It's six months later, but we're still assigning blame for the playoff meltdown in Minnesota.
Most of it has fallen at the massive feet of the Cowboys' offensive line. That tends to happen when a team has twice as many sacks allowed (six) as points scored. (Not to mention the other 10 times Romo was hit or the 11 tackles for losses by the Vikings.)
"I would say as a very truthful answer, we had a bad game," Gurode said. "They did a lot of things against our protections that they took advantage of. Most of the times, it wasn’t the offensive line’s fault. It may have been what we were supposed to do, and they brought pressure from another spot that we couldn’t pick up."
That sure sounds like a guy calling out the coaching staff, much like Tony Romo did after the season-ending Philly Flop the previous season.
However, Gurode set a world backpedaling record for the 300-plus-pound weight class when it was suggested that he was pointing the finger at the offensive coordinator Jason Garrett or offensive line coach Hudson Houck.
"No, it’s not the coaches’ fault. Do not say that," Gurode said. "It’s not the coaches’ fault. We just did not play well enough to win the game."
The truth is that there is enough blame to go around. Right tackle Marc Colombo, who rushed back from a broken fibula for the playoffs, might have had his worst game as a Cowboy, with Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards racking up three sacks and four tackles for losses. The coaching staff screwed up by twice leaving Jason Witten one-on-one against All-Pro Jared Allen, resulting in a tackle for loss and a sack.
There's no question that the inability to protect Romo has been a primary reason the Cowboys' season ended in embarrassing fashion for two straight years. Who deserves the lion's share of the blame is up for debate.
(In an effort to avoid having a 320-pound Pro Bowler perturbed at me, I'll point out that Gurode is hosting a charity weekend to benefit his Center of Attention. Click here for more details of the weekend, which is highlighted by a kickball game Saturday.)