How About Them Cowboys?
Right on time, the overhyped Dallas Cowboys came through again embarrassing themselves by face-planting in another postseason game. The season was ruined. Another tombstone was ordered. This annual catastrophe never lets us down.
The visiting Green Bay Packers silenced the Cowboys crowd with a startling demonstration of dominance, smacking the home team around for a 48-17 lead. The humiliation ended with a 48-32 score. The final tally was grossly misleading; the Cowboys were DOA by the time they reached the locker room at halftime.
Cowboys fans were fooled into submission – again – their bravado and tears washed away in a post-game margarita fountain. On Monday morning the screaming-banshee TV shows overflowed with molten-lava takes. Dallas haters rejoiced from coast to coast. Dallas columnists demanded the firing of burly coach Mike McCarthy and implored the weathered and weary Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to hire Bill Belichick before it’s too late. Jerry will be 82 next season.
The NFL’s version of the Kardashians – prominent in celebrity, laughably shallow and pathetically short of substance – staged another made-for-TV meltdown for a national audience.
Dallas has competed in the NFL since 1960, first made the playoffs in 1966, and has played 67 postseason games. Green Bay’s 48 points were the most scored against yielded by the Cowboys in a playoff contest.
The brilliant football writer Mike Tanier summed it up:
“Cowboys playoff losses are ritualistic and symbolic,” he wrote. “They are as important to our national identity as public sacrifices were to ancient civilizations. Cowboys playoff losses are America’s annual Pageant of Hubris. Each year, the Cowboys must abjectly embarrass themselves in a way that cleanses the nation of its sins.”
In his first postseason start, young Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love set Jerry World on fire, completing 16 of 21 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t turn the ball over. He averaged a preposterous 15.8 adjusted yards per passing attempt and a near-perfect rating of 157.2
On the other side of this conflict, Dak Prescott cracked. The Dallas quarterback is now 2-5 in the postseason. On Sunday Prescott put up a lot of garbage-time passing yards that meant little. When it mattered, Prescott was intercepted twice in the first half – including a pick six that blew the game open – and responded poorly to the pressure of the assignment. The Packers dropped at least two other interceptions, and Prescott was repeatedly baffled by Green Bay’s tactic of disguising its pass defense.
In his five postseason losses Prescott has nine touchdowns, six interceptions and a mediocre passer rating of 84.8. Since 2017, Prescott’s overall postseason passer rating (90.0) is about the same as Blake Bortles (91.0.) Prescott’s contract expires after the 2024 season. His cap hit for next year is a massive $59 million. Good times.
With coach Jimmy Johnson running the football team and stocking the roster with elite talent, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls. But Jones fancied himself as a general-manager genius, grew jealous of the praise bestowed on Johnson, and chased Jimmy off.
Since winning the third Super Bowl to cap the 1995 campaign, the Cowboys are 5-13 in the postseason. Over that time, fourteen NFL franchises have won twice as many postseason games as the Cowboys. Dallas hasn’t advanced to an NFC Championship game in 28 seasons.
“This seems like the most painful,” Jones said after Sunday’s humiliation. “This is beyond my comprehension.”
It’s not that difficult to understand.
Jerry’s specialities are (1) making money, (2) getting the local and national football media slobbering over his chronically overrated team, and (3) convincing fools to believe the Cowboys will win it all next year.
Other than that, not much.
“You wonder why all the detractors of the Cowboys have fun every year,” FOX analyst Howie Long said after Green Bay’s rout. “Same story every year. Once again it’s a repeat. This is a talented football team that underachieved.”
OK, so what about Belichick to Dallas? Darren Rovell (Sports Business Journal) passed this along over the weekend …
Belichick and Jones had a conversation in 1996, after Belichick’s firing as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Via Rovell: “I can coach,” Belichick reportedly told Jones. “If you ever get an opportunity, don’t forget about me.”
Rovell added that Jones has said he remembers the conversation and has thought about it often.
Just the idea of the crabby, obstinate Belichick coaching the Cowboys for the desperate and diabolical Jones is too wicked to be true. This partnership would match an 82-year-old owner with a 72-year-old coach, and their colossal egos are too big to be contained in one stadium. If there is a football god, this union will happen. On second thought, this probably requires the work of a football devil.
Thanks for reading …
A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie hosts an opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. Stream it live or grab the show podcast on 590thefan.com or through the 590 The Fan St. Louis app.
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