What a recurring nightmare for the Dallas Cowboys.
For the third consecutive season, the team followed an almost identical script and came up short in their Week 17 effort to win the NFC East and obtain a playoff spot.
As a result, the team finished 8-8 for the third year in a row under Jason Garrett and will surely spend the offseason wondering what could have been as 5 of their 8 losses came by a combined 8 points.
It’s really no secret to anyone that these numbers above show that the Cowboys have been a mediocre football team under Garrett’s tenure, and they proved it once again in Sunday Night’s 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now lets take the time to define mediocre: Mediocre (adj.)- Of only moderate quality, not very good.
The ‘Boys played of moderate quality, but in the end it was not good enough. The Philadelphia Eagles made more plays to win the division as Brandon Boykin intercepted Kyle Orton with 1:43 remaining while No. 18 had the opportunity to put the Cowboys in game-winning field goal position.
Throughout his tenure as coach, Garrett has preached about situational football, and quite frankly his team might of been the worst in the league in 2013. They were horrible in situational football once again Sunday. This time the only difference was this interception came from Orton and not Romo.
Not only struggling with situational football, the team also struggled mightily on third down all season. That was once again a problem against the Eagles as they converted on just three of 11 attempts. That’s not good enough to get it done in today’s NFL.
Additionally, it’s been a familiar scene to watch the offense settle for field goals. That trend surely continued Sunday night as well as Dan Bailey kicked three field goals, with two coming deep in the red zone.
And who’s not used to the huge mental mistakes by the team’s supposed “stars”?
DeMarco Murray fumbled away a chance for at least three points on the first drive of the game, and Jason Witten dropped a pass from Orton that resulted in an interception.
Wait…Cowboys fans, don’t these issues haunt this team year after year?
Clock management errors, horrible situational football, inopportune turnovers, settling for field goals, and frequent mental mistakes by the team’s best players. This is surely the script to write the Cowboys continuing abominations.
Of course, I don’t feel inclined to mention the absolutely horrific defense that plagues this team constantly.
In his post-game press conference Garrett stated, “We haven’t taken the next step,” when referring to his team’s 8-8 record the past three seasons, and that’s truly why I believe he should be fired. Yes, it’s not all Garrett’s fault, as a lot of the team’s decisions aren’t made by him, but instead by a cancerous owner who’s in fact tanking this team even more so than his head coach. But, the Cowboys continue to make the same mistakes, and some of that responsibility lies with Garrett.
I believe the Cowboys need to make a switch for a culture change.
This team desperately needs a disciplinarian or even just a defensive minded coach to take the next step as a franchise, but Jerry Jones won’t make this change his team needs though. He’s far too stubborn and is more concerned with telling the rest of the NFL and the world that he was right about hiring Garrett.
In fact, he should make one more move after firing Garrett, and that’s firing himself as General Manager. ESPN’s Trent Dilfer said it best in his post-game analysis, “The biggest myth in the NFL is that the Cowboys are the most talented team in football.”
The Cowboys lack talent in several areas. They have the marquee superstars, yes, but they don’t have the role players they need to be successful. And that’s Jones’ fault. He’s the one who makes the decisions on who they draft, and who they sign in free agency, and you have to believe that Garrett has somewhat of an influence there as well, no matter how minor.
Until a front office (this will never happen) and head coaching change is made, the Dallas Cowboys will almost surely follow the same haunting script in the 2014 season. But for now Cowboys nation, it’s time to look forward to the draft and be relieved from all the anxiety the Cowboys put you through week after week.
The roller coaster ride is over…for now.
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