Grantland: Fallen Franchises

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by chicago JK, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. chicago JK

    chicago JK Well-Known Member

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    Dallas Cowboys
    2012 Record:8-8
    Pythagorean Wins:7.4 (overperformed by 0.6 wins, 11th-luckiest in league)
    Record in Games Decided by Seven Points or Fewer:7-5 (0.583, eighth-best in league)
    Strength of Schedule:0.539 (third-hardest in league)
    Turnover Margin:Minus-13 (tied for 27th in league)
    2013 Out-of-Division Schedule:AFC West, NFC North, vs. Rams, at Saints
    Give Dallas this: You can certainly envision a scenario in which it all comes together and the Cowboys win 13 games. They've got the franchise quarterback, the trio of elite receivers, the superstar pass rusher, the sideline-to-sideline middle linebacker, and the pair of talented cornerbacks. You wouldn't hesitate to build the core of your team through the sorts of players the Cowboys have in their core, nor should you.
    The problem with the Cowboys is that, as much as it's often portrayed as such, it's rarely the core that does them in. It's usually the weakest link. It's Abram Elam missing a tackle in the backfield and Gerald Sensabaugh overrunning Victor Cruz in the de facto playoff game against the Giants in Week 17 two years ago. It's Alex Barron literally costing the Cowboys the game in Week 1 of the 2010 season by holding Brian Orakpo. It's Chris Gronkowski missing a block in the backfield to let Michael Boley shatter Tony Romo's collarbone. It's Jason Garrett mismanaging the clock to set up needlessly long field goals twice over the past two seasons. Sure, occasionally, it's Romo dropping a field goal snap or Miles Austin coming up an inch short of a game-sealing touchdown catch. But it's usually the guys who the Cowboys are forced to play because they're both desperate and capped-out who cost them games.
    And, well, there's a lot of capped-out desperation on the roster this year. The 2006 through 2009 drafts for the Cowboys have left them with Doug Free, Jason Hatcher, Orlando Scandrick, and Anthony Spencer, which isn't much of a haul. And since all of those guys got big contracts, there's no space to bring in any notable veterans behind them. The Cowboys might have more street free agents and players with no upside who are one false step away from playing a huge role than just about any non-Raiders team in the league. And it's still the same problems, too: The Cowboys are likely to start below-average players at four of the five spots on the offensive line, which is a hassle when your quarterback is at his best improvising with time to throw. They're remarkably thin at safety, turning things over to former Steelers backup Will Allen and former undrafted free agent Barry Church, who is coming off a torn Achilles. If the Cowboys don't turn it around and make the playoffs in 2013, it's because their stars-and-scrubs philosophy hasn't worked.
    Best-Case Scenario:Everybody does their job from top to bottom on the roster, and that includes Garrett, who coaches like the guy the Ravens actually wanted to hire over John Harbaugh a few years back. Romo leads the way with a banner year as the Cowboys win 12 games.
    Worst-Case Scenario:Romo lasts four games before getting hurt, and then Garrett doesn't last much longer before he gets canned. It becomes another lost season for a team that sure has a lot of lost seasons.
  2. ChronicCowboy

    ChronicCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Grantland is maybe the worst web site in the history of web sites. Long winded, boring articles from people that have very little skill and talent.
    CowboyMike likes this.
  3. nake

    nake Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    They may have a point about "stars and scrubs", but I have a feeling that is pretty common in the NFL. We could have a few more non-scrubs if the NFL hadn't taken ten million dollars of our cap and distributed it to the rest of the league.
  4. Idgit

    Idgit If you food, you gonna be ate. Staff Member

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    Overperformed by .6 wins. Woo-hoo! That's what I'm talking about.
  5. Staubacher

    Staubacher Well-Known Member

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    He is right about missed plays. I remember that Elam whiff that would have forced the Giants to punt before the long TD to Cruz. And last year Jimmy Graham outrunning our secondary to a loose ball.

