I was at the game last night. It was probably the most exciting game I have ever attended. And I have never walked out of a game as angry as I was last night.
I'm not going to blame Tony Romo. All he did was put up 321 yards, 4 touchdowns, and lead his team to a 12 point lead late in the 4th quarter. Miles Austin says he lost the deep ball late in the game in the lights and I'm going to take him at his word. A completion there might have sealed the win but the Cowboys missed it.
I blame the defense. Rob Ryan's crew was flat out awful pretty much from start to finish. It has become painfully obvious that the defense can't run the scheme that Ryan has tried to bring to Dallas. The pre-snap adjustments that are required with Ryan's defense are just too much for the players to handle. It is amazing how often the secondary completely misses assignments. The pass to Mario Manningham that went for a touchdown was a perfect example of that. No one even thought about covering him.
Demarcus Ware really blew it in the game too. The only game I've seen him play that was as bad as this one was last year against Jacksonville. His offsides penalties couldn't have come at a worse time. And he didn't get to Eli Manning all game long and he made no impact, except in a bad way, as the Giants completed their furious comeback.
Terence Newman. Need I say more? He dropped a pick six early in the game. And he appeared to give up on the deep ball that Mario Manningham dropped in the endzone at the end of the game. And Newman was getting burned all game long. He was terrible in this game.
What really hurts coming out of that game besides the huge loss is the fact that so many players were hurt in the game. Phil Costa left the game with a concussion and is questionable for the Bucs game this week. Mike Jenkins is hurt again. Barry Church has a separated shoulder and is probably out this week. Jay Ratliff is hurt. And, the biggest injury of all, DeMarco Murray is out for the season with a broken ankle.
After Romo and Miles Austin made a phenomenal effort to get the Cowboys in position for a game tying field goal the field goal team let the Cowboys down again. It looked like Dan Bailey's kick was headed in the right direction but it was blocked so early that we'll never know if it would have gone in. It doesn't really matter. All that matters is the field goal unit broke down at the worst possible time for the second week in a row. I have lost all faith in the coaching of Joe Decamillis.
I know technically that the Cowboys still control their own fate. Win three straight and they win the NFC East and make the playoffs. But nothing I saw from the defense last night leads me to believe this team deserves a spot in the playoffs. I expect and one and done if the Cowboys do miraculously bounce back from the loss and win out. I realized about 6 or 7 weeks ago that this team was very mediocre. It is a shame because the offense did everything they could to win the game. But you aren't going to win many games when your defense gives up 37 points and over 500 yards of offense.
I'm still hopeful that the Cowboys can pull it together but I have exactly zero faith that it will happen. We just have to hope that this team gets it together like the Cowboys did at the end of the 2009 season and wins out.