GREEN BAY (105.3 The Fan) – If you can occasionally make a 50-yard run, but cannot consistently make a third-and-one run, you cannot run.
The Cowboys’ 28-7 loss on Sunday at Green Bay — the place where Dez Bryant and company sought to seek revenge for last year’s “The Catch That Wasn’t But Was’’ playoff loss — is marked by an inability to run the football, no matter the stats … not to mention an inability to catch it and throw it … oh, and Dallas isn’t very good at blocking, covering or tackling, either.
“We have to continue to keep on fighting,’’ Dez Bryant said after a game full of his non-catches. “We have to. We can’t just throw it in the bag.’’
Matt Cassel, the temp in place of the injured Tony Romo, couldn’t “throw it in the bag’’ in Green Bay if the bag was as big as Lake Michigan. But this wasn’t just about his foibles, or about how Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett are “football idiots’’ or whatever analysis the media creates to pacify their lowest-common-denominator offense.
This is about what happens in an 8-8 league when you perform without your best player while getting no bounces … and doing too little to create the bounces you need to bob above .500.
Or in Dallas’ case, to bob above its present 4-9.
This is a 4-9 owner, a 4-9 coach, a 4-9 backup QB, a 4-9 Dez Bryant, a 4-9 Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain and Sean Lee and Barry Church and Brandon Carr and Tyrone Crawford, who had a chance to keep his team alive before the margin got fat … but Packers QB slipped through Crawford’s fingers for a lengthy third-and-long run for conversion.
“I messed up,’’ Crawford told me. “I missed the tackle. I’m not going to say any different.’’
They all messed up … and yet there is no bigger mess than in the NFC East standings, where incompetence allows Dallas to remain mathematically in the playoff “chase’’ … if you can call “jogging in place’’ a “chase.’’
“We’ve just got to keep fighting,’’ Dez said. “Our mindset is never going to change. … There can’t be no quit.’’
Oh, the Cowboys will keep trying … so they will “organically tank’’ as the 2016 Draft now cannot arrive quickly enough. They will try to tackle and pass and cover and block and catch and run … but if you can only do those things on occasion, you cannot really do those things.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)