It seems as if the Dallas Cowboys will forever have a symbiotic relationship with mental mistakes.
ESPN Analyst Mark Schlereth has described this relationship the best, “The Cowboys are a 12-4 talent team, but they are a 4-12 mental team, that’s why they go 8-8 every year.”
As a team that has finished the past two season at .500, Head Coach Jason Garrett has opened every year stressing the importance of ball security and limiting the number of mistakes made on a daily basis. In fact, he even has a sign in the ‘Boys meeting room about holding onto the ball.
His words haven’t seemed to stick quite yet.
In yesterday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the team turned the ball over six times. Six. Albeit it’s only the preseason, these mistakes have to remind Garrett of all his team’s 2012 blunders. Now that’s a scary thought.
The Cowboys had five of their six turnovers in the first two quarters of the game. Yes, five turnovers in the first 30 minutes.
The mistakes started yesterday when Dwayne Harris lost a fumble on a punt return after the Defense scored a three-and-out to start the game. Shortly thereafter, Lance Dunbar coughed the ball up at the end of a 43-yard pass play. Dez Bryant also fumbled on a play greater than 20 yards.
As a end result, the first-team offense produced zero points in three possessions. The Cowboys would have been set up in the red zone had Dunbar and Bryant held onto the ball.
The charitable Cowboys offense didn’t stop there.
Kyle Orton threw two interceptions in the 2nd quarter and looks hardly like he should be the league’s highest paid backup. Third stinger Alex Tanney also threw an interception late in the 4th quarter to seal the game for the Cardinals.
Yes, Orton and Tanney are backups and their interceptions shouldn’t really raise any eyebrows or amount of frustration for Cowboys fans.
But, the first team offense has NO excuse.
Dez Bryant said after the game that he needs to make sure he keeps the ball high and tight in practice. I’m not a football player but don’t you think this is something he should already know if he wants to become that superstar wide receiver?
In fact, that’s how turnovers are for the Cowboys. They always know what to say about them if they happen, or coaches say they preach how to avoid the costly mental gaffes. However, they keep happening.
Tony Romo explained the importance of ball security after the loss to ESPN, “It’s not championship football. We’re going to get that corrected. It’s too important. It’s the No. 1 thing you stress everyday.”
If he’s indeed correct and they really focus on ball security every day, you can’t help but think this team will never learn from their mental lapses that plague them.
The one encouraging thing however from these mistakes was Romo’s emotions on the sidelines. After Bryant’s fumble he slammed his helmet down on the bench, and was caught on camera screaming in disgust at others.
For the ‘Boys Romo and Garrett alike know they won’t contend if these mistakes continue.
It’s good to see someone (Romo) finally get angry.