No, the NY Jets are not the most disappointing NFL team in 2012 to me.  But, one could definitely build a case for them. Their 6-10 season was an embarrassment for the whole organization and fan base.  The Tim Tebow experiment backfired and created confidence issues in their #1 quarterback.  Unfortunately, this feeling filtered through to the rest of the team and the coaching staff seemed to do nothing to stop it.  No, I’ll just say that this team never had a chance.

The Philadelphia Eagles are also a contender for most disappointing team.  Yet another losing year without making the playoffs and a head coach fired for that team.   But no, there was absolutely no pass protection for Vick.  Nuff said.

The Giants?  A team can’t win if their defense ranks #31 out of 32 teams.

The Saints?  No head coach.  Controversy & suspicion seeping through the veins of the players. #32 ranked defense.

Chicago?  They actually got to 10-6, but this is an offensive league right now. #28 offense and #5 ranked defense won’t get the job done.

Dallas Cowboys?  Yes, for the pure reason that they had so much more potential than finishing 8-8 and missing the playoffs.

I’ve heard the excuse in certain articles (even by owner Jerry Jones) that injuries are much to blame for the Cowboys’ adversity this year.  But, on paper, this team actually played well.  Better than their 8-8 record indicates.

According to NFL statistics, Dallas finished ranked #6 in “total offense” out of all 32 teams at the end of the season.  Only the Pats, Saints, Lions, Broncos, and Redskins were ahead of them in this category.

Tony Romo was also a very good quarterback this year.  While he finished #13 ranked  total QBR, he was #2 is Pass Completions; #3 in Pass Attempts; # 3 in Passing Yards; #6 in Passing TDs; #3 Passing Completion %; #3 in total offense (Rush yds + Pass Yds – Yds lost to sacs); had third most game winning drives; and most Comebacks for all quarterbacks.

Dallas’ defense didn’t fare as well, coming in #19 ranked on the list of “total defense”.  But, just know that the Falcons, Patriots, Colts, & Redskins all fell below the Cowboys in this ranking and all of those teams made the playoffs.  In fact, if you really want to overstat this, think about this: the Atlanta Falcons offense finished below the Cowboys and their defense finished below the Cowboys in the rankings, yet the team finished their season 13-3 and beat harder teams than Dallas had to contend with along the way.

How the heck then, did it come to this for Dallas? How did they only win 8 times and barely against average or below-average teams at best:  Giants, Buccaneers, Panthers, Eagles (twice), Browns, Bengals, and Steelers.  Other than Dallas’ win over the Eagles in week 10 which they won by 2 touchdowns, the Cowboys did not win by more than 7 points in any of their other games.

What’s the problem?  Leadership.  And, I guess that’s what’s bothering me here.  I can’t stand to see a good team go down due to lack of a good leader.  In the NFL, if there is no natural chemistry to unite a good team, either the head coach has got to steer the ship to victory, or 1 player has to take the wheel and uplift the men.

Tony Romo may be good at throwing the football, but he’s not picking up leadership for this team.  If the coach can’t do it, he’s got to do it as quarterback.  This intangible is what makes the Patriots so good.  Coach Belichick is a strong mastermind and has a legendary work ethic.  Combined with Tom Brady who is an outstanding quarterback in his own right, and cheerleader for his team, I feel they are Super Bowl bound.

So, it appears to me that Coach Jason Garrett is to blame.   Yes, he’s faced “adversity” and managed to pull a team together with decent numbers.  But how could Jerry Jones think Garrett has done an “outstanding job with this team” that barely broke even? Does he not see that 5 of the 8 losses which Dallas suffered were winnable?

For example, Dallas lost to the Ravens in Week 5 by 2 points.  In that game, Dallas had 30 first downs overall, 11 more than the Ravens.  They rushed 42 times for 227 yards and got only 1 touchdown out of all that.  It’s no wonder Dallas finished the year ranked #20 in Red Zone Conversions.  And, this stat highlights exactly the problem.  Even with the effort and the talent, Dallas simply could not get the job done when they needed to at crucial times in the red zone.  To me, with a better coach to rally them, I believe that Dallas could have won 5 of the 8 lost (Ravens, Giants Wk 8, Falcons, Redskins Wk 12, and the Saints), giving them an overall record of 13-3.  Bottom line, Coach needed to find a way to uplift the team’s confidence, provide the chemistry they so obviously lacked, and help them to overcome the less than 7 point deficits in their 5 of their 8 losses.

In the end, it’s simply astonishing to me that Jason Garrett’s name still remains on the door to the head coach’s office for the Dallas Cowboys organization.  Even Lovey Smith was let go for the Chicago Bears with a 10-6 team and having his QB suffer a bad concussion mid season which impaled their momentum.  Yet, Jason Garrett keeps rolling along.  Should all teams have such generous and patient owners like Jerry Jones…

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