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January 16, 2012

What was the Cowboys' biggest disappointment in 2011? You decide.

The Cowboys didn't make the playoffs -- again -- and now face an off-season of questions. But before we look ahead, let's look back at 2011. This week we pose the question:

What was the Cowboys' biggest disappointment in 2011? Cast your vote, or post in the comments below.

Clarence Hill, Cowboys beat writer: The biggest disappointment was coach Jason Garrett. He was supposed to be detail oriented, prepared, in charge and the leader of men -- the antithesis of the supposed mealy mouth and slouthful Wade Phillips. Well, the Cowboys failed in crucial final game situations starting in the sesason opener and continued throughout much of the season, which is why they blew five fourth-quarter leads. The kicker was the unforgiveable breakdown in game management in the criminal loss to the Cardinals that turned the season.

COWBOYS_GIANT_103_23201755First, it was the decision not to call a timeout and settling for a 49-yard field-goal attempt at the end of the game. Then, it was the decision to unwittingly ice their kicker. Finally, the Cowboys lost four of their final five games, including a first-half no-show by falling behind 21-0 in the winner-take-all season finale against the Giants. This team worked on getting better every day, but it didn't play inspired football when it mattered most. In the end, what we saw in 2010 when the Cowboys went 5-3 under Garrett after he took over for Phillips was rendered obsolete by the 2011 finish, likely putting his job on notice in 2012.

Carlos Mendez, Cowboys beat writer: The zero impact the defense had on games when the games started to matter. They couldn't get a handle on Rex Grossman. Gimpy Kevin Kolb was making plays on them. There was never any doubt Eli Manning was going to move the ball in the Cowboys Stadium game. And in Week 17, when the Cowboys had to keep the Giants to 21, they couldn't. For all the confidence he expressed in his players and how much he sold himself selling, Rob Ryan never got a statement game from his defense.

Charean Williams, Cowboys beat writer: Miles Austin losing the pass in the lights against the Giants. It was the play that cost the Cowboys a playoff berth. Austin ran by cornerback Aaron Ross and was wide open up the seam on a third-and-five play with 2:25 remaining in the Cowboys' loss to the Giants at Cowboys Stadium. But Austin lost Tony Romo's throw in the lights. The Cowboys punted and the Giants scored to come back from a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Dallas would have buried the Giants with a victory, and things would be very, very different this week. Whether the Cowboys could have done what the Giants have done in reaching the title game is questionable, but at least they would have had a chance. (DeMarco Murray getting hurt would be my No. 2 disappointment. They were a different offense with him than without him.)

David Humphrey, assignment editor: Special teams return game. I can't recall anytime in modern-day franchise history that the Cowboys posed no consistent threat in the return game like this season. Only in brief appearances by Dez Bryant on punt returns and Felix Jones on kickoff returns was there any hope for success. While touchdowns obviously were not expected on each return, at least the threat of the big play should be present. It wasn't. The rankings (20th on kickoff returns and 27th on punt returns) don't accurately reflex how weak the units were for the Cowboys.

(Photo of Garrett by Rodger Mallison/Star-Telegram)


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Not being able to finish out games. The defense gave up big leads, and the offense could not run out the clock. We should have kept playing like we did earlier in the game and we might have won.

The biggest issue was not having a defensive stop at critical times. Offenses seemed to know that in the last 5 minutes of the game our defense was wide open. A QB could cover his eyes and throw it anywhere and stood a good chance of completing a pass. I think it was 60% scheme change and 40% personnel and talent.

Ryan did something in the last quarter of the game that left his players vulnerable. Top DC's learn after once or twice. He never adjusted.

Let me state ahead of time...2012, 2013, 2014's biggest disappoiment will be that jj is still here and "this team" will still not be desrving of being called "Cowboys"!

Pimping average player!!! Jerry spends millions on backups..Austin, Romo, Murray, they play okay footballl and then suddenly they are the best...NOT Jerry sells you guys that junk..you guys fall for it and loose games because you have below average players posted as elite and you know you cant spell elite without Eli....

The biggest disappointment was loosing that lead to Detroit! Everything really went sideways after that.

Coaching is a problem but the consistent factor over years is that Jones hires the coaches and then jumps into the middle of things between coaches and players. Jones is an egomaniac who would rather have a losing team than miss a moment of action in front of the TV cameras.

The BIGGEST disappointment was when Jerry said he has no plans to hire a new GM. That being said, Romo is no Peyton or Brady or Rodgers, but his leadership skills did improve this season. In the 49ers game, coming back out in the 4th qtr with a cracked rib, in the first 'Skins game when the receivers looked lost on just about every play and Romo had to tell them where to line up, and putting Bailey in position to kick winning or tying FGs countless times.

