The Cowboys are running out of excuses. The offensive line has its starters back, the offense is healthy (was healthy) and the defense was supposed to dominate.
Losses to the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears are about as shocking as it gets. No one could have predicted what happened this past Sunday when the Bears picked apart the Dallas Cowboys and made them a one-dimensional team.
Should we even wallow over the past?
Up next are the undefeated Houston Texans, which will be a tougher game than the Skins and the Bears.
Tight end Jason Witten is expected to play after sustaining a concussion and throwing a fit on the sidelines on Sunday. The Bears had a field day with Witten this week when two players claimed he was scared to take big hits.
Mike Jenkins, who was also injured Sunday, is expected to play. But does this team have the confidence?
The press in Dallas say the confidence in Wade Phillips is so low that it's not even measurable. Columnist Kevin Sherrington says Phillips is not a likely candidate to pull off an amazing turn-a-round similar to what the New York Giants did in 2007. Phillips is not leading this team and quarterback Tony Romo is playing with little inspiration. Sherrington makes a good point:
How did Coughlin's personality change help? He instituted a leadership council of 11 players who gave him regular input. They stopped seeing him as an iron-willed adversary. In turn, they learned he wasn't only out to make their lives miserable.
Compare Coughlin's situation with that of Phillips: As far as coaching styles go, it's like a drill instructor and camp counselor. Phillips contends screaming doesn't instill discipline, and he's right. Coaching is about holding players accountable on every play and making them understand there are repercussions. Don't tell the media they played well most of the time. You can't let a player think it's OK to execute most of the time.
Who is holding the players accountable in Dallas for all of the mistakes that have been committed in the first two games of the season? These mistakes cost the the Cowboys wins in BOTH games.
Where is this team's identity? How long is Jerry Jones going to keep his faith with offensive coordinator/assistant head coach Jason Garrett? If there is a coach in the NFL whose playcalling has been undeniably bizarre, look no further than at Garrett's playbook.
Of course, I cannot harp enough on my constant concerns with giving the field goal kicking job to David Buehler. The bone-headed move is coming at a serious cost right now.
But what's more mind-boggling is how the Cowboys defense is unable to create turnovers. An interception or a fumble recovery is such a rarity for this team. I've never seen a team struggle so much to create turnovers.
Starting the season 0-2 is no laughing matter, no matter how confident Cowboys fans are that the team will turn things around. Only 13 percent of NFL teams make the playoffs after starting 0-2. Terence Newman dropped a bomb on the team's coaching staff when he questioned if the team practices hard enough.
"We have to make it a game situation in practice. That's just what it is. We go hard in practice, but maybe our intensity needs to go up a little bit. We've got to do that as players and not worry about the coaches."
The comments are enough to send chills down the back of your neck. His remarks irked Marcus Spears enough to counter by defending the defensive line.
"That D-line group that I'm in and that room that I'm in, we go to work every day," Spears said. "So I can't agree with that comment from my perspective. . . . Push the panic button and say these guys need to come together and talk. That's not the issue, man. We've got to play better."
Is it the offense that's playing cupcake football? Tony Romo and his offense is not exactly lighting the field on fire. Even without mistakes, the Cowboys offense is not making plays, and it seems as if everyone is underachieving sans wide receiver Miles Austin.
I will get more in depth about this throughout the week, but one thing the Cowboys must do is run the ball more and better. Marion Barber was running the ball well against the Bears in the first quarter only to be replaced with Felix Jones. A hot player should never be removed from the game, and doing so shows the weak offensive acumen of Jason Garrett.
Am I right or wrong?