To preface this article, here are some things you should know about the Dallas Cowboys:
Futile facts: since 1997 the Dallas Cowboys are 135-135. Jason Garrett, who has been the Head Coach since 2011, owns a record of 23-23. In the NFL, if you are not making the playoffs or you are not at the top of the draft, the season is a failure. Especially, if you are a team with a megalomaniac for an owner who just dropped $1.1 billion on your stadium and high expectations come from everywhere. The Cowboys are 5-22 against teams with winning records since 2011. Tony Romo: 13-21 in December/January starts (including postseason) in his career.
This year the Cowboys are 7-7 and have lost to Chicago and Green Bay the last two weeks and, en route, have lost their divisional lead to the upstart Philadelphia Eagles (8-6). To be clear: this is a divisional win or no playoffs for either team as the atrocious NFC East is the only berth either team could compete for.
Beginning yesterday, their schedule contained three very winnable games: hosting Green Bay, at Washington, and hosting Philadelphia. Those three teams have one thing in common: each are starting Quarterbacks who began the season as clipboard-holders. Matt Flynn, Kirk Cousins, and Nick Foles; that is all the 32nd-ranked Cowboys Defense has had to get by.
Coughing up a 23-point lead at halftime yesterday to Green Bay didn’t help and two fourth-quarter INTs by Romo helped push the narrative even further. It was the first time in Dallas franchise history they lost a game in which they led by 20 or more points at the half. Jerry Jones characterized the loss as ‘bitter’ – and refused to comment further.
At the same time, you want to say, “Jerry! Get a hold of yourself man! You can fix this!” He is doing it to himself! He gave Tony Romo, he of the 24-27 record over the last four years, a 6-year $108 million contract in March. Jones assured Garrett he would be back in 2014 no matter how he finished the 2013 season. Jones, who has always had a large presence in football decisions, has built the worst defense the NFL has seen since the 1940s. (Really though, the Dallas defense let the New Orleans Saints set an NFL-record 40 first downs AND a franchise-record with 625 yards of offense.)
The week before, against Da Bears from Chicago, they failed to force a punt in the whole game. They became the second team since 1940 to fail to force a punt twice in one year.
And yet, winning their next game, which is not too tall of an order against 3-11 Washington, would set up a home contest against Philly where. Then, if they were to win, they would make the playoffs. If they do not achieve that goal, and history tells us they won’t, the Cowboys will continue their season middling in mediocrity.
With a Quarterback who makes over $17million and a Head Coach who has proven mediocre himself, how much longer can Jerry Jones let this stand? He is the one causing these problems by putting confidence in the wrong guys. He can fix this, but as of yet, he refuses to.
Jerry’s legacy in Dallas, a franchise rich in successful history, will be defined by what he does in the coming months. Win and all is forgiven, but lose, and maybe the fans in Dallas will be ready for Jerry World to become someone else’s home.