I guess we’ll spend some time talking about the disaster that was yesterday. I don’t want to dwell on it too long, both for my own personal sanity and for the fact I don’t think it will have much to do with how we play in two weeks. But you can’t be too blasé about the loss, which was about as bad a football game as any Cowboys team has played in a long time. To truly get the picture of the magnitude of the beatdown, you have to look at the stats. One yard rushing? Are you serious? That’s mission impossible yet we somehow managed to do it. And what was up with Jason Witten, he sure dropped a few out there that looked catchable. Miles Austin had a chance to show something, that something just may be he has the hands of a defensive back. I could go on because the list is long.
Let’s hear what the players and coaches had to say:
"One team was inspired and one team wasn't," Phillips said after the game. "I guess I didn't do a good job of getting our team ready to play. I thought we would play better than we did, but we didn't."
I know the game was meaningless, and we were trying to protect players like we should have, but the effort put forth by the guys actually on the field should resemble an NFL team. If you lose the game because you were playing backups, then that’s OK. If you lose the game because even your starter’s played like dung, that’s a demerit. In some ways, it’s on you Wade, for letting your team prepare for a game and play like that.
"That's just passion and emotion involved in the game," Romo said. "That part of it is basic - one team is going to sacrifice their bodies to stop the run and they did. You have to give them credit. They played with a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity."
Ehh...I have to say I hate this quote. What he specifically said is our defense didn’t play to win the game, they just played because it was required. More generally, he’s saying this team didn’t have any pride to show up at the game and play some football. Again, we know the game was meaningless but to totally mail-it-in and not even have a little pride in your game, unlike other playoff teams who won or were at least competitive in their games - that smells like yesterday’s fish.
"I'm not concerned about anything other than this next ball game and I think we'll be ready to play," Phillips said. "We won 13 games. We went 13-3 and had the best record in the NFC. I think we're fine. We had a bad game against Philadelphia when I thought we could be playing at our best. This game, I'm going to discount this one a little bit."
This I also agree with from Wade; yesterday’s disaster is yesterday’s news. You are starting the second season and everything is wiped clean except for two things, a few teams get the advantage of a bye week and one team in a conference gets home-field advantage throughout. So you’re playing from an advantage already,.
Now, a loss isn’t a good thing. And a loss of this ineptitude is never good. But, if you want to take something from this game, take the fact that all your hard work through the season and all the accolades you’ve received and all the records you set are dust if you lose in two weeks. You’ll be remembered as a major bust. A team that that played above its head but that folded like a Taco Bell burrito once the real games began.
"It's frustrating," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "But this thing might be what you want with these two weeks to live in this pile of you know what. It could inspire our team."
Indeed. "Live in this pile of you know what." Even Jerry wanted to bust out the expletives to explain this game.
Romo tries to offer some defense for the way they played.
"We know what we're doing, and we held some things back," Romo said. "We're more than confident going into the playoffs. ... It's interesting because you're in a tough predicament: you might play them again, you might not."
Sure, that may be true, but you’re still guilty as charged.
This game was so bad that MB3 needed just 19 yards to get to 1,000 for the season – and he actually got further away from that mark. On the other hand, Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught 12 passes in three series to become the leading receiver in yards for the NFL and reach 100 catches. Yeah, the Colts were at home and in a dome, but there’s just no excuse for one-yard rushing.
"We didn't execute; we didn't play with emotion, energy, enthusiasm; we didn't play with any of that," Pro Bowl guard Leonard Davis said. "They played with all three of those better than we did."
Our running game better find itself come the playoffs. Perhaps the presence of Andre Gurode is what we need, because it has to get better.
"We're concentrating on who we're playing next," Pro Bowl tackle Flozell Adams said. "It definitely won't look like it did today, I promise you that."
OK, we’re marking down that promise.
Taking a detour down a side-street, what’s up with Terry Glenn and Tony Romo accusing LeRon Landry of a cheap-shot? It sure didn’t look that way to me, it appeared that he slid on a wet carpet after trying to make a play and ended up right at Glenn’s feet. Maybe it was just frustration on the Cowboys part but I didn’t see any evil-intent from Landry on the play.
"It shocked me," said Glenn, who was also accidentally knocked down in warmups by cornerback Jacques Reeves. "I had no idea that was going to happen. Those guys were out there trying to really take it to my knee. They know if they see us again, they will have problems, especially in Dallas. I think they were trying to hurt me."
Landry was asked about the low hit after the game and didn't seem to think anything was wrong.
"Then stop playing football," he said. "I'm not getting a big head or anything, but if he thought the hits were a little low and this and that, it doesn't matter. It's all part of the game. It's going to be physical."
At least Glenn got a few reps in and got hit so he knows he’s ready to play now.
So the Cowboys have two weeks of practice to right this thing. They have the talent to get it done, as long as T.O. plays. They should now have the motivation to know that this could all become a bad dream in two weeks if they don’t get their head out of their collective hind-parts and start playing good football again.
"We really didn’t show up today — point blank," safety Roy Williams conceded. "We didn’t even show up on the field. Mentally and everything else, we weren’t there.
"We did not show up and the score proved that, and our play on the field proved that. I don’t know how people are going to respond to this. I know that we better get our stuff together."
Roy is church-folk so he used the euphemism "stuff" for "doo-doo", or maybe it was something a little more graphic. Anyway, they have two weeks to get their "stuff" together.
"Yeah, they can turn it on in two weeks," Phillips said. "They're going to be ready; I can guarantee you that."