5 moves the Cowboys could make to try and save their season

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys
Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports) /

Coaches must send a message, no job is safe

Longtime fans will remember the story of former Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson setting an example for his team by cutting backup linebacker John Roper after he fell asleep during a special teams meeting.

Here’s what Johnson told Bleacher Report back in 2010 in an interview about that incident …

"“We’re getting ready to play San Francisco and [Roper] fell asleep in my meeting, so I cut him right then and there. I turned the projector off, I said, ‘Go see Bruce Mays and get your waivers.’ He never played another down in pro football.”"

The Dallas Cowboys have fostered a country club attitude for far too long. And there’s a clear lack of intensity and accountability as a result.

Dallas looks like the softest team in the NFL right now. And the Cowboys’ new regime needs to send a strong message to these entitled players. No one’s job is safe after Sunday’s performance.

The recent trade of defensive end Everson Griffen to the Detroit Lions on Tuesday was a start. The report that both defensive tackle Dontari Poe and defensive back Daryl Worley have been told they will be released if not traded sets that tone as well.

But these are all free agents just signed this season. Benching or trading an underperforming veteran would send a much more impactful message that nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. How you earn your livelihood is at stake in every game and on every play.

No one in Dallas outside of Jerry Jones should feel safe right now. And just because you started every game so far this season doesn’t mean you deserve to do so against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week Eight.

How would the team react to Dallas trading linebacker Jaylon Smith? What if wideout Michael Gallup was replaced in the starting lineup by Cedric Wilson? What if running back Tony Pollard got the starting nod over Ezekiel Elliott? What if the team opted not to start safety Xavier Woods?

If a player’s own pride doesn’t motivate them to perform better on the field, then outside forces must compel that attitude change. This is a team that’s lost any sense of urgency. McCarthy and his staff need to find a way to motivate these professional athletes and making an example of veterans who aren’t keeping the standards high could be a way of accomplishing that.