Medical Nightmares, Some Malpractice, And a Prescription

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Shake_Tiller, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Shake_Tiller

    Shake_Tiller Well-Known Member

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    The Cowboys were mediocre coming out of the gate, partially from having a new coaching staff and a deeply disrupted off-season. The disappointing start masks the carnage since.

    The team lost to injury for part or all the season at least 17 players counted on to start or to play key roles. Nine of those losses were for multiple games, including the loss of QB1, the starting OTs, the TE, rhe presumed starters at DT, the best LB and the presumed best CB. Add to that the retirement of an all-pro C.

    Players such as OG Martin, OT Knight, CB Brown and LB Lee missed significant time. OT Erving, C Looney and G Biadasz missed time. QB2 missed time. Finally, they even lost the punter, which while maybe not impactful is a metaphor for a lost season. Or maybe we could choose as the season's symbol the decision of the presumed FB to opt out.

    Now the promising rookie CB will be out for most or all the remaining games. One must assume, given what has happened, another player or two will go down.

    The team miscalculated on Griffen and Clinton-Dix, which left thin positions thinner. They miscalculated on Poe. We might throw in McCoy. They were not blindsided by his injury.

    The revolving door OL has impacted Elliott, who hasn't played that well regardless. The loss of QB1 neutralized the team's greatest strength, WR.

    Jaylon Smith is most effective when paired with Vander Esch, and the latter missed multiple games.

    The team's strengths (QB1 and OL) were wiped out. The loss of those strengths was Kryptonite to Elliott.

    A shaky secondary has been a revolving door due to injuries and the Clinton-Dix fiasco.

    The Cowboys can't point to a single strength unless QB play is adequate to allow the WRs to shine.

    By games 15 and 16, the Cowboys might well "rest" players such as Elliott, Martin, Lawrence and Vander Esch should they not be, by then, legitimately injured. They might ask Dinucci to take the bullet in the name of experience and "seeing what we have."

    The schedule is weak enough for 3-4 more wins to be found, but I suspect, unless they come in a sudden burst and soon, the lineup will look like a practice squad the last 2-3 games.

    I'm don't recall a Cowboys team hit with such a wave of injuries to key players, including at the most critical position, QB. That multiplied the negative impact of a disastrous crop of free agent signings.

    This is a team absent Pro Bowl or near Pro Bowl talent in Frederick, who retired, Smith, Collins, Prescott, Martin for a couple of games and Vander Esch. OT is a hospital ward. Awuzie would have been better than his replacements.

    A promising rookie class saw Biadasz and now Diggs go down to injury. Lamb's impact has been deeply impaired by the QB issues.

    Most likely, the ceiling on remaining wins is 3. Realistically, they might win 1 or 2. I will forecast 2 more wins, a 4-12 finish and pick 3-5 in the draft. They are more likely to lose out than to win 4 more.

    There is talent on the field, but the holes are deep and the strengths are exacerbated by the QB and OL circumstances.

    In the hope Elliott hasn't lost as much tread on the tires as it has appeared at times, I would cap his remaining carries this season at, say, 75. Let's see if he can come back fresh in 2021 and reclaim some of the lost burst and downfield speed. That isn't tanking. That is preserving a valuable asset in a circumstance in which he is sure to absorb inordinate punishment.

    The Cowboys would be smart to see what they have in the young LBs. Let Robinson sink or swim in the D backfield. Give Aenee some time. Find out whether they have a QB2 if Dalton doesn't return.

    Tanking is mischaracterized unless the team quits on the coaching staff. The players on the field want to win and to preserve their jobs. The coaches can't and won't encourage them to play badly, of course. But there is nothing wrong with being smart, promoting youth and finding out about the back of the roster. All that has future value.
  2. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Moderator

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    Nice write up!
  3. blueblood70

    blueblood70 Well-Known Member

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    this is great way to put all of this in one place but ive been saying this all season in responses to fans just linig on this team ad some specific players. This is very true and this isnt who we are as team this is who we are in 2020 and will bounce back lie temperpedic in 2021 just getting our core back and good draft, a fa or tow, and a offseason with the staff now knowing what they need to do to get this roster ready for2021..


  4. blueblood70

    blueblood70 Well-Known Member

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    :hammer: level heads must prevail..:thumbup:
    jazzcat22 and Shake_Tiller like this.
  5. Shake_Tiller

    Shake_Tiller Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Some wounds have been self inflicted. They really need to take a long look at their FA philosophy and their evaluation of veteran talent. But next man up aside, there are times the injury bug is too much to overcome. A man can take only so many bullets.
    blueblood70 and SlammedZero like this.
  6. jazzcat22

    jazzcat22 Well-Known Member

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    Nice OP, very well said. I wish others would realize the domino effect it has had on the entire team.
    Such as, Zeke, he has not lost his game, but with that many injuries and everything in a constant sate of change. It effects players, the coaches, the team and FO as well, as what to do moving forward about players.

