FanPost

Deja Vu all over again?

Sunday, January 1st, 2006. The Cowboys watch as every scenario plays out perfectly to keep Dallas out of the playoffs, including a win by the Redskins. Dallas was hosting the lowly Rams, but decided not to show up and lost 20-10.

That was the first in a long string of give-up games these post-90's Cowboys have played. The next season, Dallas hosted Detroit in a game that had no bearing on playoff positioning after the Eagles captured the division earlier in the day. Detroit had the worst record in the NFL coming into the game, but managed a 39-31 upset victory that gave Oakland the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft (they picked JaMarcus Russell...oops).

Those games were under the leadership of the great Bill Parcells. Wade reinforced the notion that not all games were important in 2007 by rolling over like a submissive dog to the Redskins (27-6) in a game that was once again meaningless in regards to playoff position. This team continued to embrace a sense of accomplishment for minimal success.

The next season, the terrible habit rose to bite Wade Phillips in the butt, as the Cowboys entered the final winner-take-all game in Philadelphia. The Eagles trounced Dallas 44-6 in one of the most embarrassing performances ever put forth by the Cowboys. As players noted following the season, this edition of the Cowboys exhibited a sense of entitlement despite nary a post season victory.

In true Phillips form, the Cowboys seemed satisfied when they entered the Metrodome following a huge playoff win in Arlington over the Eagles. Dallas had finally accomplished something worthwhile. Brett Favre engineered a massacre in Minnesota: 34-3.

Wade finally lost his job half way through the next season, when Dallas rolled over to Jacksonville (35-17) and Green Bay (45-7) in successive weeks to cap a 1-7 start to the regular season. Garrett took over after the team characteristically gave up in Lambeau, and the Cowboys did not lose another game by more than three points.

Last season, Dallas was routed in Philadelphia and New York. One would be hard-pressed to suggest that the Cowboys gave up in either of those games. Same could be said in games versus the Seahawks and Bears this season.

Then there is what was witnessed Sunday afternoon. Memories of the 44-6 lambasting at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28th, 2008 reemerged.

Once again, there arose a general sense that the Cowboys were unprepared to play: Giants 23, Cowboys 0 with more than 40 minutes left to play in the game. Similarities to games in the recent past under different regimes were impossible to ignore.

But going into the fourth quarter, Dallas led 24-23. To put that into perspective, here are the deficits Dallas has overcome in the recent past.

Opponent

Year

Deficit

Deficit score

Comeback score

Final

Winner

San Francisco 49ers

2011

10

24-14

27-24

27-24

DAL

New Orleans Saints

2010

17

20-3

27-23

30-27

NO

Kansas City Chiefs

2009

10

13-3

20-13

26-20

DAL

Philadelphia Eagles

2008

9

30-21

31-30

41-37

DAL

Buffalo Bills

2007

11

24-13

25-24

25-24

DAL

Detroit Lions

2007

13

27-14

28-27

28-27

DAL

Carolina Panthers

2006

14

14-0

21-14

35-14

DAL

San Francisco 49ers

2005

15

21-6

34-31

34-31

DAL

Philadelphia Eagles

2005

13

20-7

21-20

21-20

DAL

Kansas City Chiefs

2005

11

14-3

17-14

31-28

DAL

Since 2005, the Cowboys have overcome 10 leads of 9 points or more, posting an impressive 9-1 record in those games. The largest lead the Cowboys have overcome in the last seven seasons is 17 points, but Dallas lost that game against the Saints on Thanksgiving.

Dallas overcame big leads in four games under Parcells from 2005 through 2006. From 2007 through the first eight games of 2010, Wade Phillips also had four games in which the Cowboys engineered comebacks. Jason Garrett has now led the Cowboys to three games where the team overcame deficits of at least 10 points in 31 games as head coach.

What hurt about losing a game where Dallas was down by 23 points, but managed to fight back to take a 24-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter is that but for a finger, Cowboys fans would have been treated to the greatest comeback in the history of the franchise. Furthermore, if not for a misplaced finger, the game would have been defined by a transcendent moment that would rival the Hail Mary in Minneapolis for this generation of fans.

But that was not the destiny for this game or for this team, and perhaps for this season. This Cowboys team managed to give themselves a chance to win despite committing a ridiculous number of turnovers (6), executing poorly in the passing game (poor routes, poor effort, poor throws, and poor catching), and completely being rendered one-dimensional on offense.

The defense played as well as could be expected under the circumstances. The youngsters, Claiborne and Carter, played up to their potential. The veterans seemed to raise their game, as Sensabaugh, Spencer, Ratliff, Ware, Carr, and Hatcher made plays. Even some of the substitutes, McCray and Lemon, contributed solid efforts.

Special teams did not contribute to this loss for a change. Witten reminded Cowboys fans of his greatness. Unfortunately, Miles Austin made a questionable effort on a deep ball that resulted in an interception. Dez Bryant once again has Cowboys fans riding a roller coaster of anxiety with a fumble on a punt return, and his fourth blown pass pattern directly resulting in an interception.

Let that sink in for a moment. Dez has run an incorrect pass pattern four times in seven games leading to four interceptions. Add dropped two-point conversions, touchdown passes, and potential downfield or first down receptions, and Jerry's post game comments regarding how Dez's errors do not outweigh his good plays can be understood.

Jason Garrett implied that Miles did not give good effort on the deep ball and that Dez did in fact make yet another route running error in his post game press conference. This is a departure from his previous strategy of not singling out individuals on the team. Garrett even scolded Romo for not taking better care of the football. Benching Dez on punt returns was also not lost on those watching the game. This follows with what Garrett stated earlier regarding the loss of playing time for players that continue to make the same errors.

Perhaps Jason is as tired of the busts on this team leading to losses as the fans on this blog. It should be an interesting week leading up to the trip to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.


Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Join Blogging The Boys

You must be a member of Blogging The Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Blogging The Boys. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker