Some called it pivotal. Some called it a must-win. Some even called it a certain loss. Whatever they called it we all agreed on one thing. This game was a big one. The Cowboys wanted to enter their bye week with a winning record. They wanted to keep the lead in the NFC East. They wanted to earn some respect in the most adverse of circumstances. And it doesn’t get much more adverse than playing in New Orleans in primetime.
The Big Game in the Big Easy would be one heck of a measuring stick for the 2013 Dallas Cowboys. Was Dallas the team that almost beat the Denver Broncos, who are widely regarded as the best in the league? Or is Dallas the team that lost to the Lions against all odds…The team that nearly lost to the Minnesota Vikings the week after.
The results of this contest against the New Orleans Saints:
New Orleans is good.
Dallas is not.
The Cowboys played even worse than anyone could have imagined. They are not a good team and they played like it. Now the Cowboys enter the bye week 5-5 and waiting for Philadelphia to challenge.
To recap the game would be like recapping predictions – sad and pointless.
The Cowboys must focus. Winning the division is Step 1. But fielding a real team is Step 2. Step 1 is needed just to compete. Step 2 is needed to make it matter.
The bye week must be used for some serious work. The Cowboys lack talent, discipline, and basic intelligence in some cases. That’s a lot of obstacles to overcome in just one off-week. Sean Lee’s injury is expected to keep him out the next 4 weeks so the Cowboys must find a way to get better without their best defensive player.
- The Defensive Game plan started smart. They crowded the line and took away the check-down and short pass to the HB. Sadly, poor execution and deviation made a smart plan worthless.
- Everette Brown and George Selvie have proven to be a great finds. The Cowboys should find a way to keep them beyond this season.
- Penalties in the Red Zone are inexcusable. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, Jason Garrett needs to hold players accountable for these. Even if it means removing a good player from the field for a couple plays. In the end, it will make the player, and the team, better.
- Bruce Carter is playing smarter but he’s still a step behind and lacking confidence. More should be expected but at least he seems to be improving ever-so-slightly.
- The un-penalized late hit on Dwayne Harris was infuriating. If that was Tom Brady or Drew Brees getting hit out of bounds we would see flags flying everywhere. I realize Harris doesn’t make the league as much money that these QB’s do, but don’t we owe it to keep him safe?
- Jason Witten and Tyron Smith have been combining to form a top-notch run blocking tandem. Both have been sealing edges and providing a clear lanes on a consistent basis.
- Doug Free isn’t bad anymore. He’s not good, mind you! But he’s much better than last year.
- Jeff “F”ing Heath.
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