Dear Mr, Jones,
Please look in the mirror and take a close look at who is responsible for this mess called Cowboys. Your legacy has been tarnished beyond repair. Hope you like what's in the mirror....

Biggest disappointment? The entire Cowboy franchise.

Not a Cowboys fan, but want to chime in. How about Jerry Jones not just going ahead and coaching the team like he REALLY wants to do. If that were to happen, we can all be sure of the results. Then, and only then, will Jones realize he knows nothing about football. That MIGHT effect a change in philosophy.

Alcohol can make a person believe that things are great, when things are in reality VERY WRONG. That is what is happening with Jerry Jones and this Cowboy franchise. Jerry fired Jimmy in a act of drunken rage, and his continued drunkenness and arrogance make any serious team building success unlikely. We are not going no where unless Jerry changes... and he is not!

Till JJ understands that the owner only signs the checks and leave the rest to experts, the Cowboys are doomed to be average at best. JJ's ego won't allow him to realize that since the mid 90's, he(pretending to be a GM) is the only constant on this team. Look at the results! The record speaks volumes about JJ's ability as a GM. Any other owner would have held the GM responsible and shipped him out of town... Time for JJ to do the same with the current GM!

The media and the fans better get over the "Cowboy" dynasty. It went when Jerry fired Tom Landry. Jerry lucked out with Jimmy Johnson but since then the, Cowboys are Jerry's personal hobby. A team without character - just like the owner - and a team that again is on the way down. Fans need to stop supporting Jerry's hobby if we are ever going to get the Cowboys back!

Jerry Jones not stepping down as GM, as long he's GM the Cowboys will never make the playoffs

Jerry not bringing in a GM and letting him hire a real coach who will demand accountability. Hiring Ryan because of his name and creating an atmosphere of laziness.

the biggest diaspointment is the same as each year since he bought the team that asshole owner jones.

As he does so often, Clarence Hill gets right to the core of it: RHG's coaching. The defense was woeful, to be sure, but it remains a part of the larger whole, for which the Head Coach has to be accountable. Excellent coaches with quality teams are able to produce steady improvement, within the limits injuries impose, across the span of a whole season. The Giants, who may not actually be all *that* good or all that well-coached, actually make that basic point well: they have brought their game with them when it counted.

Ultimately a good part of Garrett's difficulties come from having JJ as a constant, meddling presence -- it's very hard to build accountability that way. Even taking that into account, however, the Head Coach has to produce improvement. This year, at least, it didn't happen --


Who says a good coach won't make a difference, Giants coach, does it year after year, puts the team in a position to win. He takes no beef from any palyaers of any caliber. You do not perform, you do not start or play.

Cowboys are brat players, the need to man up, Biggest disappointment: Team's gut check

LETS GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!WooooHooooooooooo!!

I'm not an expert at dissecting a teams learning curve, the ability of the quarterback to lead a team, the lack of offense or defense. I will bow to the experts for that call. But as a just plain fan when I consider how much these guys make for playing a game to entertain folks I would think that to present excuses is ridiculous! Either live up to the gladiators role or get out. After all they are being extremely well to win and entertain. That's what each of them signed on for so man up and take the heat!

@artmisty- If you think that they played like they should've, then you've been drinking too much of Jerry's koolaid!!

The entire team from the owner down is a disappointment. If the owner/gm/jock sniffer actually knew what he was doing then we would have a better team.

The coaches are nothing more than Jerry's yes men. Jerry calls all the shots. Not the coaches.

The players are just plain second stringers. That is all there is to it. They need a new O-line, RB's, TE, WR and yes a QB, and all new defense.

There is not just one single thing on this team that I could point out as being the worst offender. But all of it put together.

Jerry needs to get his big fat nose out of the play field and just sign the checks. There really needs to be a GM that actually knows a thing or two.

No funeral announcement for Jerry Jones!

The cows do not have a GM that has any football talent knowledge. So they need to find people that know how to operated a winning footbal team.
The HC/OC needs to go into teaching and get out of football.
The cows need a real DC and not a BIG belly/hair, loud mouth, all talk and no walk.
The cows need to trade the 6 to 8 players that have some value for future draft picks and cut the remaining players. Then rebuild just as a new team would do.

Last, but not least is Jaharry needs to sell the team to someone that wants to win more than making money.

2)Defense Secondary
3) Dez
4) Austin
5) Jerry is still calling the shots

Biggest disappointment was the Defense of course. But we really need to kill this Ratliff at NT experiment. He is way more valuable on the end as a DE. Imaging him and Ware on the same side....Hatcher and our #1 draft pick Melvin Ingram on the other....wow...I smell pressure.

If you dont know who Ingram is go Youtube him. This guy is an athletic beast.....a difference maker like JPP for NY is doing.
Melvin Ingram South Carolina SR. 6-4 275

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