Uncomfortable: (adjective) 1. Causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort. 2. Causing a feeling of unease or awkwardness. 3. A lot more than firing your running back’s coach.
Surely when Jerry Jones stated that things were going to get “uncomfortable” around Valley Ranch, he wasn’t talking about this.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that running back’s coach Skip Peete was fired today. Now, the Cowboys rushing attack has underperformed vastly. Add the lack of production to the slow development of Phillip Tanner and other young rushers that were part of the Cowboys system, and you’ll see the move wasn’t awful.
Frankly, Skip Peete should have been fired. However, was that a move that should be considered “big” or even “uncomfortable”? Not at all.
This has all the makings of a move that Jerry Jones made in hopes of fulfilling fans' expectations. Well, I’ve got news for you Jerry—this fanbase isn’t as ignorant as you assume it is.
You want to change things up, how about trying some of these things on for size:
Switch to the 4-3 Defense
The argument here is typically that the Cowboys personnel best fits the 3-4 scheme.
That’s the point.
To me, the Cowboys are plenty equipped for a defensive change. In fact, by moving to a 4-3, you create a defensive line of DeMarcus Ware, Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lissemore and Jason Hatcher.
Not too bad.
Now account for the money you would save by not keeping Anthony Spencer and seeing what Alex Albright and Kyle Wilber can do on the outside.
You do trust your scouting personnel right?
The real question becomes, where do players fit and how do they perform?
Well that’s the uncomfortable part.
By switching schemes you’re basically creating open competition at every position. It’s no longer a situation where players feel comfortable with their standing within the team heading into the next season. By switching the scheme, you’re forcing them to compete again.
Don’t Be Afraid to Acquire More Draft Picks
Jason Garrett has always prided himself on creating competition at every position. The best way to do that is getting talented players who can push the current starters.
The draft is a good way to do that.
Currently, the Cowboys can’t deviate from a draft plan that would rebuild the offensive and defensive lines. That doesn’t mean that they can’t acquire additional picks to ensure competition is made.
The Cowboys actually have some valuable trade chips. They currently own the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, a pick for which many teams picking late would be eager to trade. Additionally, they have Miles Austin and Jay Ratliff, who may not yield large returns, but the avenues should be explored.
It’s obvious that the Cowboys are going to upgrade the trenches, and that must be the priority. However, if you can bring in a running back like Stepfan Taylor or Eddie Lacy and a quarterback like Tyler Bray or E.J. Manuel, then you’ve already brought in good competition.
Competition breeds work ethic; work ethic breeds success. If you’re forcing your best players to feel uncomfortable and the need to compete, then you’ve already vastly improved your team.
Improve this team Jerry.
Fire a High-Profile Coach
I’d be lying if I said I don’t care who it is, because frankly, if I see Rob Ryan’s jaw jacking cause the Cowboys another penalty, I’m going to punch his television projected image right on the jaw.
Seriously, the guy looks like a rabid dog with all that saliva spewing out of his mouth.
I digress; the point is that that the Cowboys need to put everyone on edge. That means firing someone who doesn’t necessarily deserve it.
That guy to me is Rob Ryan.
If you really want to make people uncomfortable, fire the guy who did a decent job with an injured defense. This unit is good and could be great; I don’t think that Rob Ryan is the one who makes that a fact.
Players like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Brandon Carr and DeMarcus Ware are what makes this defense successful. If anything, I think that the complex scheme of Rob Ryan has hurt this defense.
If you watch the Cowboys loyally then you’ve undoubtedly seen plays where the defense is clearly confused on assignments. That confusion typically directly results in broken coverage or assignments that hurt the Cowboys for substantial gains.
That needs to stop.
If the Cowboys are serious about sticking with Garrett then they need to move on from Rob Ryan. They don’t complement each other well. A defensive coordinator in Dallas needs to be a smart football guy with a mild personality. A stern-faced genius if you will.
That, by no means, is Rob Ryan.
Firing Skip Peete is a step in the right direction, but it is not the solution.
This team needs change; it needs to be woken up from this hypnotic state of .500 football.
There are options for this team to explore. Certainly there are evaluations that need to take place both in players, coaches, and front-office personnel.
Everyone should be nervous, and everyone should be prepared to compete.