Up the Gut Week 11: "Clueless" Garrett Loses "Fraud Bowl"

If the Dallas Cowboys are so talented, why do they always come up short in big moments? Shaun Morash has a theory...

The DA Show
November 14, 2019 - 10:30 am

By Shaun Morash

Cold Open
The Cowboys lose the Fraud Bowl, and coaching was a big reason why. Jason Garrett was once again clueless in game management in a big spot, and the offense at times looked in disarray in another prime-time game where many expected a big moment from Dallas. The Cowboys have failed to seize a division with two of the worst teams in football and an Eagles team that has been treading water to this point. Perhaps worst of all, they made Kirk Cousins look like a quarterback that always beats good teams in prime time.
Remember the biggest NFL story line in August? Well before Antonio Brown couldn't find a helmet he liked, it was all about Zeke's hold out, Dak's future contract, and how the Cowboys have drafted so much talent they may be punished for having all of the talent and not being able to sign them all. How is it a team that talented hovers around .500 and can't make, at a minimum, an NFC Championship? If that isn't an indictment on a head coach, I don't know what is. The Dallas Cowboys have two of the hottest head-coaching candidates on their own staff, are they really prepared to let them walk while employing a guy who has done much worse than Mike McCarthy ever did at Green Bay before losing his job? The Clapper should be firmly on the outs without a contract extension waiting for him, and we need to stop removing him from that discussion after a few flimsy wins. 

Ten Yard Gain

1-The Titans seem to have a win like they did Sunday every year. Last year it was a blowout over New England at home; this year it is a tight shootout versus the Chiefs. What makes this feel real is that they didn't slow down the Chiefs offense. Instead, they kept with them, behind Ryan Tannehill. I would have laughed three weeks ago if you were to tell me Tannehill should be their starter going forward. While I am not yet sold, my mind at the very least is open to this possibility now depending on what happens going forward.

2-Is there a more beautiful sporting event to watch from the comfort of your own home than football played in snow? The Panthers’ fourth-quarter rally that fell short in Green Bay was perfect television, and reminded me of how dumb it is that the football season doesn't start two weeks later and end on Presidents’ Day weekend. Cold-weather football will always be better on TV than warm-weather football. Yes I am ignoring those at the game, but allow me to be selfish. 

3-Are the Dolphins going to play themselves into the third-best quarterback in the draft? Another win, that is what we call a win streak. They still play the Jets again, the Giants, and the Bengals. The bottom of the NFL is brutal, a team at 4-12 could pick as late as fifth. At this rate it could be the Dolphins, leaving the Bengals and maybe even the Falcons or Redskins to select quarterbacks as crazy as it may sound, before Miami does. 

4-Dwayne Haskins has the next two months to not become the next Josh Rosen. I will never be convinced that Josh Rosen was never going to be a star in this league. He was put in a brutal situation with Steve Wilks as his head coach, who had no idea what he was doing. Then he was traded to a Dolphin team that surrendered picks for him but didn’t even attempt to put him in a position to succeed. Washington now may be in a spot to pick a Joe Burrow, Tua, or Herbert while having Haskins. It may be unfair to Dwayne, but anything is on the table. 

5- The NFL has scheduled its first Saturday triple-header in 14 years. While a Texans-Bucs, Bills-Patriots, Rams-49ers triple header may not be dripping with juice, the idea of an old school full weekend of NFL football being back is awesome for fans in an era of legal sports gambling. The league should have never gone to just prime-time games on Saturday late in the year for that stretch of time. Week 16 will be a refreshing rebirth.

6-The Chiefs’ loss wasn't even the biggest upset of the weekend. What the heck happened to the New Orleans Saints at home? The Falcons win over the Eagles wasn't as surprising early in the season as we still had hope for Atlanta. This Falcons team had quit by now, or at least appeared to have. Then they traveled to New Orleans, where they could have had a lot of fun on Saturday and got their butt whooped like everyone expected. Maybe finally having an offensive outburst could be understood, but the Falcons much maligned defense bottling up that Saints offense may be the most sunning moment of the season to date. 

7-Lamar Jackson with yet another perfect quarterback rating on Sunday helped pad his case for league MVP.  His maturation has been one of the most fun parts of the NFL season. Last week versus a bad Bengals team that the Ravens had already played a reasonably close game with could have been a classic "letdown" spot for the Ravens coming off that win versus the Patriots, but Lamar would not allow for that. As a franchise quarterback, not falling into the trap of an emotional let down is just another positive telling sign Baltimore got their 2018 first-round pick right.

8-Saquon Barkley had just one yard rushing on Sunday and has said this week that shutting him down would be ridiculous. I'm not sure what to make of Saquon Barkley's season. Being injured still from his high ankle sprain is totally plausible, Pat Shurmur not knowing how to use him properly is also plausible, but Barkley being a home run or nothing threat that can't grind out yards and keep the chains moving is now also on the table. Regardless of who he is, he needs to be honest with himself and the team, because playing injured on a team going nowhere doesn't help them in 2020, when they will have spent major cap dollars and enter the year with their franchise quarterback no longer a rookie and expecting to contend. 

