It's times like this where a team finds out exactly what it is made of.
That's what the Dallas Cowboys have to become. So far this season what we have seen is a group of talented players kinda roaming around on the field, making just enough plays to either win the game or make it close. Increasingly though things have gotten even more disjointed and it started to look like the joy of the game had left the players wearing the sacred star.
Ever since the Green Bay game, something has just not been right with Tony Romo. I know he's put up big numbers and he has still had the ability to put his team in position to win the game. Yet if we are honest with ourselves we know that he just seems off. What we need is to Romo to find within himself that fire and love for the game he used to have. He needs to be that grinning kid that enlivened his play and gave hope to those around him. And now he has a month to sit on the sideline and see if that is still inside him, because the Cowboys will need the old Romo to have any success in the postseason.
At times, the Cowboys have shown that they actually do possess this trait. Unfortunately it only comes when it is absolutely needed the most, when things are at their direst and the Cowboys' backs are against the wall. What this team needs to realize is that intensity is needed for a full 60 minutes. Teams the Cowboys play are going to be bringing everything they have, not holding anything back in an effort to bring down the Dallas Cowboys. Too many times the Cowboys faced teams that have shown more ferocity and emotion than they could muster themselves, except for small spurts here and there. Thing is, lately the Cowboys haven't had the plays needed to overcome a deficit in determination.
For the Dallas Cowboys to climb out of this valley in the season successfully, they must embrace each other as a team, every day, every practice, and each minute of every game.
The Cowboys head into a crucial time in their season minus their starting quarterback, their big-play running back, their Pro Bowl punter, their best cornerback two of their top three safeties and their starting left guard, . For the Cowboys to even think about the playoffs heading into the bye week with anything less than a 6-4 record could spell disaster. The Cowboys' schedule in December is nothing less than brutal. So is it possible for a team with so many vital players ailing to succeed facing these hurdles? Of course.
Brad Johnson is more than capable of leading this team successfully but it would be foolish to think it will still have the same big play ability it did with Romo and Felix Jones healthy. What has to happen is for the defense and special teams to take up the slack, buckle down and start making plays. The only way that happens is if everyone on the team buys into that concept and starts playing with some damn heart when they are on the field. I know these players want to win. I know it hurts them to lose. But they have show that need to succeed on the field. The defense has to maintain aggressiveness throughout the game, to make some game changing plays and perhaps score some defensive points for the first time this season. The special teams has to find a way to stop blowing assignments and missing tackles. The offense has to take advantage of the opportunities given to them and not leave points on the field. The execution needed for both of those to happen comes from having the desire to not make mental mistakes that sets your team back.
To come out of this unfortunate low in the season the Cowboys must band together and face their opponents as a team, and not a group of individuals all wearing the same uniform. They must hold each other accountable for bad play and show they have pride in how they play. This is no longer about proving anything to the media or to the fans, it's about winning and proving to each other that they have each others backs no matter what might happen.
The Cowboys must show attitude, heart and ferocity, because without these what was once a possibility will turn into nothing more than another unrealized dream.