The Cowboys were 2-3 when they released safety Will Allen. They are 5-5 now. Though he was here only six months, Allen has figured out the Cowboys' problem.
"It was a very micromanaged atmosphere," Allen told Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday. "Everything was heightened. Everything was very tight. I didn't feel the relationship and the bonding between players and coaches. Maybe just the players. Or maybe just a few coaches and a few players.
"I think that's the rift that you get, and everybody wonders why Dallas can't finish, why Dallas isn't completing everything it needs to. The players are great. The players are tremendous. The coaches are some of the best in the business. You just need a cohesion there that allows players and coaches to really execute and do their jobs and it's not something hanging over their heads, that if they mess up you're going to get cut or you're not going to play or not going to do this. That's not fun for anybody."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett praised Allen on Wednesday when asked about Allen's criticism of the team.
"No real comment beyond just a great deal of respect for him," Garrett said. "Had a chance to be around him in Tampa, and we were really fortunate to have him here. We had some younger guys emerge into that position and we just felt like making that move was good for our football team at that time. It doesn’t surprise me one bit he’s back in Pittsburgh and doing good things. He’s a good football player, and he’s a good guy."
Allen rejoined the Steelers after leaving Dallas. He has nine tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a defensed pass in Pittsburgh. He had nine tackles in the four games he played with the Cowboys, with an interception and three passes defensed.
Cowboys players didn't have much of a reaction to Allen's comments either, though they had heard about them.
"I heard something about it," cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. "I don’t know what kind of reaction I could give you. Will is a great guy, and he’s entitled to his own opinion, and if that’s the way he felt, I mean I can’t do nothing but respect his opinion."
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said he has never been on another team to know how other teams do thing.
"I don’t know, man," Witten said. "I’ve only been here. I haven’t seen. I loved Will as a teammate. I thought he was a good veteran player, a good leader on defense. I think it’s a pretty good group, coaches and players. I mean, guys work together and believe in each other, believe in the staff. There is a respect there. We want to win for them; they want to win for us. It’s coaches and players, and players and players. It’s a great group of guys that go out and work their tail off every day. It’s the kind of locker room I’ve been around. I don’t think there are micromanagers. There is always the pressure to go perform, and that’s in 31 other locker rooms as well. It’s part of playing in pro football."
-- Charean Williams