Cowboys Corral: With Romo injured again, Dallas faces Washington on Monday night
December 6, 2015
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A re-broken collar-bone, the same injury that cost Romo eight weeks, and the Cowboys seven losses.
Adding injury to insult during the midst of an embarrassing 33-14 loss at the hands of the undefeated Carolina Panthers in front of a packed Thanksgiving home-field crowd, Romo will most assuredly be lost until next season, as Dallas’ playoff chances, though still technically alive, are definitely on life support.
Because of the fact that the NFC East division is so dreadful this season, Dallas at 3-8, still has a chance, albeit an outside chance, to still unbelievably win the division and make the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, winning the division would most likely require at the very least, winning the final five games of the season, which is a near Herculean-task, as road tests against Washington, Green Bay, and Buffalo still loom large, in addition to home games against the Jets, and Washington again in the season finale.
Not to mention the fact, that the other three teams in the division will just about have to collapse for Dallas to have a chance, and you’ve got a recipe for Dallas to be at home come playoffs time.
So, how in the world did it come to this?
After a 12-4 record a year ago, and being arguably one play away from an NFC Championship game appearance, Dallas was a trendy Super Bowl pick for 2015.
Add in the addition of several high-quality draft picks and a splash free agent signing, and Dallas looked to be serious contenders.
Then, the season started.
A 20-10 victory over the hated Eagles, came at a much more severe price than what anyone could have ever imagined. Romo’s left collar-bone was broken for the second time, after he suffered the same injury in 2010, and unbeknownst to anyone at the time, the injury pretty much ruined the season, as Dallas when 0-7 during Romo’s absence.
Romo returned against Miami, and led Dallas to a solid 24-14 victory. The win led to a bit of a raise in expectations for the rest of the season, causing players, executives, and fans alike to believe that Romo might just be able to resurrect the season.
Then came Thanksgiving and everything came crashing back down to Earth, and reality set in.
Unfortunately, the 2015 Dallas Cowboys football team, is simply put, a bad football team.
Who’s to say what happened, and why Dallas was unable to reproduce and build on last year’s success.
Maybe it was the loss of DeMarco Murray, or the loss of Orlando Scandrick, or even the loss of former offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Some believe karma is behind it, punishing owner Jerry Jones for taking chances on players of questionable character.
One thing is for sure, everyone has their own opinion on why, and the truth is this: everything is to blame.
Maybe last year this team somehow caught magic in a bottle, and played over their heads and things finally went back to normal on a cold January day in Green Bay last winter.
Maybe Murray and Callahan leaving; maybe Scandrick being lost to injury. Definitely Bryant and Romo missing most of the season was a large part of it all.
Oh well, though. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Bottom line: with a Monday night showdown at Washington looming, Dallas is a bad football team, and a lot of work will need to be done to change that.
As a skeptic beforehand, I’ll go ahead and eat crow by saying that Carolina is an outstanding football team, and just might go undefeated. The key? A championship caliber defense, and a quarterback who doesn’t get in the way of progress by making silly mistakes.
The Thanksgiving game was like deja vu to last year, when Romo on a short week, also through three interceptions. It seems the unfortunate reality of this year’s Dallas Cowboys football team through 11 games is this: Romo can’t win a game without a full week’s rest, and this team can’t win a game without Romo.
For whatever reason, call it a hunch, I believe Matt Cassel will be much better this time around as the starter. You have to remember, he’s only been in Dallas around three months. That’s an extremely short time to expect someone to play well enough to win in the toughest position in sports to play.
The Redskins looked outstanding against the Giants last week. As a matter of fact, there formula seems to be what the Cowboys’ was last year. Run the ball, control the clock, and play solid defense. It’s been the winning formula in football since the beginning days of the sport. By the way, the common denominator between the 2014 Cowboys and the 2015 Redskins? Offensive line coach Bill Callahan.
Despite their record, this Cowboys team has not quit yet, and don’t look for them to anytime soon. Call me a homer, but I think Dallas is primed to pull an upset tomorrow night. I may be going down with the ship, but I feel like Dallas will win this one.