Ellis: Offense's Lack Of Organization A Troubling Indicator

Some folks tried to blame the Cowboys' loss in Seattle on poor preparation, but I didn't think that was the case. It wasn't poor preparation in the 11 days leading up to the game that forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff.

And surely special teams coach Joe DeCamillis had told linebacker Dan Connor to pick up a free runner coming in to block a punt on the ensuing possession, the play that gave Seattle all the momentum it would need. Sometimes things happen, especially on special teams, which are filled by a bunch of rookies and backups.

But in Arlington on Sunday, the Cowboys were very fortunate to win in spite of an offense that looked poorly prepared, unorganized and uncoordinated.

Take the first possession of the game: The Cowboys opened with an incomplete screen pass (somehow), a false start (at home), a drop (by their most historically dependable pass-catcher) and an interception (when the quarterback stared down a receiver so long the cornerback had time to leave another receiver and make a break on the ball).

Yo offense so ugly you almost got beat at home by the Buccaneers.

The Cowboys can say what they want about how difficult Tampa Bay's defensive front is, but the group didn't sack Eli Manning once in his 51 passing attempts the week prior, and they only hit him twice. Tony Romo was sacked four times, fumbling twice, and was hit four more times after he delivered the ball.

Realize the Buccaneers had 11 tackles for loss as a team Sunday, and the Cowboys had nine offensive penalties. That's 20 minus plays in one game. It took literally a miracle performance by the Cowboys' defense to win the game.

In Seattle, I came away with the impression that the Seahawks were the reason the Cowboys couldn't execute on offense, which they said was the real reason they scored only seven points. And though the Buccaneers fought hard, their defense isn't one that should give anyone chills. The fact is the Cowboys' self-inflicted mistakes were the biggest reason for the offense's failure in the home opener.

To be fair, there are a lot of teams having problems offensively to start the year, with offensive lines looking just as ragged as that of the Cowboys. One of them will be in Arlington in Week 4, the Bears.

In some games, this much-improved defense will be good enough to make up for the ineptitude of the Jason Garrett-coordinated Cowboys offense. But unless the group cleans things up, and relatively soon, it's going to be asking too much.

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