Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan owned this embarrassment. As he should have.
Ryan talked big and failed miserably to back it up, getting schooled by Andy Reid as the Eagles scored on their first six possessions en route to a 34-7 rout. But it’s an exaggeration for Ryan to claim that the blowout was all his fault.
Plenty of players were parts of the problem. Even when Ryan made the right calls, the Cowboys struggled with the basics of defensive football, such as tackling and covering.
And Jason Garrett’s offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain, either. Good luck winning when you can’t score for the first three quarters.
How much of the blame falls on the head coach/offensive coordinator?
In his postgame press conference, Garrett certainly didn’t make his share of the accountability as clear as Ryan did. The harshest word the head coach used was “disappointed” and actually pulled a page out of Wade Phillips’ playbook by praising the Cowboys for trying hard.
“It really was about execution more than anything else,” said Garrett, indicating that he didn’t think X’s and O’s were the Cowboys’ downfall in this debacle. “I don’t think it was about effort. I think we worked hard, guys were fighting hard in all three phases. They just played better than we did.”
However, when the Cowboys throw for a grand total of 56 yards in the first three quarters, some of the blame needs to fall at the offensive coordinator’s feet. Especially when he’s also the head coach who has final say on team personnel, in particular the offensive line that failed to provide Tony Romo a comfortable pocket on a consistent basis.
Eagles first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, a former offensive line coach who had been under fire in Philly, got the best of Garrett.
This blowout in a key NFC East contest wasn’t all Garrett’s fault by any stretch. But he should at least own up to a decent-sized share instead of letting the defensive coordinator take all the blame.