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Every year sports teams and their fans play the "Blame Game". There is always someone or something blame for failure; and the Dallas Cowboys have had a lot of that these past couple seasons. Romo, Garrett, O-Line, the list goes on and on. Hopefully this blog can give some perspective on which way to point the finger for lack of success of the Cowboys. Tony Romo - Everyone likes to blame the quarterback. "Too many interceptions! Not enough touchdowns! Not a high completion percentage!" Yes, Romo has game. He can (most of the time) get the job done in the regular season. Is he a clutch quarterback? No. He has repeatedly failed to convert in high pressure/big game situations over the years, and it has made him a running joke in the NFL. What makes it worse is that he has had numerous chances to change that impression but keeps doing the same thing. So yes, Romo deserves some of the blame, but compared to other quarterbacks out there, I'd take Romo any day. A 3 year contract is in order, and after that, it will be time to move on. My take: Romo's blame = 10% Offensive Line - 31st out of 32 in rushing. 17th out of 32 in sacks allowed. Not acceptable, especially in the run game. The Jaguars had a better rush yard per game and MJD was out for 10 games. This makes teams focus on the run less and the pass more, which puts more pressure on Romo. I don't blame DeMarco Murray. I do blame Felix Jones, for not living up to his potential coming out of Arkansas, but that's a different story. You have a solid offensive line, you have a better run game, you have a better pass game. Boom, success (hopefully). My take: Offensive Line's Blame = 30% Jason Garrett - Dude. The closest I've come to coaching an NFL game is playing Madden the video game; and I'm pretty sure I can manage the clock at the end of a close game better than Garrett. He is a great coach with a great offensive philosophy. He understands that success does not come overnight and that this is a "process". This was just his second season of being a head coach. The clock management and play calling skills will get better over time, but they need to be sooner rather than later. My Take: Jason Garrett's Blame = 5% Defense - After Rob Ryan was fired, it came out that he might have had too many schemes. A reason the defense wasn't as good as hyped up to be in his first season was due to lack of time to implement all of those schemes. But really, does a defense have to be that complicated? Just go out there and MAKE PLAYS. Rush the quarterback, defend the pass, and stop the run. That's it. My Take: Defense's Blame = 5% Jerry Jones - This might a while so get ready. What I think deserves the #1 blame for the Cowboys is Jerry Jones. Jerry is probably one of the best owners and businessmen in football. He's taken the Cowboys to over a franchise valued at over $1 Billion. Key word: OWNER. Jerry Jones is not anything close to a good football mind. How did the Cowboys win 3 Super Bowls in the 90s? Jerry hired Jimmy Johnson, who then brought in the players and built a championship team. Then Jerry felt like he was losing control and wanted to have more to do with the football product, so he fired Jimmy and hired Barry Switzer. The next year the Cowboys win another Super Bowl. Not with Barry's team, but with Jimmy's. A few years pass of mediocre football, and then Jerry hired Bill Parcells. Parcells begins to build his football team and slowly but surely the Cowboys start to do better. Again, Jerry feels like he is losing power and signs "The Player", Terrell Owens. Parcells retired, and Jerry brings in Wade Phillips (after bringing in Jason Garrett as the offensive coordinator). The Cowboys make the playoffs 2 of 3 years, winning once, with basically Parcells's team. After Wade couldn't win with his team, he is fired and Garrett assumes the head coaching role. What did Jerry say when officially announcing Garrett as head coach? Something to the effect of, "Jason will have final say on all football related moves." After 2 seasons, I'm calling BS. It seemed to start the way that Jerry promised, but with how this off-season's coaching carousel apparently played out, it definitely does not seem that way. I feel like Garrett is a smaller (and thinner) version of Wade, Jerry's personal puppet. I would love to see Jerry coach the team and go 0-16. Why do I care what Jerry says after the game? He didn't have anything to do with it. Stop asking for his football opinion. Two radio guys in Dallas talked with Jerry and he basically said that he loves the drama. Yes, drama sells, but DRAMA DOES NOT WIN FOOTBALL GAMES! That seems like the only thing Jerry is interested in right now, and it is incredibly frustrating as a fan to think this. That's the reason coaches like Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher would never want to coach in Dallas, because they know they would have no control. I guarantee, when Jerry Jones is not the general manager of the Cowboys, and a real "football guy" (either coach like Bill Belichick or GM like John Elway) is running the show, the Cowboys will win a Super Bowl within 5 years of that. My Take: Jerry Jones's Blame = 50% Possible Off-Season Solutions - Jerry Jones has said that he would not fire himself as General Manger, so out the window that goes. The #1 priority this offseason should be strengthening the offensive line, #2 safety, and #3 defensive tackle. Getting a solid offensive line would certainly improve the run game, which then helps the pass game. Safety has been an issue for the Cowboys for a few years now, and they haven't fully addressed the issue. A guy like Matt Elam from Florida would come in and provide a toughness and playmaking ability that has not been seen since the early years of Roy Williams (depending if Elam can cover). There is talk of a drafting a quarterback to develop behind Romo. Maybe next year, but not this year with this quarterback group. With Ware and hopefully Spencer rushing every down from the edge should help with the pass rush, but they Cowboys need help on the inside. Hopefully Ratliff can do it if he stays healthy, and that is a big if. The Cowboys need to find a #2 or a replacement for Ratliff that works in Monte Kiffin's 4-3 defense. With Jerry Jones at the helm, you never know what the Cowboys are going to do. I believe in Garrett's process, and I want to see it work, obviously. Hopefully the right football moves are made, so that Cowboys and their fans don't have to sit through another disappointing, and embarrassing season...again.
 
March 7, 2013  03:46 PM ET

per your remarks..... romo is not a clutch QB, has repeatedly failed to convert in pressure/big games and having had the chance to change this impression but keeps doing the same thing, and is now a running joke in the NFL. i agree with all of your accessments on romo.... so why the remark about taking him any day over other NFL QBs? this is puzzling! unless you are talking about the 15 other teams with .500 records like dallas, i'd prefer another QB under center that is not a joke, can perform in pressure games and learns from his mistakes rather than repeating them.

OL is bad, garrett is probably worse and JJ is the absolutely worst GM in the game today (although he's a great business mind.... just not football mind.) So, i'd assign blame percentages as follows: romo 20%, OL 20%, garrett 20%, JJ 40%. my reasoning is that dallas does have talent, but no proven HC and we do need a proven HC - not one learning on the job as that costs us games. we need a QB that can learn and improve and romo is the same QB he was 5 yrs ago. but JJ is the man that picks players and does the deals, and the main reason we are stuck in .500 and will likely remain there.

our only hope is he eventually hires a winner HC that can get this group into shape both physically and mentally.

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