In a year bursting with hopes and expectations, the Dallas Cowboys prove once again that they simply cannot handle the weight of them.
If, at the beginning of September, we’d have known that the Dallas Cowboys would go 5-1 in the NFC East, then a playoff berth would be a dead certainty, right? If we knew they would punctuate the regular season by clubbing the Washington Redskins, 47-16, on the last day of the campaign, we would have considered it a tune up for the playoff opener, correct? Better yet, if we knew they’d have the top-ranked offense in the entire NFL, a deep playoff run was in the cards, yes?
Well, all of that happened. But there are no visions of championships past for this franchise in this holiday season–again. You see, when the culture of a franchise is so tainted from within, a talented roster can’t even overcome the rot.
It doesn’t really matter if they make the playoffs or not. There will always be a spectacular failure–usually in front of a national TV audience–to cement the notion that the Dallas Cowboys really have no idea what they’re doing.
Take the last three games of this season into consideration. They needed to win them all. And for two of those games, they looked like world beaters. They scored forty-plus against the Rams and Redskins and looked like viable playoff contenders. But when they absolutely had to have a win, when they needed to show some stinking testicular fortitude, they laid an egg in Philadelphia in a season in which they’ve hatched several ugly ducklings.
A lot of people blame the head coach. Fair enough. I had been a pretty staunch defender of his until recently. But it wasn’t because I believe the team had given up on him. I just thought that the team needed a jolt of discomfort several orders of magnitude greater than simply bringing in a new kicker. It’s been this way forever, but in this organization, there’s simply no toll to pay for poor performance.
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It’s not just the present team, though. It’s not the Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys. This particular stench permeates this outfit no matter the cast of characters. They may experience a little regular season success; a 12-4 here or a 13-3 there. Maybe they get a playoff win before falling short in the tournament. But then it’s feet up and live in the glory of dynasties past. They think that past performances will be indicative of future results. The reality is that the people running this circus–the Jones family–still haven’t learned that the modern NFL is a distinctly week-to-week proposition.
To be clear, if there are any Cowboy haters reading this, I’m sick and tired of “We dem ‘Boyz” and that stupid Forbes list, too. I would imagine there’s a large segment of the fan base that can’t stand it, either. All that stuff does is provide a distraction from why this franchise can’t sniff a conference championship game, much less a Super Bowl title. Yet there we are, filling Jerry Jones’s monument to himself and trying to talk ourselves every Sunday into believing again.
So don’t be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys and their shiny new head coach make some hay next year. It would definitely follow the recent trend. But just remember that there’s no accountability between the owner and the general manager since it’s the same guy. It’s been an extraordinary business model if you’re only concerned with the bottom line. But if you’re concerned with, oh, you know, winning football, then this season is just the latest colossal failure in a two-decade-plus run of them.