    But I'll say this : our roster churning is working slowly but surely. You think JJ Wilcox is gonna let a slow TE break his tackle for a first down or go after a loose ball like a pansy? Or is Frederick gonna let some guy blow thru him and kill Romo with the game on the line? I don't
    Irvin88_4life likes this.
  6. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    Allot of the recent mistakes resemble the same things that went on with Wade but have been happening for a different reason. Wades guys were sloppy but the ones recently can be fixed by experience on the field and getting the same 5 guys on the O-line for more than a few games. Also writers can't use the 06-09 draft as proof the team is bad forever. 06 was almost 8 years ago and it looks as if they've gotten out from under those years with one more draft. I hope this team is as under the radar with other teams as it appears to be with allot of writers and fans.
  7. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    Don't agree with this at all. I am a huge fan of the site and there a lot of talented writers, people on that site.
    Crazed Liotta Eyes likes this.
  8. Kaiser

    Kaiser Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Gosh, its almost like Paul Tagliabue instituted Parity Ball and the entire NFL has been a bunch of middling crappy teams for the last twenty years. I have to run now, I'm headed to the beach to make sure water is still wet.
    theogt likes this.
  9. HoustonFrog

    HoustonFrog Well-Known Member

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    Agree completely. Barnwell is anything but a scrub and they have a lot of great content vs. sites that just spit out the same AP report or have writers who can't analyze anything.

    If anyone is being realistic I don't see how they can disagree with what is said above. It gives Romo his due, talks about the talent that does exist...true..and the major holes...basically depth and talent on the lines and and at safety. Not sure what people expect.
    Crazed Liotta Eyes likes this.
  10. cowboysooner

    cowboysooner Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it is a given that four of five olinemen are below average starters. I certainly think we are in a position to replicate or better the Falcon lines of the past few years.

    We were such a poor run blocking team with Cook and Livings and Bernie trying to make reach blocks, second level blocks and stop quick penetration on slants. I've seen enough of Frederick to think he is at least an average center. I think we are still a guard short but that you can at least make due.

    The biggest oversite to me is you have an 8-8 team that was twenty seventh in turnover differential and you hired the coordinator and scheme of the team that led the league in turnovers forced. Turnover margin is fluid from year to year and you are going to more zone which usually forces more turnovers.
  11. Crazed Liotta Eyes

    Crazed Liotta Eyes Member

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    Couldn't agree more.Grantland it awesome and the football content is just a small part of it.
  12. Califan007

    Califan007 Well-Known Member

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    Who are your trio of elite receivers?
  13. davey999

    davey999 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't Malcolm Gladwell write for them sometimes?
  14. PA Cowboy Fan

    PA Cowboy Fan Well-Known Member

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    Dez, Miles & Witten?
  15. Eric_Boyer

    Eric_Boyer Well-Known Member

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    I think he meant pass catchers.

    Dez, Miles, Witten
  16. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye.

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    Gee, I don't know.

    Bryant, Austin, and Witten?
  17. SWG9

    SWG9 Well-Known Member

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    Although I like Grantland and Barnwell, I think the guy has a pretty big blind spot when it comes to the Cowboys. I listened to the NFL preview podcast he did for Dallas, and I had to shut it off because it was so inaccurate. He said the Cowboys were never in the game against Washingtonin week 17 (funny, I remember them getting the ball back with a chance to take the lead late in the fourth) and said that Dez Bryant wasn't one of the five best receivers in the league.

    When his cohost pressed him to name five better WR's and the name Andre Johnson came out of his mouth, I clicked it off. Not sure how much worse it got after that.
  18. perrykemp

    perrykemp Well-Known Member

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    Are you talking abut the Andre Johnson who had 112 receptions for 1598 yards last season? Yeah he sucks.
  19. Questfor6

    Questfor6 Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget Mike Jenkins making "Business Decisions" throughout his tenure here, Goodbye!! I've read articles all Spring/Summer about how this franchise is on the decline but I just don't see it. With Garrett being able to actually be a coach and not a coordinator too this year I think it's going to do wonders for him & this team.
  20. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    Just got a new name for my fantasy team.

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