Phoenix, Arizona is not known as a tough place to win a football game. Unless, of course you are the Phoenix Cardinals or the Dallas Cowboys. Historically, the Cardinals have struggled to win football games anywhere (with one brief Kurt Warner-induced respite) unless they are playing the Cowboys.
This Cowboys 19–13 overtime loss to the Cards had no business going to overtime and no business being a loss. Because it was both, it proved to be business as usual.
This loss also proved a few other things…
It proved Jerry Jones, the World’s Dumbest Billionaire (not an official title, but I am working on it), is wrong again. When he derisively called Jimmy Johnson a “walk-around coach” and intimated that it is better to have your head coach serve as his own offensive coordinator, he was dead stinking wrong.
At the end of regulation, Garrett apparently got lost on the sideline. He had two timeouts in his pocket and failed to use either of them when he should have. The Cowboys were driving for the winning score. A timeout would have bought them the opportunity to claim more of the Cardinals’ real estate and get rookie kicker Dan Bailey an easier shot at kicking a game-winning field goal.
Garrett eschewed using a timeout until his kicker was lining up and making a game-winning field goal. Then, at the last second, the Cowboys’ coach became the first in NFL history to ice his own kicker. As the ball sailed between the uprights, the referee was blowing the whistle and awarding the head coach/offensive coordinator his timeout.
Saying a head coach is better off serving as his own coordinator is almost as stupid as saying a team owner should serve as his own General Manager. Sunday was Exhibit A for Jimmy Johnson’s argument against a head coach bogging himself down in the minutia of coordinator duties. It is almost impossible to consider the big picture and control all the dirty details simultaneously.
Garrett’s inability to manage the clock and game strategy at the most crucial time in the contest is beyond inexplicable. it is inexcusable.
So, shut up, Jerry. Go peddle stupid somewhere else. We’ve had our fill.
Another thing the loss in the desert proved is that the Cowboys remain a middle-of-the-pack kind of team.
Good teams take care of business against bad teams. Middle-of-the-pack teams almost beat good teams (see the Jets and Patriots games) and then lose a game or three to bad teams. Good teams play disciplined football. So-so teams have players like Orlando Scandrick nullifying big plays by committing braindead penalties at inopportune times.
Green Bay is a good team. New Orleans. Good team. Dallas…you know. So-so.
NFL.com features a headline today that reads, “Cardinals Shock Cowboys in Overtime.” Only someone that has not paid attention to the Cowboys for the past decade and a half would be shocked by that debacle in the desert.