Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 10/31/11
Don't blame Rob Ryan. Don't blame Jason Garrett. Don't blame Tony Romo. Blame Jerry. If you're looking to blame someone for the debacle that was Eagles 34, Cowboys 7 on Sunday night, look to the top: owner Jerry Jones. The Cowboys were completely outclassed on national television. The Eagles did whatever they wanted, offensively and defensively, until disinterest finally set in. There were so many breakdowns, it's impossible to point the finger at any one player or coach. Instead, point the finger a little higher. In the direction of the owner's box. This loss had Jerry Jones' fingerprints all over it. It was a throwback to the Wade Phillips era when the Cowboys often played like a team completely unprepared. Guess who called all the shots during the Phillips era? Jones. Phillips conceded everything to Jones, short of calling the defense. Without a strong personality like Bill Parcells to rebuff him once in a while, Jones ran roughshod over the personnel decisions. Just look at the 2009 draft. The Cowboys didn't have a first-round pick because Jones traded it for wide receiver Roy Williams, and we all know what an impact he had. Jones traded the second-round pick, 51st overall, to the Bills for third- and fourth-round picks. This was the year the Cowboys "drafted for depth" and that's exactly what they got. The only regular contributor from the 2009 draft is kicker David Buehler, a kickoff specialist and failed placekicker. The draft produced reserves like tight end John Phillips, linebacker Victor Butler and project quarterback Stephen McGee. Who did the Eagles draft in 2009? You saw them galloping past the Cowboys all night. The first round pick was receiver Jeremy Maclin. The second round pick was running back LeSean McCoy, who was drafted 53rd overall. They also found starting linebacker Moise Fokou in the seventh round. That's three impact players with seven picks. The Cowboys got none with 12 picks. But it's more than just draft picks. It's more than just sticking with underperforming or overaged players. It's a culture that crept into the Cowboys during the Phillips years. That culture re-emerged Sunday night in Philly. Once the Cowboys sensed that the Eagles had the upper hand, which was basically on the opening drive, they appeared to just go through the motions. Since Jones isn't going anywhere he's given every indication he will keep an Al Davis-like death grip on the GM title - the biggest question now is what is Garrett going to do about it? Garrett has worked to change the Cowboys' culture, to undo the slopiness from the Phillips era, from the moment he was named the interim head coach last season. Unlike Wade, Garrett's opinion appears to carry some weight with Jones. Garrett does have an influence in personnel decisions, but it will take more time than he's had to re-work the roster. But for the here and now, Garrett's reaction to the loss will be telling. We know what Jones thinks. He said after the game there is "absolutely no alarm in me" and that the loss "is not a cause for concern." That sounds like what Wade Phillips would have said. Garrett is smarter than that. He was the offensive coordinator under Phillips. He knows the smell when a team starts to rot from the inside. Garrett told reporters that his team simply "wasn't up to the task" against the Eagles. What he's thinking, and what he will do, have to be different. Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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