Jeremy Mincey spoke to the media this week and said the pressure is on because this team cannot look at Tony Romo as 'Jesus'. Mincey also had some other things to get off his chest when he spoke with Todd Archer:
"Sure there's guys here that 10 years from now will have that chance again," Mincey said. "It's the others that may not. And do it for the guys that may not. Go out there and lay it on the line for the guys that may not have this second chance or this opportunity left. That's going to be the message. I'm sure once guys realize how important that is to guys like me, (Jason) Witten, Romo, we're not getting younger. We're not getting any younger in this game. It's going to keep going when we're long gone so we just got to utilize this time and know how precious and valuable it is for some."
At 2-6, many of the Cowboys' faithful haven't necessarily abandoned ship but they understand the uphill climb it will take and history is certainly not on their side. If the Cowboys somehow find a way to 9-7 or even 10-6, it will certainly be by some miracle. This team has literally exhausted all of it's room for error and now face a daunting task, but they have not given up on the 2015 season.
Let's be clearer than that, the team hasn't quit on Jason Garrett either.
The Cowboys issues surround one topic; attrition Yes, they have also faced some poor play from players that they expected to be better. However, this team had to deal with the loss of their elite quarterback and All Pro receiver at the same time. Not a lot of good is going to come out of that. Then they watched as their offense went from potent to pathetic for the next five weeks. When they finally got the offense going this past week behind a resurgent Dez Bryant, their defense fell apart while facing multiple injuries in one game.
Despite all this, the only positive that seems to come out of this six game skid is the fact that this division hasn't exactly completely run away from them. The Giants lead at 5-4 but still have to face the New England Patriots and have struggled in all of their wins, too. The Eagles right behind them have a quarterback who is second to last in QBR this season. The Cowboys are 2.5 games behind the leader of this division, hardly a place where you completely fold up shop for the rest of the season. Also I urge you to take into consideration that the Cowboys without Romo faced Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford. Four of those six quarterbacks combine for six Super Bowl wins and the only quarterback that even slightly was close to the level of play that the Cowboys were currently working with was Bradford. Considering that fact, the Cowboys kept all of those games close to the vest except their 30-6 loss to the defending world champions. Taking that loss out of the equation, the Cowboys have lost five games at a deficit average of 5.4 points per game. You don't think Romo could be good for a few more plays and have this team at 6-2 or even better?
With Tony Romo set to take the field in 10 days against the Dolphins, there is a reason that Mincey is trying to get this team focused on the task at hand. Tony Romo doesn't play defense but that doesn't mean that he doesn't affect their abilities to play at a high level. The more functionality that is found in a Romo-led offense creates opportunities for the defense. Opportunities like playing with a lead, adding pressure to a trailing offense, the ability to rest while Romo methodically takes his offense down the field. I have a sneaking suspicion that they may even be better at creating turnovers with a healthy Romo in the mix. In essence, a meeting between the players to bring that focus back and allow for the young guys to understand what is still at stake could be huge. Romo isn't the whole equation but he certainly can be a driving force behind a miraculous ending to a tumultuous start.
What it's going to take is a strong look in the mirror from everyone involved. The players that aren't playing very well will have to give way to younger players playing better. The veteran leaders will have to rally behind their returning quarterback and be difference-makers as they head into the second half of the season. Most importantly, they must learn how to make those two to three plays a game that have been missing. There is no reason to think that task is impossible when you have the playmakers on both sides of the ball. This is not a team that is broken by any means, they are just not themselves. All of the offseason spending of resources to add talent like Greg Hardy, Byron Jones, Randy Gregory, La'el Collins, Darren McFadden and others has just not clicked to it's full potential. If Mincey is right and "enough is enough", these guys have the ability to win and win big.
Though a 2-6 record is hard to come back from, it's not a death sentence for this team. Anything is possible for the Cowboys with number nine at the helm. After all, since 2014, the Cowboys are 14-4 with Tony Romo leading the way. If the Dallas Cowboys can climb out of the depths of despair and do the unthinkable, the whole world will recognize the importance of the undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois. Here's to hopefully a few bounces going the Cowboys way down the stretch after nothing has thus far.