By: Greg Rector
NY Giants 23 Dallas Cowboys 19
Well, this weirdest of all seasons ended for the Dallas Cowboys with a whimper; what else? Were y’all expecting a miracle run? Admit it after the last few games; you had hopes. It’s okay; I did as well. As per usual, though, disappointment reigns supreme for Cowboys Nation. For the 26th year under the world’s worst general manager Jerry Jones, another football season finds more questions for the sports world’s most valuable franchise.
The Final Loss:
I will never be more confounded by anything in football than the PATHETIC way Dallas starts the vast majority of their games. Sunday was no different. After deferring (why oh why?), the Giants shred the Cowboy defense, culminating with a 23-yard Sterling Shepard run for the opening score. I can’t describe what the Cowboys offense was trying to do as anything other than futility. This team isn’t a defensive juggernaut despite the improved play in the previous three games, but sure let’s put the weakest group out there to start. Right choice McCarthy…smdh
Penalties snuffed out signs of life, and the Cowboys settled for a Zuerlein field goal to make the game 6 to 3. The Giants then proceeded to pull away and extend their lead to 13 to 3 thanks to being handed first downs by personal foul penalties (Lewis and Gregory), and Shepard hit pay dirt as a receiver that time. After another Dallas field goal, the Giants made it 20 to 6 with a TD to Dante Pettis in the final minute of the half.
Of course, the Cowboys then came alive and looked like a football tea, for a short while. Donovan Wilson had an interception, and the Cowboys finally got a touchdown when Elliott (played hurt) scored. Far too often, though, the Dallas offense was very conservative in this game, and Andy Dalton’s sacks stalled many drives. After Zuerlein’s 4th FG of the day, it was 20-19, and Cowboys fans lift their hopes. Of course, that was the last scoring they would do. The Giants added a field goal, and the offense mustered up a nothing burger to see their season end with a 6 and 10 record.
The What If Games:
Sure, that’s an easy game to play. However, I don’t deal with them. I deal with the reality of the situation. In the 2020 season, the reality game saw the starting quarterback go down in week 5 with a season ending injury. I saw, as did all of you, a defense that was lost for weeks at a time, and they never stopped anyone from running on them. At least they improved somewhat in the passing game, and yes, kids in the TAKEAWAY category. The COVID – 19 virus was a factor, but it’s been one for pretty much every team.
One of the top three offensive lines in the league for several seasons was decimated by retirement (Fredrick) and injuries to Collins, Smith, and Martin. The simple fact was the replacement tackles also got hurt, leaving them with 3rd string tackles. Most importantly, as it was far too often under the old regime coaching-wise, this team was no different in that they were not ready to play at kickoff except for two games this season. That’s on the coaches and the players as well. You’re being paid to compete, and far too often, the Cowboys didn’t do that.
Sick of Excuses
I am sick of the excuses, sick of the owner playing general manager, unhappy of said owner and his son regularly on radio and TV spewing out their garbage lines about every aspect of the team. It’s time that the on-field product was the singular focus for EVERYONE!! The Jones family, to the scouting and coaching staff, and every last player on this roster. Stop worrying about things outside of those 60 minutes on Sundays, Monday, and Thursday nights. I don’t care about the “value” of the Dallas Cowboys. I care about winning Super Bowl games and amassing Lombardi Trophies. Just imagine what win one again would do for the old bottom line, Jerry?
Not a Sniff
Twenty-six years ago, on January 28th, 1996 (Super Bowl XXX 27 to 17 over the Steelers), I was 31. I had watched “America’s Team” play in eight Super Bowls and win five Lombardi Trophies, and since then, not even a sniff. To the new generation and a half of Cowboys fans born after that date, I’m sorry you’ve never seen that, and yes, there was a time when the Cowboys focused on winning championships. Now we’re watching season after season of a “March To Mediocrity” that sees moments that raise the fans’ hopes, only to have them come crashing down. That’s life as a Cowboys currently.
Like last year I will be looking at the Cowboys off-season and writing about it here. From Free Agency (March 17th) to the draft, I will write about what the Dallas Cowboys are doing, what I believe they should be doing, and what happens. I have already started watching the film on the 2021 draft class and will bring my Cowboys mock drafts to you. So ends another fruitless Cowboys fans.
As always, you can find me on Twitter @GregCowboys.