Giants Stadium has long been a house of horrors and horseshit for Dallas Cowboys’ quarterbacks.
Hall of Famer Troy Aikman threw a career-high five interceptions in New Jersey in 2000. In ’01 backup Clint Stoerner topped that by tossing four picks in the second half of a loss to the Giants. And in ’86 – 22 years to the day on Sunday – Danny White broke his wrist against New York, sending his 6-2 team into a spiral that ended 7-9 and out of the playoffs.
Combine them all and they still pale to the utter impotency of Brad Johnson.
After Johnson’s ridiculously feeble performance – 5 of 11 for 71 yards, two interceptions, two sacks and a 27.3 rating in the 35-14 loss to the Giants that we all saw coming – we can no longer consider quarterback of America’s Team as the most prestigious position in sports. How bad was Brad? Brooks Bollinger was better.
Yikes. Talk about something you don't want on your tombstone.
"We felt like Brad wouldn't make mistakes," grumbled head coach Wade Phillips, "but that didn't happen."
Added owner Jerry Jones, "I think we could have been more competitive had we played better at quarterback."
Geez. Ya think?
Save your sympathies for the Cowboys, because they deserve every punch line. In Jones’ 20 NFL Drafts, the Cowboys have selected just four quarterbacks – Aikman and Steve Walsh (supplemental draft) in ’89, Bill Musgrave in ’91 and Quincy Carter in ’01. Their failure to develop young quarterbacks is the biggest reason for their 12-years-and-counting playoff winless streak.
And everyone – I mean everyone – saw this impending doom way back in training camp. I remember standing on the field in Oxnard, Calif., watching Johnson offer wobbly flubbers and quacking lobbers, and thinking, in so many words, “What The Fuck?!”
The Cowboys, apparently, were the last to know. They watched Johnson every day in mini camp and training camp and somehow deemed him a capable backup to Tony Romo. For that, owner Jones should immediately fire general manager Jones. (Yeah, like that’ll happen.)
First of all, the guy wears a face mask that belongs more on Marty Turco than an NFL quarterback, fashions tiny white elbow pads favored by Jack Lambert in the '70s and accents his bulky look with a beer-barrel flak jacket. In the pocket he appears about 72 years old and 279 pounds. Not to mention, he throws the ball – no, he shoves the ball – as though it were a 16-pound shot put.
Against the Giants, his first throw short-hopped, um, no one. He overthrew a 7-yard slant to Terrell Owens by three yards. He sailed a go route that the Giants’ trainer caught in self defense over by New York’s bench. He absolutely sucked the life out of a Cowboys’ team already breathing on a ventilator.
If Johnson weren’t so horrible, we’d be making fun of Brooks Bollinger – sounds more like a hoity toity school headmaster than NFL quarterback – whose first three dropbacks went like this: Interception. Completion for a 12-yard loss. Sack at his own 1-yard line.
Seriously, Patrick Crayton was a quarterback at NW Oklahoma State. He couldn’t have been worse.
Now, he’s descended to the top of my list:
10. Tony Banks Heralded as Troy Aikman’s successor in ’01, was beat out by Quincy Carter and cut in training camp
9. Ryan Leaf Ugly ’01 stint included one TD, three picks and a 57.7 rating
8. Reggie Collier Spot duty in ’86 resulted in two interceptions and a 55.8 rating
7. Drew Henson Former Michigan star was harmless in short Dallas gig, throwing only one TD and one interception
6. Kevin Sweeney ’87 scab hero faltered in ’88 with 42-percent completions, five interceptions and 40.2 rating
5. Anthony Wright ’00 cameo littered with no TDs, three interceptions and a 31.7 rating
4. Clint Stoerner Threw four picks in the second half of an ’01 loss at the Giants
3. John Roach Filled in for Don Meredith in ’64 with one TD, six interceptions and a 31.1 rating
2. Babe Laufenberg Backed up Aikman in ’90 with one TD, six interceptions and a woeful 16.9 rating.
1. Brad Johnson Sunday’s repulsive performance, equipped with a 27.3 rating, set a new standard for Dallas dysfunction.– Richie Whitt