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Cowboys end of season article roundup

Last night's debacle is chronicled here, for anyone who's interested.

The DFW Star-Telegram is running an article discussing some of the more prominent names that might not be back next year. Here's the skinny:

Defensive veterans Greg Ellis, La'Roi Glover, Dat Nguyen and Al Singleton might soon become ex-Cowboys.
Ellis believes he will not likely return next season.

"I think I won't be here," Ellis said. "Obviously it's not going to be good for me to stay here."

I think they're right, all of these guys will be gone. During the season I thought they might keep Glover, but now I've changed my mind. Even though Parcells loves the way Glover plays the game and handles himself (as do I), he's just not the best fit for this defense.

Another article from the same paper tells us about the futility inside the futility that was last night's game. Julius Jones only needed 42 yards to reach the 1000-yard mark for the season. So what happened?

Jones gained only 12 yards on his first 13 carries through the first three quarters. He looked like he might hit the mark in the fourth quarter after a 28-yard burst gave him 40 rushing yards for the game.

But Jones was tackled for a 5-yard loss on the next play -- a continuing trend for the game -- and he finished the season in disappointing fashion.

Yup, he only got 35 yards rushing, finishing the year with 993 yards. Emblamatic of an entire season that came up short. You can't look back on this year without feeling that an opportunity was wasted.

When this team had won 3 in a row and was 7-3 headed into Thanksgiving Day, they were considered serious contenders for it all. But a down the stretch record of 2-4 revealed the flaws in this edition of the Cowboys.

Click "Read More" for the rest of the post.

Tim Cowlishaw's latest in the Dallas Morning News (subscription required) questions how good of a job Bill Parcells has done in Dallas. To some extent Cowlishaw is right, his success so far is behind schedule compared to his previous stops.

So what we know is this. His first three years in Dallas have been less productive than his two stops in New York. Arguably, they have been less impressive than his first three years in New England as well.

The Giants had won a playoff game at this point. They were a year away from winning a Super Bowl. The Jets had been to an AFC Championship Game.

In New England, the Patriots had been to the playoffs once and lost, just like Parcells' Cowboys. But the team was a year away from getting to the Super Bowl.

More on missing the playoffs this year and the problems on offense.

For this team not to get to the playoffs in a conference in which teams as flawed as Washington and Tampa Bay and even Chicago are going to the postseason is embarrassing.

"I'm not overly proud of 9-7," Parcells said.

Anytime he has been asked about the job he has done, Parcells says all he knows is this team is better than what he inherited.

That's no great claim to fame. With the salary cap room he has had, in three years it should be considerably better. And it should be in the playoffs if he is going to bring in Drew Bledsoe and Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn and Marco Rivera to spark the offense.

When next season starts, Bledsoe, Johnson, Rivera and Larry Allen will be 34. Glenn will be 32. This is not a youthful offense, nor was it a very productive one in 2005.

All true, but it leaves out some important facts. The defense looks ready to become championship caliber. The offense has shown it can be productive if the offensive line can block. The skill positions on offense are adequate if Drew Bledsoe has time to throw. They probably need to think  about the WR group and how that might be improved, but otherwise, fix the offensive line and the offense will score enough to win.

Finally, here are the teams we play next year.

Next year's opponents

Home: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit

Away: NY Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Arizona

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