The Cowboys Are Exactly Who We Thought They Were And So Are The Texans

By Gregory Moore
Updated: December 12, 2006

SAN ANTONIO — The Dallas Cowboys are 8-5 and the so-called true fans of America’s Team are jumping ship. The so-called experts, the analysts who were touting how great Tony Romo was for this team six games ago are now saying that he is costing them games.

Terrell Owens, who was relatively quiet during this stretch, is now expected to have a week fifteen meltdown sometime this week. Yet if anyone truly understands what the Dallas Cowboys are in their current form, they will realize that, in the immortal words of Dennis Green, the Cowboys are exactly who we thought they were.

As maligned as this team could be, fans are forgetting some very glaring things right now. First and foremost the defense is missing Greg Ellis. You remember Ellis right?

The defensive end who balked at the position change to outside linebacker but yet has played so well that he was having a pro bowl year in the style of Willie McGinist? Well Ellis is out for the year and that is a big loss for this team.

You also have to look at the biggest weakness of this team and that is the secondary and namely the strong/free safety position. Let’s be real about Roy Williams; he is what he is and what he is a line backer playing the strong safety position. He doesn’t cover well and he’s not a great open field tackler.

Want to know exactly how the Cowboys got beat, look right at the secondary. How many balls went to wide receivers on the fringe where the cornerbacks were and how many passes were on the inside of that fringe where the safeties roam? There were four passing touchdowns in that game and at least two of them were thrown in the middle of the field.

On the offensive side, that offensive line is exactly who they are; a bad line. True it may not have looked bad in the first six games with Romo at the helm but then again no defenses were bringing pressure like the New Orleans Saints did on Sunday night.

The Saints’ front seven brought pressure that rattled Romo’s cage. He was sacked, harassed and threw two interceptions in the game. The one bright spot, Julius Jones’ 73-yard scamper on the second play of the game was the lone bright spot on an offense that reverted back to week three of the season.

Now with all of that said does that make the Cowboys a bad team? No. It just makes them a more realistic team. This team is not capable of winning eight games in a row and if anyone out there, a fan, a game analyst or otherwise thought they were going to do this feat, then that person is definitely hallucinating and not living in the reality that faces this team.

This team is an 11-5 team that could win their division if they just play well. Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit are very winnable games and those three wins will give this team an 11-5 mark.

They have to win the next three games and that is something this team can do. They are better than what they showed and they are definitely better than what we all saw on Sunday night.

THE TEXANS ARE WHO THEY ARE TOO Okay how many still think that Mario Williams was not a good pick for the Houston Texans? So Vince Young or Reggie Bush would have won the game against the Titans? Yeah okay let me see if Dr. Ricky Williams has an appointment available for you. In case anyone is paying attention, the Texans lost another close game and this was on the team’s defense once again.

It’s amazing how fans think they know more than the guys who have been evaluating talent on an everyday basis. Many believe that the Texans should have loosened the purse strings and gotten Bush no matter what the cost. Keep in mind that out of every ten Americans, seven of them are living above their means financially; they live on credit.

It is that spending philosophy that keeps these individuals out of jobs like what Charlie Casserley had in Houston. Look at that loss and tell me how Bush or Young would have helped them win? They don’t if your defense cannot make stops.

That is what fans don’t see in the Texans. An above marginal team right now, this team needs to be able to stop people first. The Texans had the lead in that game but their defense faltered once again.

People will say that Williams is a bust because he isn’t making plays but yet he is playing on a side of the defense that is the most heated in that particular scheme.

The Texans drafted someone to help solve their problems and I don’t expect a rookie, no matter what the draft position may be, to be this overall sensation that fans are so accustomed to. Rookies in basketball can make an immediate impact because their team is small. Rookies in football are totally different.

DILLARD SHOULD HAVE WON POSTSEASON AWARD San Antonio native Jarett Dillard should have won the Fred Biletnikoff award this year. Dillard was the best wide receiver in the game but yet Calvin Johnson was this year’s winner. That is a travesty and here’s why the voters got it wrong.

Johnson had impressive stats this season. He caught 67 balls for 1,016 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. That is an impressive year for the junior. But look at what Dillard did this season: 82 receptions for 1,174 yards and twenty touchdowns.

Dillard also has something that Johnson or any other wide receiver doesn’t have right now. Dillard is holding the career streak of catching at least one touchdown in every game he plays consecutively. That streak sits at twenty. And to top all of this, he has caught the attention of the NFL’s scouts.

To quote one NFL scout: “Dillard isn’t just quick — he’s fast. He is insubordinate the moment he puts on the pads. He has good hands and a knack for finding the end zone. He shows solid route-running ability and the knowledge to find holes in zone coverage.” You don’t get that kind of praise unless you are that good and the Sam Houston graduate is all of that and more. If Dillard continues to have a junior year like he did this season, he could be a Heisman candidate and I think he and his parents would rather have that trophy.

But it is just a travesty that the college writers didn’t pay closer attention to what Dillard did in the stat box. Just because he plays in the Conference USA conference at a smaller D1 school shouldn’t be held against him. He played better than any wide receiver at a big school that I know of this season.