Monday, November 16, 2009

A Bad Loss, But the Sky is Not Falling

It was an ugly game. The Cowboys played a stinker in what could have been a defining moment in the season. With the Eagles losing to the Chargers it could have been a two game lead in the NFC East. That didn't happen. We all need to get over it.

Sure, it was terrible. Just when they had us all believing they had turned the corner they gave us a reminder of why everyone is always skeptical about the Cowboys. For some reason they just can't seem to handle prosperity. I don't know what it is, but it is almost like you can feel it coming with this team every now and then. I have to believe part of it is that Wade Phillips isn't knocking these guys down to size when times are good. When you are winning you have to continue to work just as hard if not harder to succeed because you get a target on your back.

I don't want to go into too many specifics and do too much finger pointing because you can point to just about every player and point out mistakes. The Miles Austin/Tony Romo near touchdown on the opening drive would have completely changed the game. Roy Williams had a terrible fumble and a dropped pass on a perfectly thrown ball. The offensive line let free rushers get after Tony Romo all day long. Jason Garrett abandoned the run. Nick Folk missed a field goal. Jason Witten missed a block to cause a sack. Orlando Scandrick was penalized several times. The officiating was terrible. And on and on and on.

The Cowboys have to correct the mistakes in the game and move on. If they let a game like this sink in for too long they might doubt themselves. I might be naive, but I think it was just one of those days. Nothing ever came together for endless reasons. As Tony Romo has been preaching, they need to learn from the game and get better. I just hope they can find a way to prevent a clunker like this happening again this season. I'll give them one horrible game, but they can't afford any more like that game.

The worst news from the game to me were the injuries. Marc Columbo is out for at least the regular season and probably until next year. Ken Hamlin is out 3-4 weeks with a sprained ankle. Mike Jenkins has a severely bruised biceps but should be ok. Kyle Kosier and Flozell Adams both have minor ankle sprains. David Beuhler has a bruised and possible broken pinkie toe on his kicking foot. The only positive is that most of the injuries appear to be relatively minor, but the injury bug finally hit. I knew the day was coming that guys would get hurt but it just seemed to be an endless parade of guys laying on the turf getting tended to by the trainers.

With all of that bad news I think it is important to remember where the Cowboys stand. They are 6-3 and leading the NFC East. Two very winnable games coming up should allow them to push the record to 8-3 heading into the final stretch of the season. Even with the injuries on Sunday the Cowboys are still in better shape than most teams in the league. Tony Romo is still healthy and I'll take my chances with him at QB any day. Don't forget how important it is to have your franchise quarterback at 100%. All the preseason goals are still possible, but no one will give them any breaks. The Cowboys have to go out and earn it on the field starting with the Redskins on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. You can't expect a team to always play its best game just because they're on a roll. It's hard for guys to get up for it every week, but even so, I though there was good effort. The defense was really solid. They just gave up 10 points given Romo's fumble at the 3 yard line. The offense was terrible and a lot had to do with the Packer D playing out of their minds and Dom Capers seemingly reading Jason Garrett's mind on every play. They just wanted it more and they've got great players on that side of the ball. We beat them the last two times so now they get a victory. Doesn't mean the Cowboys are any less of a team than they were going in.