Poor Rob Ryan.
That's not sarcasm. Here you had the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator, one of the really good ones in this league, publicly apologizing for what happened to the Cowboys' defense on "Sunday Night Football." It was as if he'd given the defense a week off, skipped the film sessions and just told 'em to make sure there were 11 guys on the field. There's just one issue: It really wasn't the case.
I've watched every play; Dallas had a complex game plan for the Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick, one that has worked for other teams. The Cowboys brought blitzes that have given the Eagles problems -- casino, safeties off edges and linebackers in the middle. They moved their game wrecker, DeMarcus Ware, all over the place to create matchups and they mixed up their coverages. This wasn't some remedial defense that Vick and the Eagles mechanically picked apart as if it were playing a couple of men down.
But that isn't even the scary part. No, what should truly scare opponents of the Eagles from this point on is what Vick said after the game. He told us that nothing Dallas did surprised him. All the looks, all the countering, all the adjustments -- he could see it coming. Remember, this is the same guy who once griped about "the grind" of training camp, about how he just wanted to play. How once he got out there, things would be fine.
Maybe he didn't know better then. But the reality is, he does now -- if he truly comes this prepared, and channels his abilities, there isn't a team in the NFL that can stop the Eagles' offense. None.
And it's not just Vick. There are really two themes involved here, which I'll explain -- but it starts with No. 7.