Let's clear one thing up right away. Cowboys fans should not be mad at Alex Barron for the last play of the game last night. Get mad at him for all of his other mistakes through the game if you will. He was dominated by Orakpo all night and got called twice for holding. But in response to that last play, everyone in Dallas should be thanking Barron for doing exactly what an offensive lineman is supposed to do.
Don't believe me? Here, I'll break it down for you. Alex Barron got beaten by Orakpo nearly every time the two went head-to-head last night. The only way he could ever stop Orakpo from getting into the backfield was to hold him. But the Cowboys' coaching staff deemed it unnecessary to try to find a way to get some help over to the right side of the line. I mean, they took a timeout before the play! Wasn't the purpose of that to make sure that they had planned the play perfectly, to see that no proverbial stone was left unturned? Did they forget that Brian Freaking Orakpo was lining up across from their backup right tackle?
So Alex Barron got beaten. Big surprise there. And in that split-second, he made the decision that every competent offensive lineman in the NFL should make. Let's look at the options he had:
1. Play legally and let Orakpo by once he's beaten you. Orakpo gets the sack and ends the game. [Skins fans, are you starting to see why I hate Barron so much?] Alex Barron is the goat because he blew his block.
2. Don't let Orakpo by. Do anything and everything necessary to keep him away from your QB. If you get caught, you're the goat, but at least you saved your QB from an embarrassing sack. If you don't get caught, Tony Romo has a chance to win the game in its closing seconds.
We all know that offensive lineman get blamed when things go wrong and ignored when things go right. The last play of the Cowboys-Redskins game last night gave us the perfect example of it.
But I'm not a Cowboys fan. I'm a Redskins fan. I'm a Brian Orakpo fan. And being what I am, I hate Alex F'ing Barron. We were going to win that game as soon as Orakpo shoved Barron to the side and fixed his eyes on Tony Romo. The game was over whether Barron held Orakpo or not. But he kept Brian Orakpo, the best player on our team and possibly the best young pass rusher in the league, from getting what should have been the greatest sack of his young career. That play would have gone down in Redskins' history: "In the closing seconds of a close game, with the Cowboys eyeing the endzone, Brian Orakpo rushed into the backfield and pancaked Tony Romo, ending the game on one of the most defensive plays Redskins fans had seen in years." That's what it should say right now. Instead, the entire world is talking about how the Redskins escaped the Cowboys' comeback on a technicality.
I hate you Alex Barron and I hope you start the next game against the Redskins. I hope Brian Orakpo sacks you.