What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve heard me profess my life-long fandom of the Philadelphia Eagles. If you’re a long time Dubsist, you are likely screaming “WE GET IT ALREADY” at your device right now. Being an old-school Eagles fan means I have a love-hate relationship with Ron Jaworski. Being the first Philadelphia quarterback to set foot on a Super Bowl field gives him a “Neil Armstrong” type quality, but then again, the first man on the moon didn’t throw three picks to the same fucking guy.
I guess a better analogy would be if Jaworski were your best friend in college. You loved the guy, and then you found out he was screwing your girlfriend. You were nuclear-powered pissed-off at him, until you figured out she was a bitch and all the sins of the past were forgiven…but not forgotten. It’s been decades since them, but every once in a while, something happens to remind you of the day you had to punch your best friend in the face.
I bag on ESPN a lot for being the sludge-pump that it is; that’s a large part of why this “Sewer” series exists. But I have to give credit where credit is due. ESPN does a wonderful job of getting guys who you know aren’t stupid to make a career out of saying stupid shit. Worse yet, a disproportionately high number of them come from my beloved Eagles…Herm Edwards, Mike Golic, and obviously “Jaws.”
The reason why “The Polish Rifle’ is drawing Dubs-fire is the other day while discussing the Dallas Cowboys, Jaworski kept referring to their offense as “multi-dimensional.”
As an Eagles fan, I hate the Dallas Cowboys more than paper cuts and toothaches combined. That means I’ve been listening to people fawn over the Cowboys all season long. But I also have a rule about giving credit where credit is due. Even I must admit there are plenty of things that team has done right to be the #1 play-off seed in the NFC, but having said that, there’s also been far too much hyperbole, and “multi-dimensional” was the straw that broke the Eagle’s back
Let’s start with defining “multidimensional:”
- having many aspects or facets
- having many physical dimensions
“Jaws” blurted this word out not once, but twice, sandwiched around his accurate yet erroneously-described observation. To paraphrase, Jaworski said the Cowboys’ offense has a deep threat wide receiver, a tight end who can control the middle of the field, and a running game second to none. With “multidimensional,” Jaws is trying to sell you the overall idea that “the Cowboys can beat you in all kinds of ways.”
The Cowboys offense is “complete,” not “multidimensional” because everything that team does on offense is predicated around a simplified, run-based approach. Don’t forget when Tony Romo first got hurt, there was pure, uncut panic in Dallas. Signing Mark Sanchez to possibly be the starter or floating the concept of luring Peyton Manning out of retirement were all hallmarks of the fact they weren’t ready to bet on a quarterback who at the time was an unproven 4th-round draft pick.
Let’s be honest; the easiest way to turn a C-student into an A-student is to make the homework easier, and that’s exactly what the Cowboys did. This offense doesn’t feature complex deep-down field passing concepts. This offense runs a lot of straight-ahead blocking schemes. And this offense doesn’t have a playbook filled with a lot of “gimmick” plays trying to create opportunities. Granted, Dak Prescott has certainly grown into the role of an NFL quarterback; Prescott supporters will point to his ~70% completion rate and his 8 yards per passing attempt average, but the fact of the matter is Dak Prescott has yet to prove he can beat a good team throwing the ball.
Jaworski has been on “double secret probation” with me ever since he declared Colin Kaepernick “would be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time,” which is why “multidimensional” is getting the ‘fact-check” treatment.
FACT: Dak Prescott ranked last among all NFL quarterbacks who played in all 16 games, and 23rd overall in number of passes attempted, which was less than both Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler.
FACT: Prescott’s high completion percentage is largely because the Cowboys made it a point to at all costs avoid a lot of obvious passing situations like 3rd and long. If this were golf, Prescott’s been playing “best-ball” with a guy who’s leaving him a lot of three-foot putts.
FACT: Among the quarterbacks who played 16 games, the average number of passing attempts per game was just over 35. Dak Prescott’s record against teams with winning records when attempting more than 35 passes: 1-2.
The regular season was one thing; the play-offs are quite another. There won’t be anymore Bears, Redskins, or Buccaneers upon which to to fatten the stat sheet. Given the facts, and given the “eyeball” test, it’s nothing short of ludicrous to tell me the Cowboys offense is “multidimensional” and “can beat you in many ways.” The EXACT opposite is what we’ve seen. Dallas wins by controlling the ball, not making mistakes, and taking the “high-percentage shot.” Obviously, a team can win a lot of games with that formula. But in the end, seeing is believing, and before I believe Dak Prescott can beat a play-off team throwing the ball, I’m going to need to see it.