Don’t eat the cheese, pick the fruit

November 17, 2009

Grab the low-hanging fruit.  It’s a simple concept.  Why climb the tree to get an apple when you can reach one from the ground?  On Sunday Jason Garrett continually told the offense to climb the tree.

I think Rafael Vela did a good job at Blogging the Boys demonstrating that the Cowboys didn’t stop running because they were getting too cute with the play calling.  They stopped running because there aren’t many runs designed for 2nd and 19.

Bill Parcells was of the belief that you just had to qualify for the tournament, then let the chips fall.  I still think the team is in a position to make the tournament, and from there every win is harder.  Not just the final score, but the wins inside the game.  The little wins that add up to make the final score.

For the Cowboys, I hope that as the offense gathered at the Ranch on Monday, they saw that they didn’t pick the low-hanging fruit.

You know Dom Capers is bringing heat.  You know that the pocket isn’t holding up.  You know that Romo is getting killed.  At 3-0, you know you’re one play from taking the lead, and there’s few better at making that one play.

Of course, that’s the razors edge.  When the Cowboys say that they’re willing to let the game rest on getting the one big win, they also let the other team get the game from one big win.

The problem is, that’s Memphis basketball.  Fire away from behind the arc and hope to make enough plays, or get rebounds with easy put-backs (I guess that would be pass-interference calls in this analogy.).  It’s also Eagles football, which we saw Dallas stop just one week prior.  It’s trying to get the final win, without little ones stacked up in a pile.

The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, liked to turn to the pick-and-roll.  Bare bones, basic, and – when they had Stockton and Malone running it – damn near impossible to consistently stop.  It was instant points for the Jazz.  It’s little win that add up.

Inferior teams can’t stack up the little wins against the Cowboys.  Good teams have trouble doing it.  Yet, on Sunday, the Cowboys let Green Bay get little win after little win.

Win on first, then win on second.  Win on second, get a new first.  The Cowboys had no flow on offense after they left points on the field in the first.  They didn’t have it the week before the Eagles, either, for the the most part.  They just got that big win in the form of a Miles Austin double move.  They beat the Eagles at their own game.

It’s the low hanging fruit that gets little wins.  It’s Jason Witten, engaging and releasing at the line, and running a curl that is on his hands when he comes out of the break.

Tony Romo was under pressure.  Heavy pressure.  Witten is his security blanket.  That’s the moment when you need it most.

Pick the low-hanging fruit this Sunday, take the little wins.  After all, Jason Witten has made a career out of taking little wins, beating a defender, and turning them into big wins.



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