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Week 4: Redskins 26 Cowboys 24

September 29, 2008

Surprise, I'm Not All There

Surprise, I'm Not All There!

There’s a lot of blame to pass around for the Cowboys losing Washington’s last visit to Texas Stadium.  The defense – especially Terrence Newman – played poorly.  On offense, Jason Garrett abandoned the run in the first half, and abandoned Felix Jones altogether.  The plague of stupid penalties continued, most damaging among them having twelve defenders on the field AFTER A TIMEOUT.  That penalty, along with the ineffective defensive schemes used throughout the game, is the fault of Brian Stewart.

But while neither the players nor the coordinators performed well, this is exactly the type of loss that has to fall at the feet of the head coach, who has been cut incomprehensible amounts of slack over his career, because he’s a lovable bumpkin.  But it’s starting to become increasingly apparent that Wade Phillips is unable to succeed beyond his own personal limitations.

His regular season won-loss record is solid, but whenever his teams lose, there always seem to be more coaching reasons than performance reasons.  This particular loss definitely falls into that category, because the team was unprepared, unenthusiastic and unfocused.  Bad penalties (12 men), ineffective schemes (20-yard cushions) and mismanaged personnel (no Felix and only eight carries for Marion Barber) all point the finger of blame directly at Wade.

The Redskins are to be credited for being prepared, enthusiastic and focused.  They played their best, and deserved to win.  But it is obvious to all that had the Cowboys matched Washington in those areas, Dallas would definitely have won.  The fact is, they didn’t.

The Cowboys have Super Bowl talent, but unless they start generating turnovers on defense and become more consistent on offense, they will continue to be a one-and-out team come playoff time.

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