Matt Cassell – Dallas Cowboys Miracle Worker or Bus Driver?
Ahhhh, what a difference a week off makes!
Panic was the most observable dish of choice at valley Ranch last week. And who’s to say that it was not also appropriate, especially after Bill Belichick and his merry band of Cheaters make their first visit to Jerry’s World where they handily dispatch Jerry’s local MASH unit while serving up a healthy reminder of what real football looks like. This little gridiron lesson also happened to be the third consecutive sour taste in the loss column for Your Heroes.
While panic was the choice of the media and Cowboys Management (Yes, that means Jerry Jones and son, Stephen!), the coaching staff of Jason Garrett was not necessarily joining in. While choices of the professional variety were to be forthcoming from Jason Garrett, the inattentive spectator might be tempted to conclude that they were purely reactionary. Of course when Jerry is speaking non-stop, and that is his normal waking state, many an attentive spectator is easily distracted from all things real. Nevertheless, the focus of this supposed panic was aimed directly at quarterback Brandon Weeden, who was summarily dumped in favor of the more experienced Matt Cassell.
While many are busy with determining why Jason Garrett would choose Cassell over Weeden, the more foundational question remains to be identified.
Why did Jason Garrett have the opportunity to choose Cassell in this scenario?
The answer is very simple. When Tony Romo broke his collarbone in the second game, Jason Garrett had the calm foresight to work a deal with the Buffalo Bills to acquire Matt Cassell. For more insight to this scenario, please read this article.
So, while CowboysNation was pondering the steps necessary to alleviate the losing and, hopefully, salvage the season and potentially, a run to Super Bowl 50, Jason Garrett was stoically implementing the process he had prepared for weeks earlier. No panic. No surprise. Just business as usual.
And that’s exactly what Garrett expects to get from Matt Cassell, business as usual. Such an approach acknowledges the success Cassell has experienced when surrounded by talent, which is the case with the Cowboys. Such an approach is also free of one aspect that usually proves to be a huge negative in the hyper sensitive environment that surrounds the Dallas Cowboys. Miracles are not expected from Matt Cassell. Miracles are not even necessary, in spite of the current 2-3 record and the huge expectations coming into this year.
So, what is the job of Matt Cassell for the Dallas Cowboys until the return of Tony Romo? The answer to that question is provided by the words of NFL
Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach, Bill Parcells. “Drive the bus” was the command to Quincy Carter, which he obeyed all the way to a playoff berth in 2003. Matt Cassell is expected to play the same solid, fundamental football reflected by his record when surrounded by a capable cast. He is not expected to be a miracle worker. He is not expected to transform this offense. He is not expected to lead this team to playing above expectations.
Matt Cassell is here to do what Brandon Weeden was not doing, help the Cowboys survive until Tony Romo returns. If he does that alone, the likelihood of the Cowboys season being a successful one rises dramatically.