One of those seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. Currently one game under-.500, the Cowboys head to the Georgia Dome to face the lone undefeated team in the National Football League on Sunday. Do not expect America’s Team to snatch a road loss. Furthermore, the Cowboys will miss the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Here is why.
1. As noted earlier this year, the Cowboys struggle with discipline.
Dallas is clearly one of the most talented teams in the NFL. It is debatable that they are more prolific than any of the teams they have faced thus far this season. As shown by the record, the Cowboys have not executed as expected. While Tony Romo ranks in the top-5 in average yards passing, he leads The League with 13 interceptions. He has thrown only 9 touchdowns. Maybe the running game is the problem, but Felix Jones’ unquestionable talent and fallible execution raises questions outside the lines.
Since the Dallas Cowboys became America’s Team, playing with a star on your helmet could be considered the most glamorous job in sports. It is not a coincidence the franchise’s best came at the management of tough and meticulous coaches; staunch leaders of men. Current coach, Jason Garrett, is not that type of coach. The results show. The team’s incline has yet to begin since Wade Phillips bowed out midway through 2010.
2. The Cowboys must manage their run more effectively.
Despite the bevy of talent the Cowboys drafted at running back over the last 10 years set behind ferocious offensive lines, Dallas has been unable to use this advantageous quality effectively. The loss to the Baltimore Raven earlier in the year is a microcosm of their issue. They rushed for 227 yards holding the ball for more than 40 minutes and found a way to lose despite only one turnover. This is one problem.
The issue is doubled due to injuries. Demarco Murray’s (sprained foot) status is uncertain this week and maybe thereafter. Felix Jones is also limited due to a bruised knee. Tony Romo is one of the best, yet his play leans towards impotency when he throws forty or fifty times in a game. The Cowboys need a tough running game to power their offense when the going gets tougher. Their must wins are now; beginning Sunday.
3. Maybe we can blame it on the big screen. Regardless, since opening in 2009, the Cowboys do not play an impressive game at home with a record of 14-13.
Outside of the record, only knowledge from observation and conjecture can be provided. It appears; home is a distraction. The idea of athletes thriving away from home is not foreign, but as lavish as Cowboys Stadium appears, why is relevant here? Who knows?
Do you expect a Cowboys player will truthfully address the issue? Whether they will or not, five of their Dallas' nine games will be at home; another obstacle making it far too formidable for them to make this year’s playoffs.
4. The Cowboys do not have a favorable schedule conducive to making the playoffs.
Playing more than half of their remaining games at home will pose a problem. Also, four of those nine games are home and away bouts against the Eagles and Redskins. These divisional battles will be difficult and hard fought, emotional contests; the types which can change the momentum of the season. Appears to be far too ambitious to assume the Cowboys will win the division.
More so, the NFC Wild Card may be even more difficult to claim. As of today, Dallas is amongst four teams at 3-4. Two teams are 4-4 while the Vikings and Packers in the driver’s seat for the Wild Card at 5-3. I will not say it cannot be done, but Dallas will not. The uphill climb is too much for the team to endure.
5. What you were says much about who you will be. History says the Dallas Cowboys are an extraordinary sports car with all the horsepower and shine to take off and turn heads, but somewhere down the highway, there is an accident waiting to happen.
The Cowboys has found ways to lose. Opportunities to speed past the opposition have presented itself over and over again. A key turnover stopped the momentum. A key player’s social issues off-the-field wrecked havoc in the locker room. The owner, Jerry Jones, is far too visual. None of this equaled wins.
The Cowboys are the best circus in town when they come to your town. They are vastly entertaining; the kind of team you can discuss at the barbershop over and over. Yet, in the end; the party ends early and you are left wondering was it worth the faith of a widow’s pocket change.
The Cowboys will present more than enough enjoyment, just be prepared for the curtain to close early.