One of the coaching greats of my time, I enjoy quoting Bill Parcells, former Cowboys head coach. One of his favorite post game press conference sayings, “You’re never as good as you think you are; you’re never as bad as you think you are.” This statement could not be more true after the Dallas Cowboy’s first three regular season games.
Against the defending champion New York Giants, the Cowboys looked exceptional, having their way with the Giants on both sides of the ball. The intitial knee-jerk reactions were visualizing a 6th Lombardi trophy after just one single game.
The Cowboys second game didn’t go as planned, and the Boys’ were trashed by the Seattle Seahawks. Some may point to a few questionable calls, but give those Seahawks their due. They played well, played hard, and played the game on their terms.
As horrible as we thought the Cowboys were, look at what the prolilfic offense of the Green Bay Packers put up against the Seahawks. 12 points, and one questionable call that will go down in infamy later, the Packers suffered a loss as well. As bad as we thought the Cowboys were, those Seahawks look pretty good.
Against the Tampa Bay Bucs, at home, the Cowboys experienced an abundance of mental errors. Penalties were the main issue, but don’t forget the missed assignment that almost led to a blocked punt. There was a 1% chance that play went in the Cowboys favor, and Jordan Shipley who isn’t known to be a regular Kyle Williams (for those of you wondering, watch last year’s NFC Championship game), muffed the punt and the Cowboys recovered.
With two lackluster performances, and one really great one, the Cowboys are sitting at 2-1 and because of tie breakers, currently in the lead of the NFC East. A single game Monday night against the Chicago Bears lies between the Cowboys and a much needed bye week to get healthy.
Insert Phil Costa into the starting lineup and suddenly the false start penalties are not as big of an issue. Insert Jay Ratliff and the #1 defense (in terms of yards allowed) suddenly gets a whole lot more dangerous. Give Jason Witten another two weeks to get healthy and he might not be hearing footsteps as often when catching passes over the middle. Who knows, we might also get to see interception machine, Matt Johnson, wreck havoc in the backfield.
As bad as we think these Cowboys might be, they are not nearly as bad. And if the Cowboys can go into the bye week with a 3-1 record, it will be pretty hard to look at them objectively and say that they are as bad as we think they are.