Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Embarrassment Of Riches

Yesterday, as I sat in the House Of Blues in Las Vegas, I almost choked on my sandwich. The TV above the bar reported that my beloved Dallas Cowboys had two major developments: Adam "Pacman" Jones was suspended again by the NFL for a recent altercation in a men's room. That one, I had no issues with; Pacman, despite his once great talent, is a trouble magnet, and he simply should have known better than to get in any altercation, misunderstood or otherwise. Sure, it's unfortunate that the secondary lost a proven talent, and, combined with the injury to Terrence Newman, will be a tough loss. No, it was the second headline that got me: Roy Williams, one of Detroit's famous three straight top WR draft picks, was coming to the Cowboys, in return for multiple draft picks, including a first round pick next year.

How does this make any sense? The Cowboys already have T.O., who is clearly one of the NFL's top receivers. He has recently been starting to pull his frustrated routine, which wore out his welcome at two other teams. They also have a bona fide emerging star in Miles Austin, who benefitted from the increased reps earlier in the season as Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd went down with injuries. And Crayton is a solid receiver who doesn't make mistakes. Add to that they have the top receiving tight end in football, Jason Witten; a project speedster in Isaiah Stanback; a guy who they drafter to catch passes AND run in Felix Jones; and Marion Barber, their star running back, who showed what happens when he gets in the passing game last week.

My question is, with all of this catching talent, how, even with a healthy Tony Romo, are there enough balls to throw? This is a team that is built to win the Superbowl, this year; yes, their high powered offense has struggled a bit in the last few games, but adding another WR? Folks, the problems are not on the offensive side of the field; it's the defense and special teams! Where is the star defensive tackle to put pressure in the middle? Where is the stellar CB to defend those deep balls that Pacman wasn't even up to, and Newman will struggle to get back to form on?

Now, I know some will say that this a great opportunity to get a squandered talent to insure against the aging T.O., but this cannot look like anything but a high price to pay for a puzzler that may (may!) pay off, 1-2 years from now. Jerry Jones, you have always been a gambler, but this is an Al Davis move, not one of your savvy ones. If a trade was to be had, it should have been for a top CB, in my opinion, to shut down that deep pass option that other offenses are throwing so often, or an enforcer to lay serious hits like the other Roy Williams used to do, stopping teams from running those slants.

Jerry, remember: offense gets people in the seats, and I know you have a lot to fill with the new stadium next season, but defense wins championships. Ask the New England Patriots last year how they feel about having one of the top offenses of all times...and an 18-1 record. Remember, in the Superbowl, the Pats offense had done everything they were supposed to, but they were on the sidelines as the Giants tore through their defense to ruin the undefeated season.

Let's start the betting pool now on how soon before T.O. starts doing pushups in his Dallas driveway.


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