How 2 players not named Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee arguably derailed Cowboys season

Cowboys play-by-play announcer Brad Sham joined SportsDayDFW's Kevin Sherrington, Barry Horn and Evan Grant on "Ballzy" podcast to talk Cowboys. Here are some highlights:
Sherrington: This is the week the Cowboys bounce back.
Sham: It certainly could happen. I think they match up with the team they're playing. Both of them are hospital cases; it's a mesh reunion. A division game is one where you know the other team and I know they've spent a lot of time - what the owner might call an inordinate amount of time - looking at specifically the reasons for some of the things that happened against the Chargers on Thanksgiving.
You can't change the players but you can change who plays when and where, and how you deploy them.

Where the Cowboys roster construction went wrong

Sham: In whatever sport it is, whatever team you have, you construct your team and you construct it based on certain assumptions based on some players. And then you start your year. ... [If players] underperform or permanently regress and show you've misevaluated them, you're in trouble because you built your team based on that.
They've got a few players who are either regressing or underperforming.
Anthony Brown is a great example of a guy who's supposed to be a supplementary piece. He's a sixth-round pick and he wound up coming out of nowhere, tackling exceptionally well and having a surprisingly good rookie year, so they signed Nolan Carrol as insurance and drafted two cornerbacks.
Injuries kept those two cornerbacks from getting on the field in a significant way so far. Carroll for whatever reason didn't hold up. There were some questions about who much he wanted to play. Now suddenly Anthony Brown is being asked to play a different role than was anticipated when you were building your team. And he is perhaps not up to that role. That doesn't mean he's a washout as a useful player but he maybe can't do that.
And if Dez Bryant is less explosive, can't win those one-on-one leaping battles anymore? Doesn't mean he's a bad player, doesn't mean he's not trying, doesn't mean he hasn't got use. It means if you're looking at him and trying to find Julio Jones, quit looking. You're not going to find him.

Where do we find solutions?

Horn: Where do you think they'll find the scapegoat?
Sham: I think the best thing to do is not to find a scapegoat but to figure out why have we not achieved our objectives ... and this year, taken several steps back? ... I think Kevin hit on something when he talked about the way they are constructed and the way the defense has to play. They play fast, they play hard, and maybe they need a look at that defensive approach.

They've quite possibly underinvested resources or misinvested resources in the defense ... that's something they have to shift going forward. And then they have to look at the way they play defense: Is this the constitution of a system going forward that's best going to serve the players they have and the players they can get?
Grant: It all comes back to management and management's never going to change.
Sham: I think it has changed.
Grant: In what way?
Sham: Jerry has less to do with the day-to-day calling of football shots than he used to as Stephen has grown in his job, as Jerry's other businesses have grown. I think there's been an evolution and if you presume this front office and team run the same way they did 15-20 years ago, that's mistaken. It continues to evolve and change.
What you're suggesting ... is they'll never win as long as Jerry Jones owns the team. Well they have won. They haven't won lately but they were 13-3 last year and 12-4 in [2014]. They've done a pretty good job in some instances of finding talent.
They have not had playoff success and that's incontrovertible
How 2 players not named Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee arguably derailed Cowboys season How 2 players not named Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee arguably derailed Cowboys season Reviewed by Anonymous on 11:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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