I've been a fan since '77. I've seen some really great teams and some really bad ones. This team is neither. The 2012 Cowboys are just downright WEIRD.
How do you have the number 4 defense and the number 7 offense while compiling a record below .500? Just ask the 2012 Cowboys.
How do you spot your opponent 23 points AND 6 turnovers and still have TWO chances to win the game in the last two minutes? Just ask the 2012 Cowboys.
So what's next? Well, they run the table for the remainder of the season of course! That would make the least amount of sense. Perfect.
The truth is, that's what they will probably have to do to get into the playoffs. The Giants look good for at least an 11-5 finish, so 12-4 is most likely the minimum it will take to either win the division or claim a wild card spot. The only problem with 12-4 is we've already spent our 4.
How about those two wild card spots? Well, we've already lost to Chicago and Seattle (tie-breakers), so it would help if those teams win their respective divisions. Even if they do, we're still competing with SF, GB, Min, and ARI. Think two of those six teams won't get to 11-5? I do. Maybe we're in at 11-5, maybe not. Maybe we still have a one game cushion.
The next logical question is whether or not the Cowboys can actually win out and get to 12-4? I'd like to propose a better question. Would it make sense to think they can? Of course not! Which is why this team has 'em right where they want 'em! These Cowboys don't need logic, so why should we! Clearly there are other ways to win football games that no one else has thought of. They must have something up their sleeve!
Just in case they don't (or they do but they somehow forget), let's take stock of what we've got.
I would venture to say that a number 4 defense is sufficient for any goal. We all have our opinions on one player here or there and one scheme vs another, but overall this defense gets the job done. This is especially true by virtue of how often the offense (and special teams) puts them in poor position.
The offense has a few bright spots. This was the third game in a row that the offensive line didn't kill us with penalties - and if you can do something three games in a row, you're starting to build a track record. Additionally, Jason Witten is back to being Jason Witten.
On the downside, this is not an offensive line that can impose its will in the run game and it never will be. The Cowboys must address this in the off season. I don't think they will do it in the draft though. O linemen generally take a couple of years to develop their bodies coming out of college. Instead, I think this will be the year they go after a Nicks or an Unger or two in free agency while drafting one with a low pick for the future. [ASIDE: I know many people on this site wanted the Cowboys to address the O Line this past off season, but if they had you wouldn't have gotten the number 4 defense and we'd be talking about a whole other set of problems right now]
On the down downside, Tony and Dez have played about the same caliber of football. Brilliant on one play, stupid stupid stupid on the the next.
On the down down downside, the play calling, time management, and fear factor need to improve. I'm a JG fan, but I think there is something missing from the "process". He hasn't put the fear of God into some of these players. Jimmy Johnson would have cut Felix Jones today - and everyone would have been put on notice. Jimmy Johnson would have had the "Charles Haley talk" with Dez Bryant five weeks ago. Finally, NO quarterback should be ALLOWED to throw 13 picks in 7 games - period. Johnson bullied the crap out of Aikman for years and look what that got him (three rings). I'm not saying JG has to take things that far, but dude needs to start walking with a bigger stick.
So where are we? Oh yeah, the 12-4 thing.
Honestly, after Atlanta, no one on the remainder of the schedule scares me. Of course, the operative word there is "after". We still have to play them.
So, will the non-sensical continue on Sunday night? Let the debate begin...
Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.