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Star Telegram: In blowout loss to Patriots, Cowboys didn't come close to measuring up


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Here ya go, puke fans...some reality... :laugh:


Star-Telegram Staff Writer


IRVING -- "Measuring-stick game" rivals "moral victories" and "boo-yeah" in terms of stupid sports phrases.

I mean what game isn't a measuring stick?

And why do you need a stick when you have a scoreboard?

None of this stops players, coaches and everybody else from using "MSG" to describe games like the brouhaha at Texas Stadium.

And so, if a measuring stick must be applied as a judge of how the Cowboys looked in a 48-27 loss to the Patriots, it probably should be with the caveat that said stick was used to slap the you-know-what out of them. Even Coach Wade lacked positivity afterward.

"We wanted to be one of the elite teams, but obviously we're not," he said.

He believes his Cowboys have a ways to go. Let's go to the stick to see exactly how far:

1. The Original 81

vs. The Other 81

The descriptors were applied by Our 81, Mr. Terrell Owens, in his letter to the media Wednesday detailing how he planned to let his play do his talking and imploring us to have popcorn readied.

Patriots players obviously took him at his word, using popcorn as a locker-room prop to celebrate Sunday's victory in which Randy Moss played a supporting role to Wes Welker.

He, like Owens, finished with six catches and a TD.

Only 7 receiving yards differentiated their stats but miles seemed to separate their perspectives on said days. This is probably the first time Moss has ever heard this and most probably the last, but he is definitely the Stable 81 with regard to his role.

T.O. seems to be simmering about it while Moss is rolling with it.

"Y'all know how T.O. is," Moss said. "I just wanted to come out there and do what I could to help my team win this game. I didn't really want to feed off what he was saying or the hype over the game between two 81s.

"I don't really buy into that, man. I've got a job to do and that's to go out there and try to get touchdowns and get first downs."

You know it is a strange world when you are hoping T.O. acts more like Randy Moss.

2. Belicheat vs. Mr. Fix It

A significant gap seems a tad bit unfair when sizing up how Coach Wade fared in comparison to Bill Belichick.

Mr. Fix It's tools seemed a little lacking against New England.

That said, Coach Wade gave himself that moniker based on his see-ball, get-ball, kill-the-quarterback defense and his 3-4 looked neither fixed nor close to being fixed Sunday.

Coach Wade also is on the books for the questionable call to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 5 despite trailing by 14 with only 10 minutes remaining.

He said he thought his defense could stop them. Had he been paying attention? :laugh:

3. Brady vs. The Next Brady

Whoever told Brother Galloway that "He's the game's next Brady" covered his butt with a "not today" and "not for a year or two".

Good thing for him.

I was starting to think Mr. Randy was using an altered-state Q-Car as a source. Because as good as Tony Romo sits to pee was in spurts Sunday, Tom Brady is just playing at a dynastic level. As Cowboys OC Jason Garrett noted: "Quarterback is not an easy position to play, and he makes it look easy."

Romo sits to pee may indeed measure up some day. Sunday was not that day.

4. Big Cow Plays

vs. Big Pats plays

Realizing that illegal spying is a touchy subject in Patsland, I need to be careful here but ...

I am 99.9 percent sure the Patriots have a play called "If Nate Jones is on the field, the ball goes to whoever he is covering." Variations include "If Roy Willy is ever singled up on anybody ... " and "Attack Jacques Reeves".

And New England's passing plays of 28, 35 and 69 yards were all a little bit of the aforementioned players' work, with that 69-yarder signaling Dallas' doom.

5. The Phillips 3-4

vs. Little Bill's 3-4

To say Dallas' D had a hard time getting Brady and Co. off the field is an understatement, a 28-first downs, 65 percent-third down completion rate, 80 percent-red zone efficiency, 48-point understatement.

"We have some work to do," Cowboys defensive coordinator Brian Stewart admitted. "We definitely have some work to do."

See No. 2 if any questions persist.

6. The Hoodie Effect vs. The Rowdy Effect, otherwise known as the little things

Kyle Kosier's holding penalty was 2 seconds in a game filled with 3,600 of them. It may very well have been the difference.

It negated what would have been a first down by Marion Barber.

It forced the Cowboys to punt instead.

It is one of the little mistakes a team cannot afford to make when they are trying to take down the best team in the league.

"I would have liked to have seen what outcome of the game would have been if we didn't get a holding penalty on that fourth-and-one," Romo sits to pee said.

7. The Bottom Line: Cowboys vs. Patriots

Former LSU teammates Marcus Spears and Randall Gay were joking around postgame and, as they parted, Gay said goodbye.

"Hey, we'll see you again," Spears said.

Promises of "next time" abound in big games like this, as do what-ifs. Neither means squat.

"Some of these guys might be a little frustrated now and say 'We might be better than those guys,'" linebacker Bradie James said. "No, we aren't better. If we had been better, we would have won."

I couldn't have said it better myself, Bradie.

The ultimate measuring stick is the scoreboard and what it said Sunday was the Cowboys have a ways to go.

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