9-Is anyone still laughing at the Steelers for trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick? No Antonio Brown, No Le'Veon Bell, No Ben Roethlisberger; Mason Rudolph looking lost and then injured. Pittsburgh's season was supposed to be over, which is why giving up what they did to get Minkah Fitzpatrick seemed highly questionable. Now Pittsburgh is a team nobody in the AFC wants to play with a dangerous, play-making defense that now has their best player in the secondary since Troy Polamalu. 

10- Bless you all, Buffalo Bills fans. It was just three weeks ago the Bills had the second-best record in the AFC. Now the wheels have fallen off after their loss to the Browns. Josh Allen no longer looks like a second-year quarterback taking a major step. This feels like same old Bills and a miserable winter in Buffalo unless something changes fast. 

Five Games To Chew On

5 Chiefs @ Chargers: A Monday Night game in Mexico City lost some juice when the Chargers lost last Thursday Night. However, the Chiefs’ loss to the Titans has kept the AFC West much tighter and complicated than anyone could imagine. An L.A. loss thought would finish them. These two teams played great games last year, and the Chargers defense just may be the kryptonite for the Chiefs offense at high altitude. 

4 Bears @ Rams: The complicated case of the Los Angeles Rams’ fall from grace deserves a deeper dive. Jared Goff has regressed, and Sean McVay has not been able to outsmart opposing coaches as he had done so much have in the last two years. This could be a get-right moment on Sunday Night as Mitchell Trubisky could be coming into this game with a false sense of confidence after their win over the Matt Stafford-less Lions. 

3 Jaguars @ Colts: The return of the quarterback showdown in the AFC South is upon us. Minshew Mania is dead as Nick Foles takes back the Jaguars huddle. Luckily, the down AFC still has them alive with these Colts and Jacob Brissett for a playoff spot. The Colts can't afford back to back losses after an embarrassing effort versus Miami.

2 Texans @ Ravens: The two AFC quarterbacks that have the football world talking square off in a game in which the second bye in the AFC could be determined via tiebreakers. Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson going blow-for-blow versus two very capable defenses should make for great theater as this game highlights the early slate of games on Sunday. 

1 Patriots @ Eagles: New England hits the road to Philadelphia in this rare AFC vs NFC game. The Eagles stunned the Patriots in December four years ago in their last meeting and could use some more of that magic at home in this game to keep up with the average Cowboys. The rest of the AFC would love a Patriots loss here to make the 1-seed a more wide-open competition. 

My Picks

Another 2-1 week has me at 17-13 on the season. For this week:

Saints -5 @ Bucs: I can't bet the Saints off of an embarrassing loss fast enough. Maybe the five points will scare off some since the Bucs have played every good team they have faced tough, but this is a major letdown spot. The Saints defense will go back to being opportunistic, and Drew Brees with Alvin Kamara will not be bottled up for a second straight game within the division. Run to the bank with this pick. 

Jets +1.5 @ Washington: Dwayne Haskins will be the starter for the rest of the season, but the offensive line is still suspect, as are his weapons. Jamal Adams a week ago stole candy from a baby when stripping Daniel Jones, who is far more ready for this spot than Dwayne Haskins is. Adam Gase got a vote of confidence and the Jets can exhale a bit. It is almost embarrassing to them that they are underdogs even on the road in this spot.

Raiders -8 vs Bengals:  I refuse to accept that the Bengals will be competitive in any game they do not play the Dolphins in the rest of the season. They have packed up shop and are planning winter vacation. The Raiders are a legitimate AFC playoff contender and have a chance to build momentum and confidence with a huge offensive burst. They should win this game by 14 points, so laying 8 here at home would be one I feel very confident in.

Football Food of The Week

Loaded Mashed Potato Wonton Cups

The guys over at the Instagram account @up_the_gut didn't seem to appreciate chicken and waffle sliders. They may be hacks but I need to give some more juice this week. If you recall earlier in the season, we had Jalapeno Popper wanton cups, so I experimented earlier this week with enhancing those. For this, you will need the wanton dough shells sold in the produce section, plus your normal mashed potato recipe items, bacon that must be chopped, shredded cheese, and even chives if you want to get nuts.

Cook your mashed potatoes, line a baking tin for cupcakes with the wanton shells and bake for about 8-10 minutes. Take the browning shells out of the oven and scoop a glob of mashed potatoes into each shell. Top the potatoes with bacon, shredded cheese, and some chives, folding over and pinching the top of the wanton shell to enclose these a bit. Finish baking for another 5-7 minutes to get a nice crispy outside.

Serve and enjoy. Take that for data!

Thanks for reading everyone. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.