Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

FOX: On the Mark: Stars not shining for Cowboys


Recommended Posts


Click link for entire article

On the Mark: Stars not shining for Cowboys

Biggest disappointment of the season?

The choice shouldn't be this easy, not with the perennially underachieving San Diego Chargers already at 3-5. But the Dallas Cowboys get my vote, a clear-cut winner in the loser category.

They've had their injuries, of course. And they're still a game over .500. What's more, with Tony Romo sits to pee due to return after a fortuitously timed bye week, you can expect them to make a run in the second half.

But so what? With a record 13 Pro Bowlers returning from last year's squad, there was talk — most of it entirely reasonable — that this was Dallas' most talented team ever. The Cowboys were the consensus pick, not just to represent the NFC, but to win the Super Bowl. Nevertheless, midway though the season, America's team has begun to resemble America's economy, which is to say it smells of a scam.

At the helm of this caper is — what else? — an erstwhile oilman. Jerry Jones has succeeded George Steinbrenner as the star owner of American sports: an aggressive huckster, a post-modern Barnum, a procurer of talents that reflect well on his own. Truth be told, he's not a bad general manager. Unlike Steinbrenner, he played the game he professes to know, and knows it intimately. But he's also addicted to the high-profile play at the expense of more sensible solutions.

He re-signs Tony Romo sits to pee and Terrell Owens to lucrative contracts. He signs Pacman Jones (a foregone conclusion, right?) He gets himself a new $1.3 billion stadium. And he invites HBO to training camp.

You think he might've had time to get a backup quarterback?

Gus Frerotte maybe? Or Mark Brunell? How about Byron Leftwich? Whatever. The Cowboys are lucky to be 1-2 since Romo sits to pee busted his pinkie. At this point you have to wonder whether the offensive coordinator is a better backup quarterback than the backup quarterback. Brad Johnson was 5-for-11 with 71 yards and two interceptions before he was benched against the Giants on Sunday. In their last two games, the Cowboys managed to generate only 232 yards of offense with eight turnovers.

"If you've got Brad Johnson's experience, you give up some things," Jones said after the game. "On a guy with a lot of years, you don't know what you might give up in the skill level until it jumps out at you."

Wait up. Jumps out at whom? It's not for me to know that Brad Johnson had nothing left. But it was for Jerry Jones. Unlike Steinbrenner, he doesn't have a general manager at his disposal, ready to fire. If Jones gets the glory, he's also due for the blame.

Besides, this team is missing more than Tony Romo sits to pee. You think it's the coach? Well, that's Jones' coach. He picked Wade Phillips, who's supposed to be first and foremost a defensive guy. Still, for all their talent, the Cowboys are ranked ninth in defense, allowing 309 yards per game. They've intercepted a single pass in the last three weeks. In fact, according to STATS Inc., the Cowboys are tied for 29th in interceptions.

To be sure, the secondary is depleted, with cornerback Terence Newman out on account of groin surgery and Pacman Jones out on account of being Pacman Jones. But the injuries obscure a larger truth.

You don't need to be a general manager or even an owner to know what you saw on Sunday. As Jones might say, it jumped out at you. The Cowboys, now in sole possession of last place in the NFC East, were demolished and demystified. The stars have lost their swagger. And more.

By 8:20 of the fourth quarter, when Derrick Ward ran 17 yards unmolested for a touchdown, they had stopped competing. No one wanted to tackle Derrick Ward.

Maybe the Cowboys' defense had been softened by Brandon Jacobs. Or maybe the Giants' offensive line, conspicuously lacking of Pro Bowlers, did the softening. Whatever the case, it's now clear that Jerry Jones' collection of stars was already softer than anybody knew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...