They are what they always are!
Which is, disappointing in a nationally televised game that they needed to win to keep up with the NFC East leading Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys didn't just lose a game that they needed to win Monday night at frigid Soldier Field, the Cowboys lost their moxie. Why do I say this? Well, it was apparent on the players faces, standing quietly on the sidelines waiting for the remaining ten minutes to run off the clock. And I am talking about the Offensive players. They had that look on their faces- that look of knowing that unless they play absolutely PERFECT Football the remainder of the season, that with the worst defense that the NFL has seen in a long time, they really have no chance at winning their division and this season is virtually over.
Let's face facts, fellow Cowboys fanatics, the 2013 Dallas Cowboys have fielded the worst defense that the Cowboys have had since,....,.....well,.... EVER! I cannot find the adjectives in the English language that I need to accurately describe how atrocious this defense really is. Bears QB Josh McCown shredded this defense like he was Peyton Manning throwing to Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin, and had so much time in the pocket that he could have texted Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to let them know where he was going to throw the ball. DT Jason Hatcher was NOWHERE to be found, being neutralized by rookie OG Kyle Long, and making it known that whomever pays this 32 year old big dollars in Free Agency is investing in fool's gold. DE DeMarcus Ware-what can I say? He's been one of the greatest Cowboys of all time, but that time has taken its toll, and he looks like he is washed-up and done. All night he was being stonewalled by the Bears LT or RT, depending on where he lined up- and was leaving huge holes for Matt Forte to run right by him. It was sad to witness- our hero struggling on his last legs.
How 'bout dem CB's and Safety's? I can't really blame them. Marshall and Jeffery are two great WR's, and it's tough enough to cover them for a normal amount of time, not to mention 5 to 8 seconds, which is impossible. The problem I have is why in the world is S Jeff Heath starting instead of S J.J. Wilcox?? Heath has shown NOTHING as far as instincts or coverage ability is concerned. He may be the 'RKG', but he sure looks like a 'WKG' when he's on the field-which is what matters.
However, it once again boils down to the offensive Defensive Line. Back in Training Camp, when Tyrone Crawford went down and Jay Ratliff hurt himself, I was starting to make noise that Jerry better pull off a trade and get a decent DT in here. By the time Training Camp ended, I was SCREAMING for Jerry to trade for a DT, but was scolded by several folks here and told "it's okay, the DT has different responsibilities in Kiffins scheme-they are 'rushmen' and just have to attack the gaps and get upfield" . It's all a moot point anyways, because two other factors that we never saw coming have figured into the Cowboys Defense's descent into the annals of history as one of the worst ever- the injury to DE Anthony Spencer, and the decline of DeMarcus Ware.
Truth is that no matter how good your LB's are, or how talented the Secondary is, if the Defensive Line is putrid (like it is right NOW)- no scheme known to man is going to stop an opposing Offense. The Defense will not get any better until it gets an infusion of young talent via the draft along the Defensive LINE. At minimum , 2 DT's and 2 DE's are needed. The good news is that with the impending December Cowboys Collapse, the 7-9 or 8-8 record will net them around the 14th-16th overall pick in round one (and each round thereafter), and that WILL net a STUD player. Minnesota DT Ra'shede Hageman just might be there at #'s14-16, especially since Notre Dame DT Louis Nix has declared for the draft and the fact that there should be a QB run early. At # 46-48 in round 2, they just might get Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan OR the guy I prefer, Pitt DT Aaron Donald. So things will get better on Defense. Next year.
Of course, even though QB Tony Romo didn't play that bad, he also didn't play that good. He was off on a few deep throws that could have swung momentum, and he didn't do his 'Romo-dini' act to extend plays. Rather, he threw the ball away into the stands, threw a 5 yard pass on 3rd and 15, or threw it into the ground on 4th down. I can't blame him for this loss at all, but he sure didn't make $100,000,000.00 plays. The guy that looked like he should be getting paid that money was on the other team.
They are who they always are. A team that we can't help but love , but a team that also always disappoints us down the stretch of a season. Here they sit at 7-6, one game behind the East leading Eagles. I know that some will paint a rosy picture, believing they can win out and accuse me of not being what a real fan should be and just root-root the team on, but they are not going to win the East or go to the playoffs. They will be LUCKY to beat the Redskins in two weeks, and if Rodgers plays for the Packers next week they will get blown out again. The Eagles?? They will make up for the points that they failed to score against the Cowboys earlier in the season and probably put up at least 50 against that skunk of a defense.
At this point, when I add together what I have seen this year, the age of the core players like Witten, Romo, and Ware, the Salary Cap Hell- well, I don't think this team is going to be a playoff team again for a long,long time. Say 2020 perhaps, and the hell of it is that I'll be watching, rooting them on and hoping every game of the way. Damn!!