Maybe after having a .500 record Jason should get a break, right? It could be worse. We could be rooting for a losing team, after all. So, is the cup half full or half empty? That's always the real question around here, isn't it really? And seeing how they are 14-14 lately, it's a valid one. Is our team on the way up? Will it get better?
Stats will tell whatever story you want, but there's one set of stats that I just can't keep ignoring, it pops into my head every time I think about this team What is it?
The quality of the Cowboys' opponents in their wins and losses. To put it into words, this team has been able to beat the dregs of the league the last two years, and not much else. Looking at the teams the Boys have beaten vs. the ones who've beaten them, it becomes apparent that we are rooting for the "Best of the Worst" teams, not a team that deserves to be mentioned in the top half of the league.
Here's the basics: Last year, the Cowboys victories came against teams with a total record of 48-80. The teams who beat the Cowboys had a record of 73-55. That's a lot of games producing a volume of stats that's certainly meaningful. Last year, were the Cowboys better than the Bills, 2-14 Rams, Miami, etc.? Certainly. But put them up against any real competition and they lost, with the exception of the SF game, of course. A good win, but it took overtime, and was early in the year before they got on a roll. One quality win!
This year? What does 6-6 mean? Not much it turns out. The six wins have been against teams that are currently 26-46. 26-46! The only 'quality' win was against the 7-5 Giants, a team that's not looking like a SB contender this year.
And the teams they've lost to? They are 48-24. Again, put this team up against real competition, and while you can try to convince yourself they're 'competitive' with those teams, the truth is they almost always lose. Close game or not, they don't get it done.
Totals? 14 wins against teams that are a combined 74-126 the last two years. Losses against teams that are 121-79.
So? They lose against good teams and beat bad ones? That's it? In one sense, yes, but I don't think many here understand just how devoid of quality wins this team has been under Garrett. Two decent wins, both early in the year, and one taking overtime. That's IT!
Three Points: 1) In looking to the future, it's hard to hope for much better coming down the pipe. Some will find ways to argue for it, probably based on the youth of some key players, and how 'one more good draft' is all they need. But all those arguments have equivalent counterarguments, especially the age factor with Romo and Ware.
2) "But the team didn't have a complete offseason last year!" "The 2 new coaches couldn't put in their systems!" Please, every team was in the same boat, and plenty of young teams and coaches are passing up the Dallas Cowboys weekly as we watch.
3) No injury excuses. Lots of teams have injuries and find ways to make the playoffs. Team after team year after year. Pittsburgh (makes me sick) has half their D out and Charlie Batch, and they beat Baltimore? That excuse is for losers, leave it at the door.
4) Un Mas. There are still 4 games left. Every one is against a quality team. They could win some and start to turn this around. Imagine that! Win meaningful games, in December, against tough teams! It's possible. I'm NOT a complete pessimist, because this NFL is so watered down, that if Romo plays well and they get a a pass rusher and some dudes who can actually block, and they could (barely) be a playoff team.
But my main point is this: Looking to the future, I'd feel a lot better if they'd shown more of an ability to beat some teams with real talent. You have to beat not one but half of the good teams you face each year to be a real contender. I don't see an upward trend, or an emergence of talent and confidence. I just see a team that wins against the dregs of the league.
I wish I could say this is like the 7-9 season in 1990, one of my favorites. They were losing, but the upward trend was there. But I don't see any evidence to show this team is ready to compete with the winners of the league any time soon.