For the second time in as many months, former Jets and Bills head coach Rex Ryan — now an ESPN NFL analyst — used the S-word to describe the Dallas Cowboys.
No, not that S-word. A far more innocuous one but biting all the same: “Soft.”
Ryan, appearing on Monday’s episode of First Take, tore into the Cowboys following their embarrassing 17-9 loss to the Eagles in Week 16. Once again, he blamed Garrett for severely mismanaging a star-studded roster.
“You sat back, you collected all this talent, and you lost that game because you’re soft. I’ve been telling you you’re soft,” Ryan said. “You got away from running the football — I’m sorry but [Ezekiel Elliott] is one of the best running backs in the league — and I don’t care that they stoned you on first down. What happened to second and third down? Keep running the ball. The fact Zeke doesn’t carry it at least 30 times is a mistake. He’s your best player. And it’s inexcusable not to have Amari Cooper on the field at the end of the game. I don’t care if they double him. Who cares?! You got the guy in, you gave a first-round pick. Why? Because he’s supposed to be able to beat double coverage. I have no idea who made that decision, but it’s ridiculous. Did they drop balls? Six drops. That means your team’s not ready to play. That’s what it looked like to me. Poor tackling, all that kind of stuff — you ain’t ready to play.”
In a separate segment on ESPN’s Get Up, Ryan took it a step further, ripping Dallas for being “soft like Charmin.”
“When it came down to it, one team is about Philly left hook— that’s what you get,” he said.
Fans would be hard-pressed to disagree with Ryan’s assessment, especially after Garrett inexplicably removed Cooper from the field for the game’s final play, in the biggest moment of the season, in the most important Cowboys contest in recent memory — a win-and-in scenario with the NFC East title on the line.
It’s executive decisions like those (along with Elliott’s 13 carries) which draw the contempt of nearly everyone who watches the team, rooting interest or not. It’s also Exhibit Z in the case of Garrett’s inevitable dismissal, a grave he’s dug for himself.
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Ryan Previously Called for Garrett’s Firing
After the Cowboys fell to the Patriots, 13-9, in Week 12, Ryan destroyed Garrett in a scorched-earth rant on First Take. As mentioned, he strongly characterized Dallas as a “soft” football team that should’ve canned its ringleader, immediately.
“The problem with the Dallas Cowboys — you guys are both right — they have the talent, they have all this type of stuff,” Ryan said. “So what’s missing? It’s the mentality that’s missing. They don’t have it. They should have been in attack mode from [the] jump. If you go into New England and you’re tip-toeing at all, which you were — that’s why you punt, that’s why you went for the field goal on 4th-and-7. I’m sorry, no way in heck do you do that. You go for the win. You go, ‘Hey, I’m gonna stick this thing in the end zone.’ But their mentality is not like that. You talk about, ‘We got 21 carries for the best running back in football.’ You’re gonna run it in those conditions 21 times? Why? Because your team’s soft. You need to be physical! This team is built to be physical in a smashmouth football team! Instead, they’re finesse.
Jason Garrett, bye-bye. Two years ago, I said he should be fired and you’re like, ‘They’re not going to fire him yet.’ And I was like, why would you say that? But he should have been fired. Kris Richard, that would be a great move [promoting him to interim head coach], because you’re not giving up on the season yet. You still got part of the season; you may very well win your division. And if you do change the mentality, the attitude of your football team, you may go a long way. But if you don’t, you’re not going anywhere.”
DeMarcus Lawrence Guarantees Cowboys Beat Redskins in Finale
Playoffs or no playoffs, the Cowboys are ending the season with a bang. This, according to defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who channeled his rage from Sunday’s loss to the Eagles into an expletive-fueled prediction for the 2019 finale against the Washington Redskins.
“Don’t fold. Everyone is gonna want to divide us. Don’t fold. We’re going out to play this last game, and we’re gonna win this motherfu**er,” Lawrence said Sunday, via The Athletic.
The Cowboys are aiming for a sweep of the Redskins, whom they defeated, 31-21, way back in Week 2. Ironically, they’ll face the same quarterback — starter-turned-backup-turned-starter Case Keenum — due to rookie Dwayne Haskins’ high-ankle sprain.
Washington would like nothing more than to officially vanquish the 7-8 Cowboys’ fleeting playoff hopes. As a bonus, they can ensure their hated rival finishes with a losing record for the first time since 2015.
Here’s the skinny: The Cowboys must beat the 3-12 Redskins and hope the 4-11 New York Giants upset Philadelphia at the Meadowlands. Then the division again would be theirs.
Thanks to the NFL’s flex scheduling, the Cowboys and Redskins will do battle from AT&T Stadium at 3:25 p.m. CT on Sunday. The game had been originally slated to kick off at noon CT.
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