The Dallas Cowboys continue to settle for mediocrity in the NFL following their despicable loss to the San Fransisco 49ers in the NFC Wild Card game. This was the last chance for “America’s Team” to reach the Super Bowl, and a painful retooling now looms over their heads with the blame falling on one person’s shoulders.
Saturday Day Night Live
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. The Dallas Cowboys’ game-ending drive was one of brief excitement followed by towering anguish for those supporting the home team in AT&T Stadium. Starting on the 25-yard line, Dak Prescott completed a series of passes that provided the opportunity to launch a hail-mary pass with 0:12 left on the clock. Rather than attempting a feat of amplitude, Prescott took it upon himself to run the ball up the middle where he would then slide and try to spike the ball with a few seconds remaining to have a more probable scoring chance. Instead, the time ran out before the ball could be snapped. The team remained there on the turf, looking like a kid who is standing in the doorway trying to work up the courage to tell his mom he threw up. This is a play that will define the Dallas Cowboys for years to come as no team in professional sports fits the definition of the word pathetic more than they do. Much like SNL skits, what was once a very entertaining show has grown to be insufferable.
Business of Misery
If there was one year when quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys could contend for the Super Bowl, it was this season. Look up and down the roster, and ask yourself “what more could they possibly need?”. Playoff experience at the head coaching spot was an issue, so they brought in Mike McCarthy, a Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers in 2010. The defense was one of the worst groups in the NFL a year ago, so they brought in Dan Quinn, former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, as the defensive coordinator. Ezekiel Elliott has been on the decline, Tony Pollard stepped up massively. They needed playmakers on defense, cornerback Trevon Diggs led the NFL in interceptions, and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons will win Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Dallas Cowboys inarguably have the best offensive line and the best wide receiver core in the league. They have a very bright offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore. So ask yourself, “What more could this team possibly need?”. Give this roster to any other team in the NFL, and they’re Super Bowl champions. The Cowboys will never be as talented as this group, and it’s all downhill from here.
Shot Through the Heart
Unlike most wounds, this one isn’t going to heal anytime soon for Dallas, and fans can thank owner Jerry Jones for causing this. Rather than focusing on building a winning football team, Jones would rather be a puppetmaster and have full control over his team. Everyone and their mother ridiculed the Cowboys for enduring with Jason Garrett as the head coach for so long, but when he was let go, Jones simply brought in another sheep to his slaughter. You don’t hire a head coach so you can have sleepovers on school nights. You hire a head coach that’s going to win with the team that you worked with him to build. Looking back to the early 1990s, the Cowboys had a head coach in Jimmy Johnson who led them to two Super Bowl victories in back-to-back seasons in ’92 and ’93, but because Jerry Jones couldn’t control him, he decided he wasn’t ‘Cowboy material’. So long as Jerry Jones remains a control freak and values image over performance, the Dallas Cowboys will always be a regular-season football team. Though your name may end up in the history books, it will be for the wrong reasons.