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Mailbag: Were coaches, players ready?


Isn't it obvious that the coaches never had this team ready for the game? – Jeffrey Secora/Mason City, IA

Nick Eatman: I guess that is the logical reasoning any time a team gets off to a slow start. It's usually on the coaches but I don't just give the players a pass because they didn't execute. In this case, it was just a lot of everything. Defense was gashed in the running game and that opened up the passing game. The offense started out trying to run the ball, which hasn't been a strength all year. The special teams gave the Packers better field position with penalties and then put themselves in a hole with short kickoff returns. I just think it was a combination of everything that could factor into the game, did factor in, and it all went to the Packers. You have to finger point somewhere and it does begin with the coaches. It's their job to have the right game plan and the Packers had a much better plan and scheme. But at the same time, Dak missed open receivers, CeeDee dropped passes, the O-line missed blocks and the defenders were constantly moving into the wrong lanes and gaps. Put it on the coaches but the players need some blame, too. If you can't get yourself ready for a playoff game, that's a problem, too. 

Kurt: I admit there were two things that jumped out to me. First off, the Cowboys didn't really seem ready for the fight. It was as if they expected to show up and roll over the Packers for an easy home win, and when Green Bay came out and immediately punched them in the mouth, they weren't prepared. Secondly, they also seemingly had no answer for what the Packers were actually doing. Dak Prescott talked after the game about how Green Bay disguised some its coverages in the beginning while there was also chatter about how Dan Quinn's defense played more zone than its normal man coverage. The offense finally found some rhythm after it was far too late while the defense never did really figure things out. So was that the fault of the coaches? The players? Yes and Yes. For whatever reason, they collectively just didn't seem ready to match the Packers aggressiveness or game plan, which resulted, obviously, in another disappointing early playoff exit.

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