You can say the Jags beat up the Cowboys' supposedly big time defense. You can say the run blocking sucked. You can mention Suisham's low impact field goal miss. You can talk about the lack of a return game. Or the mound of yellow flags.
But one thing's for certain: the biggest factor in Dallas' 24-17 defeat at the hands of Jacksonville was the ineptitude of Drew Bledsoe. That's right. Even in the salary cap era, quarterback means everything.
So what's the next step? Do you overact and put him on the bench of favor of Tony Romo. Probably not yet, because it was the first game of the year. But you definitely give the grand ball tapper a very short leash.
Why a short leash? Because this goes back to last season. Halfway through last season, we had Drew Bledsoe pegged for the Pro Bowl and the Cowboys in the playoffs. Then, Bledsoe imploded and the Cowboys stumbled their way out of the playoffs.
At the time, we thought it had everything to do with the absence of overrated offensive tackle Flozell Adams and a lack of pass blocking. Yesterday's evidence may have blown that theory into oblivion. Bledsoe stood upright almost the entire game against a solid Jacksonville defensive line. The end result: 16 of 33 for 246 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INTs.
That means, over the last nine games, Bledsoe has completed 55.5% of his passes with ten TDs and 14 INTs and has surpassed the 250 yard mark just once. That, Powerhouse readers, is downright mediocre. That's anything but playoff claiber and certainly not Super Bowl caliber. Can you say Quincy Carter? Vinny Testaverde? Chad Hutchinson?
So we put Mr. Bledsoe on notice. The last thing he probably wants to do is have another horrendous day against an even better defense giving his coach two weeks to decide who to play at quarterback.