1) Are you concerned that the name "Cowboys" is offensive to real cowboys in this country, who are no doubt upset for being inextricably linked forever to Jerry Jones and his organization?
Concerned? It's kept me up at night for the last 16 years. To think the Cowboys that I looked up to in that Kool Moe Dee video all those years ago would have to be associated with this franchise, I shudder at the thought. I modeled my life after Nazareth, B.O. Tony and Milton. Mike Mike, Sluggo and Mike Chillion. That's what drew me to the star, and now we have to sit back and watch this guy run the image into the ground? I'm so sad.
2) What are your thoughts on the manner in which Bill Callahan is calling games this season, and do you think it was a necessary move for Jason Garrett to make?
I'm definitely in the camp that's happy that Jason Garrett can be a walk-around coach; whether or not Bill Callahan is the right guy to take over the playcalling remains to be seen. I'm one of those folks that feel that even a 16-game regular season is such a small sample size to make any definitive judgements, so I'm very wary of doing it after just five games. I will say that the dink and dunk offense we saw in the first four games of the season was a bit disheartening, despite it leading to less interceptions and a higher completion percentage. Air Coryell is a vertical offense and it took until the threat of keeping pace with the Broncos for us to see it unleashed. I've only really been pleased with the offensive gameplans that were enacted against St. Louis and Denver, but they were two very different approaches, and that diversity leads me to hope that this can be the type of offense to keep the opposition on their toes week in, week out.
3) We all know that Jerry Jones loves Jason Garrett, but what is the worst that Garrett can do this season without losing his job, in your opinion?
That's a tough call, because it would be more about the manner that he lost a lot of games. 10 losses, definitely out. 9 losses, probably out. 8 losses and no playoffs? That's pretty much the line, but only because of how putrid the entire division has been in 2013. I guess that could change if some team caught absolute fire, but at this point, Dallas looks like the team most capable of doing something of that sort. So, I guess I'll say he can't finish worse than .500. You are absolutely right though. Jerry Jones <3 Jason Garrett.
4) It seems like defenses take turns going back and forth between 3-4 and 4-3 schemes every year. What was your take when Dallas announced they were going to the 4-3, and what is your assessment of where they are currently in that transition? Since teams pretty much play multiple packages and sets anyway these days, do you really think it even matters?
As soon as the season was over, I had tweeted that I wouldn't campaign for Rob Ryan to be retained or fired; I was good with either option. For me, the move to the 4-3 became a great one once they signed Rod Marinelli to coach up the D-Line. Over the years, I had started to wonder if Dallas had wasted years of Demarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff running the 3-4; making Ware cover and having Ratliff consistently double-teamed. So in that regards, I was happy with the move back. However, new schemes take time to adapt to and our linebackers have seriously struggled with their zone coverage responsibilities. Add into that the fact that our corners are still trying to figure out how to play and it truly hasn't been pretty. The Cowboys have been torched by every vertical passing threat team that they've faced, and in the last two games the run has hurt us. It normally takes a year and a half for a new defense to take hold, so all we can do is hope the learning curve for these guys is shorter than normal.
5) What Dallas player that might not be on the national radar should Redskins fans find on Sunday night and pay attention to?
There's a such thing as a Dallas player not on the national radar? Who knew. I guess it would be one of the receiving options, Dallas really has a lot of them that have different skillsets. Rookie Terrance Williams had his coming out party last week, he's our deep threat that can take a top off a defense. Cole Beasley is a teeny-lil'-thang that runs great routes and is hard to get a beat on out of the slot. Dwayne Harris is a shifty yards-after-catch guy that has a lot of wiggle and returns kicks as well. Any of the three are capable of being the wild card to the offense. Of course, Dallas famously struggles against 3-4 defenses so despite what we saw last week and all year from the Redskins D, you never quite know.