick was smart to join the Eagles. They’re a well-run organization. Structurally sound. They don’t suffer Freddie Mitchells gladly. They don’t have plane orgies. In many ways, they’re the diametric opposite of the way the Double J goes about his business. Would anyone argue that Vick has more of a chance to succeed in Philly than he would ever have under the loosey goosey reign of ol’ Wade here in Dallas?

That’s the real problem with this Vick signing. A team as well run as Philly can afford to take a risk on Vick, as New England did with Randy Moss two years ago. The Cowboys can’t. And, regardless of how Vick does, that speaks volumes.

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