“Cause it’s high. It’s low. This Roller Coaster is out of control. I can’t tell the sky from the ground. And I can’t slow down.” –Randy Rogers Band (Rollercoaster)
I wrote the Cowboys off last week after the Giants. It had nothing to do with their skill, talent level, head coach or defensive coordinator. It had EVERYTHING to do with knowing how to win and blowing big leads. So when the game ended a few hours ago, I was all set to say something cautiously positive. I was going to tell you that the Cowboys played EXTREMELY well for two quarters and then did not play well in the second half…. AGAIN.
Then I thought well wait a minute, DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff did not play most of the second half. And the secondary did not look horrible for the second time this season!
Then I remembered that the Buccaneers are now on an 8-game losing streak.
Then I remembered that Tony Romo has thrown 29 TDs this season and only 9 INTs. (ZERO INTs in December)
I had no idea what to write. I cannot, for the life of me, make sense of ANY of this. Then this happened:
I just said a prayer to the Lord in Heaven to please show me the day where Deion Sanders wears a game-worn Tony Romo jersey on NFL Network. Dear Lord, hear my prayer. Tony handled himself with such poise and control in a situation that our colleague DCFanatic perfectly described as a “hater sammich.” He was juxtaposed two of his heaviest critics and he tossed them aside as though they were pass rushers. I learned a lot from hearing Tony in that interview.
The reality is that the Cowboys played extremely well in the first half and like most teams, hit the cruise control button as they were up by four scores. You would hope not to see that but it is a reality for every team, so I can live with it. The Buccaneers had a chance to get back in the game but it was not a good chance and I think Garrett and Ryan stopped playing around in the 4th quarter. Yes, the Bucs are a horrible team but it should not be discounted that the Cowboys played extremely well and stomped that horrible team.
Now the demons are coming home. To get to the playoffs, the Cowboys must play and beat the only team to blow them out since the game that ended Wade Phillips’ head coaching career in 2010 (Packers 45 Cowboys 7). The Eagles destroyed Dallas 34-7 in their meeting in Philadelphia nearly seven weeks ago. I believe the Cowboys can beat the underachieving Eagles at home if they can contain LeSean McCoy. In other words, Sean Lee needs to show up huge and DeMarcus Ware needs to make Michael Vick his……. dancing partner.
By the way, my 2009 doppelganger theory holds true. The Cowboys had a rising star that saved their season in both years (Austin and Murray), came out of Thanksgiving with an 8-3 record in 2009 (7-4 in 2011). They then proceeded to lose two straight games in December, setting off a media controversy. They then proceeded to beat an NFC South team to “save their season.” If they shut out two NFC East opponents to win the division championship, then I am going to be officially suspicious that this is the Twilight Zone.
The season comes down to how the Cowboys respond to a big win. I think they showed heart and determination. I think the defense (specifically the secondary) played much better than normal. If they can do the same against better competition, we may have something here Cowboys fans. The secondary still scares me and I am not sure how they will respond against a capable quarterback and LeSean McCoy, but I believe in Tony Romo.