If they gave away Lombardi trophies for the team that can lose in the most dramatic and heartbreaking way, the Dallas Cowboys would be one of the greatest champions of all-time. With a 3-point lead, the Cowboys try to run out the clock on the Detroit Lions but a holding call on offensive tackle Tyron Smith stops the clock and forces the Cowboys to kick a field goal and give back the ball with over a minute left. Then in a matter of seconds, the Cowboys saw their hard-fought win; become one of many disastrous collapses seen by this dysfunctional team. Lions win, 31-30. Cowboys are left at 4-4 with way more problems than solutions.
Though it was terrible how they closed out the game, the first three quarters were not prime examples of winning football either. In the first half alone, the Cowboys defense gave up big chunks of yards and only stayed in the game due to turnovers caused by the Lions. The offense was stagnant and ineffective the whole day and the chemistry between quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant looked like it was dissolving on the sidelines. Things in the second half were worse as the defense gave up a franchise record of over 600 yards of total offense. With quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, and Robert Griffin III left to play on the schedule, that franchise record could be broken multiple times before the end of the year.
This clearly isn’t a great football team that we have here in Dallas. The theory has been that while the talent has been great, the coaching staff hasn’t got them to play to their potential. I might be in the small but growing minority to think maybe the media and fans alike have over-hyped the “talent” on this team. There are flashes of brilliance every now and then like the offensive performance during the Denver game but too many times we see games where the team can’t get out of their own way. We see our “talented” defense get blown to bits and torched every Sunday and it begs to question, maybe they are not good enough. Maybe the offense is just not good enough to be great every week. Maybe the talent on the team is merely ok.
The Detroit game has made me a skeptical believer in this very flawed team. Because of how bad the NFC East is this year, this maybe the only chance the team can get into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. But as usual, the Cowboys make it harder on themselves and continue to break the hearts of fans all over the country. On Sunday afternoon, I was one of those fans, as my optimism was shattered when Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ran in for the game-winning touchdown. While they will never lose me as a fan, this season could push me into the dark side of the sports fan, the cynical sports fan. The Dallas Cowboys can save me this season, hopefully.