I thought it would take much more than a single blowout loss to the dynastic Patriots. I was hopeful throughout the entire Bills game last Monday night that, two losses in a row — against Buffalo and New England — would really show us what this Cowboys team is made of. It would be at that point we’d recognize that a brand new head coach, two brand new offensive and defensive coordinators, and a quarterback starting a season for the first time in his career can’t be any good. Not to be mention T.O.’s presence in that locker room. The fingerpointing would begin, the doubt would start to creep in. Questions.
And then, maybe, possibly, they’d lose to Minnesota and go into the bye week on a three game losing streak. Writers and reporters have to make up stories during the bye week. And all those stories would focus on what’s wrong with this lousy team.
But that Bills win nipped all that. A single blowout loss to the Patriots means nothing. It’s out of conference. It’s to a Super Bowl caliber team that whips everybody. No big deal. It’s just one loss. They’re still 5-1 and in the driver’s seat.
But I’m reading and hearing some of the stuff coming out of the Cowboys locker room last night and I think they might be already cracking at the seams. They may be even more fragile than we thought they were.
Terrence Newman was asked about the coverage on Kyle Brady’s TD catch that completely turned Roy Williams around in the end zone. Newman’s response was, “We had some guys doing some things that weren’t that smart.”
Tony Romo blasted Kyle Kozier on the field and on the sidelines for his holding penalty that negated a first down run on 4th and 1. That’s all well and good. As the quarterback, that’s Romo’s job. But Romo tells reporters last night the game was lost on that one play. The game was over when Kozier held.
Romo also made it a point to say repeatedly last night that the Cowboys offense was playing under a lot of pressure because their defense couldn’t stop New England. He compared it to the way it felt playing quarterback at the end of last season when they couldn’t stop anybody and the Cowboys had to score tons of points or lose.
When Wade Phillips was asked about the decision to kick the field goal on 4th and goal from the five, down 14 points with ten minutes to go, he said, “If we had a play that could score, I would think we’d have run it on 3rd down.” When told of Phillips’ comments, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said he did have a play in mind, but he wasn’t asked.
One loss. And already the back biting and finger pointing.
The Cowboys have played two games this year against playoff-caliber offenses. And they’ve been ripped apart by both of them. Eli Manning threw for 312 yards and four TDs in the opener. Brady yesterday threw for 388 yards and five scores. And both of those games were at Texas Stadium. After Minnesota’s Tarvaris Jackson next week, they face Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, Brett Favre, Jon Kitna, and McNabb again. It’s not too late to make a quarterback trade for your fantasy league.
48 points is the most the Patriots have scored in a game in 23 years. The Patriots scored six offensive touchdowns. The Cowboys scored two. The Cowboys haven’t scored a first quarter touchdown since the middle of last December. How are you going to get down 14-0 to the Patriots and expect to win? You can’t play catchup all game long with New England. The Cowboys offense never got on the field. New England went 11-17 on third downs. After the game, Roy Williams, the most overrated player maybe in Cowboys history, berrated reporters, “Just because we couldn’t stop them on third down doesn’t mean we’re a bad defense!”
Isn’t that the very definition of a bad defense?
One more quote. Terrell Owens made a big show by saying he wouldn’t talk with reporters, specifically about Randy Moss, until after the game. The two times reporters asked a question of Owens about Moss his reponse was simply, “Next question.”
Let the turmoil begin.