Good afternoon Cowboy fans:
As I sit here at the computer trying to figure out what words I should use or what to title this article. My mind started using “Are they fragile”, “or is this team on the Brink of Destruction”? As these words kept floating in and out of my mind, my heart was telling me something different. It was telling me this is only a dream and I will wake up and everything will be alright in Cowboy land.
I was completely swept up in total amazement on Sunday, as I sat and watched what I thought was a proud Dallas Cowboy team, just being totally humiliated and “whipped”. The only thought that kept running through my mind was that of a young, frail school boy versus the big bully on the playground. I witnessed the St. Louis Rams, a team that was everybody’s “whipping post”; just dismantle the Cowboys piece by piece. The same Cowboys team, which at the beginning of the season was to be the “bully”, the “monster of the midway”, and to some they were being called “the real beast in the NFC East”.
In all the years of watching the Cowboys, I had to do some real thinking to remember when I ever saw a poorer performance. That even includes the 1989 team that finished 1-15 and ironically played who at that time a team called the Los Angeles Rams, and lost 35-31.
When it was announced this week, that Brad Johnson would be starting in the place of Tony Romo, I was one of the first that came out and said everything will be okay with Johnson, and Tony will be ready in 3 weeks when they play the Giants. Then when Johnson engineered the opening Cowboy drive for a quick 7-0 lead, I was telling myself “this will be a walk in the park”. What I didn’t know, that as the game began to unfold, I would soon realize, there would be very little more to cheer about.
This team has gone through more of a transformation than the Incredible Hulk and anyone you ask all have a different opinion, or want to give you their take on the demise of the mighty Cowboys. I do know this much though, there’s no confusion on what happened on Sunday. The Cowboy’s were out-coached, out-thrown, out-run, out-fought, out-thought, out-physicaled, and most of all out-scored 34-14. This is evidence that you can’t cover up.
I think about all the problems over and over in my mind and ask myself, “If I had to re-build this team piece by piece, layer by layer, where would I begin? Many people have different opinions and some believe that the re-building process should begin with the coaching staff. Should Wade Phillips be replaced by Jason Garrett? Is Jason Garrett also part of the problem or is the coaching solution?
Other fans are screaming for former Pittsburgh Steeler coach, Bill Cowher. Could Cowher’s coaching style in Dallas be right for these players or this organization? Bill Cowher has a reputation of being somewhat of “a steel head” that uses a hard-nosed approach, but has the player likeable type of personality.
I think from this fan’s prospective, maybe that’s what this team needs right now is a hard-nose approach? Maybe they have been “coddled”, hugged, and loved too much? There is no fire in this team, really no heat to speak of either. They seem to have had all the fire knocked out of them and have lost their desire to play the game.
Right now, the Cowboys are generating all the heat of a rain-soaked book of matches.
I did not see anything in the game on Sunday that I could write home and say was positive. We know the Cowboys played without our star quarterback and without our troubled and possibly ex-cornerback Adam Jones. We even managed to lose Roy Williams, the safety for the season again when he re-broke the forearm that he just spent 3 weeks trying to get healed.
Forty-year-old backup quarterback Brad Johnson tossed three interceptions and finished with a 45.5 QB rating. Terrell Owens had two catches for 31 yards. Roy E. Williams, the receiver, acquired in the much publicized trade with the Detroit Lions, did not even catch a cold, let alone any passes.
I can go on and on, about the problems in Sunday’s game and still not get to the part about the 8 penalties, two of which cost us touchdowns, which instead led to missed field goals. I really shiver when I think about the lost fumble, or maybe the fact the offensive and defensive lines totally broke down. I could not remember the last time our defensive line played so porous.
Ram’s running back Stephen Jackson finished with 171 yds rushing and 3 touchdowns. Jackson Texas Two-Stepped all over our defense, that at the beginning of the year, most believed books would be written about. Now it seems they just quit and want to be anywhere but playing a football game.
So is it the injuries? Is it the coaches or maybe this team is just getting very fragile? Do the players need to get back to the basics and quit worrying so much about their own individual persona? Is this the team we watched on “Hardknocks”, and everybody thought was the hottest team in the NFL?
Well Cowboy fans, I have a news flash for all of us. This Cowboy’s team is going to be hard-pressed to even make the playoffs, with virtually the same group that went 13-3 a year ago.
What truly puzzles me is that this team was built for a Super Bowl, but may very well be “on the Brink of Destruction”.