    I still think they could take this division, and easily get 4 more wins. FB Team, Eagles, Giants, Bengals, SF, as they can get 4 wins from those 5 teams. Then if the can steal a win against the Vikings making it 6 wins, they can finish 8-8, losing at the Ravens. Very doubtful, but the possibility is there. I see 5-11 or 6-10.
  7. Ranching

    Ranching Well-Known Member

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    I still think it's the Garrett stink still in the locker room
  8. Londonboy

    Londonboy Well-Known Member

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    daboyzruleperiod likes this.
  9. gjkoeppen

    gjkoeppen Well-Known Member

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    Here's a huge problem with your assessment. Every year the league looks VERY closely at the worst 5 teams or so especially the last couple of games to make sure that players who had been starters continue to play. Sitting starters who are not injured is frowned on by the league and is considered not really trying to win. Teams had tried using your reasons of trying to see what some younger players had but the league has said that is just an excuse to not really trying to win and to just keep or improve on their draft order. As such the league has taken the 1st round pick from those teams as a message to other teams that trying to tank by using young players to see what they have is an excuse that won't work.
  10. gjkoeppen

    gjkoeppen Well-Known Member

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    For those that are using the OL as the reason for Elliott's lack of production, on the surface that would make sense but after thinking about it I noticed something. With the same OL Pollard has a higher yards per attempt and has just about half of the total yards rushing in less than 1/3 the carries. So then why is the bad OL a reason for lack of production for one back when another back with that same OL seems to be doing better. Oh and has zero fumbles.
  11. Bobhaze

    Bobhaze Moderator

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    Well written post. Nice work.

    Interesting info on injuries this year- here are the 5 teams with most players placed on IR and their records:
    1. SF 49ers- 15 players on IR- record: 4-6
    2. Denver- 13 players on IR- record: 3-6
    3. NE pats- 12 players on IR- record: 4-5
    4. Cowboys- 11 players on IR- record: 2-7
    5. Balt ravens-10 players on IR- record: 6-3
    Obviously injuries are a big factor for us this season. But don’t overlook last year, when this team was one of the healthiest in the league and still went 8-8.
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  12. BourbonBalz

    BourbonBalz Star4Ever

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    I can’t disagree with anything said here. We’ll be back next season.
    Shake_Tiller likes this.
  13. Shake_Tiller

    Shake_Tiller Well-Known Member

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    Agree 100%. It was clear early in the year the Cowboys were an 8-8, 9-7, 10-6 team. The FA failings had a lot to do with that - they didn't improve DT with McCoy/Poe or S with Clinton-Dix. They didn't help themselves at CB with Worley.

    I think they had a chance to improve as the season unwound. The new coaching staff was really hamstrung early by the bizarre off-season.

    But I think the rash of injuries is primarily responsible for them being a doormat. And I think your great and helpful IR numbers tell part but not all of that story. Behind the numbers, you lost QB1 and both OTs. Arguably, that is the worst possible injury scenario in today's NFL.

    Much obliged for the thoughtful reply.
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  14. Shake_Tiller

    Shake_Tiller Well-Known Member

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    Understood. Not advocating wholesale lineup changes. Advocating increasing the younger players' snap cuts and being more cautious with the more vulnerable players.
    KeepinTime likes this.
  15. Shake_Tiller

    Shake_Tiller Well-Known Member

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    No argument about Pollard. I do think he has been more explosive and elusive. Will say that Elliott probably has a higher percentage of short-yardage runs and runs in which the box is stacked.
    buybuydandavis and Jake like this.
  16. TequilaCowboy

    TequilaCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Great write up.... i feel you covered the team's problems as best one could. The only thing i have with Zeke is that his mental side of the game has appeared to been affected. Yes, he is slower to the hole and does not have that burst he had as a rookie. That is why Pollard seems to have better runs with the same OL. And this lack of focus has also resulted in fumbles. The guy is not used to losing, and it has affected him mentally. He knows this is a shell of the 13-3 team.....He needs to come back in better shape and condition next year and clear his head. With a contract that he has, Dallas has no choice but to ride with this guy for next year or two.
  17. JoeKing

    JoeKing Diehard Zone Supporter

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    Injuries are a part of the game. I hate it when they are used as an excuse for a team's failure game after game. All teams face the same risk of injury yet the better teams manage to still win. These excuses are a reflection of how weak the FO and coaching really are. There is no doubt the injury bug bit the team this season in a serious way but even when they were at their healthiest, they weren't winning. The Cowboys thanks to their FO, just suck.
  18. conner01

    conner01 Well-Known Member

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    What team has had a draft pick taken for tanking?
    dreghorn2 likes this.
  19. gjkoeppen

    gjkoeppen Well-Known Member

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    As I said the league looks VERY closely at the teams in line to get the top picks in the draft and I doubt the league sees a whole lot of difference between starters not starting because of younger players and starters that are rotating out for younger players when the same starters didn't rotate out before in the past. The league wants to see ALL teams trying their very best to win ALL games.
  20. TheSkaven

    TheSkaven Last Man Standing Zone Supporter

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    And yet, and yet... they’re a game and a half out of first place with a legit chance to win this dreadful division.. provided Gilbert plays. If the red statue plays, hello top 5 pick.

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