Originally Posted by Idgit
Don't sell them short. 'Bad fans' are often right about players several years earlier than the braintrust is. They were all over Witten being done earlier in the season, for example. And some of them have already identified what's wrong with Demarcus Ware after just a few short weeks without a sack. They nailed Terrence Newman and Roy Williams several years before any of the coaches saw it. They got Tony Romo back when he wasn't a good enough leader, and they're hot on the trail of Brandon Carr as we speak.
Just my opinion but I don't think Witten should be included in any discussion concerning age and declining play. Witten is one of those rare individuals who, though just as mortal as anyone else, seems to rise above the ordinary and produce by sheer will alone. Over my lifetime, I'd only place Staubach, Lilly, Randy White, Jordan, Cliff Harris, Pearson, Ed Jones, Rayfild Wright, Allen, Renfro, and Emmit in that category.
The truth is: Decline happens to the best of them and Witten is no exception. The difference is, though, that Witten will find ways to produce even though he no longer has the physical skills to be exceptional. The same can be said about Ware. It happens. Some day the Cowboys will have to make a difficult decision because I do not see Witten going away quietly.
Ratliff has been a very good player but, as a Cowboy, I have never believed him to be exceptional. Comparing him to Witten, or Ware, is really unfair and unmerited. If anything, Ratliff is the perfect example of a guy who the Cowboys should have allowed to walk last year as opposed to building a defense around him. I am actually grateful he has missed so much time because some of the younger guys are getting valuable playing time and the Cowboys can evaluate them to determine who has a future and who needs to be replaced.
I may be in the minority but moving on from Ratliff for budgetary reasons makes perfect sense to me. As valuable as he has been, he is no longer an impact player. It is time to invest in youth at his position.
Garrett to players: Make today a great day; go about the business of winning! If you can't keep up then don't step up.