In particularly troubling situations I find it helpful to make lists of pros and cons in order to determine if something is worthwhile. As a Cowboys fan, I am always invested in my team, but I made the list anyway, as a way of calibrating expectations after last nights debacle.
Reasons for optimism
- Perfect Storm game. By this I mean everything that could possibly go well for Philly went well, and a lot of things went bad for the Cowboys. It seemed like Philly guessed right with every call last night on defense and offense. The only thing that was working for the Boys was Demarco and the score took him out of the game. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would presume that Philly must have hacked into the Boys communications. Every time Ware or Spencer went wide, Philly crashed the rest of the line down and ran McCoy through the gaping hole, every time. Lee going out early also was big. Granted they were doing the same things with Lee in there, but Lee is the leader on this D and without him they could not adjust. The horrible Marty B attempted catch that resulted in a tipped pass right to Philly DB. The Ware strip sack with the OT right there to get the ball. Every so often the breaks fall all one way and that certainly happened last night.
- Philly is good. Nobody expected Philly to be 2-4 headed into last night. They are a good team, they were a desperate team. Reid is better at using the bye than anybody else. Michaels said on the telecast that they analyze their own tendencies more than anything else. It certainly appeared that Philly did things the Boys did not expect them to last night. Desperate team, bye week, big rival at home.
- Demarco. Murray looked good averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. Not sure why the game plan was not run-centric, but it should have been.
- The Boys always throw out at least one clunker per year. Always happens, not just to Wade coached teams. It happened to Landry and even Jimmy as well. Every year they stink in at least one game. Granted the timing and opponent is really bad this time.
Reasons for pessimism
- Physical domination. The way the Philly O line crashed down entire sides of the Boys D line was especially discouraging.
- Dez and Austin totally taken out of the game. Not sure if they were taken out or if the Boys just did not test their CBs, looked like the latter to me.
- Lee injury. Wrist injury is going to be tough for him as he uses his hands so well.
- Failure to adjust on either side of the ball.
I am going to file this one under the one clunker for this year and have hope for the rest of the year. There is a lot to learn from in this game and in how the Eagles use the bye week. The Boys schedule offers an opportunity, but there are dangerous games upcoming (Buff, @ Wash).