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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Can This Nightmare Of A Season End Already?

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The season is winding down, but the losses keep piling up for the 4-9 Dallas Cowboys. Is this just a terrible dream? Either way, fans got to hang on for three more games.

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Offense Must Rally Around Matt Cassel In His Seventh Start Of The Season - Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
At this point, the Cowboys just need ti find a way to show people they are competent on offense. Can they rally around Matt Cassel?

"Everyone has to rally around Matt," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said, "and know if I do my job better and each individual coach and player does their job better, Matt is going to perform better."

For The Cowboys, The Worst Ending May Be The Best For The Future Of The Team - Tom Ryle - Blogging The Boys
It is a sad turn of events when coming out on the short end of the score may be the best thing for the team.

To put it bluntly, this sucks. We don't follow the Cowboys to hope for failure, but at the moment, that may be the best thing in the long run. At least there are no signs the team as a whole has given up. Based on Jason Garrett's comments and observations from many, it was a lack of effort by Patmon that led to his release. This may be a move to make sure that does not spread on the roster by making the consequences obvious. The rest of the team continues to put the effort on the field. Sadly, that is just not enough now.

Linebacker For The Cowboys In Todd McShay's First 2016 Mock Draft - ESPN
Sadly, this is where the Cowboys are, looking ahead to a top 10 pick. McShay says Cowboys get the best linebacker in the draft.

I won't be surprised if the Cowboys spend an early-round pick in 2016 on a QB to be Tony Romo's heir apparent. But with Lynch and Goff gone, Smith would be a good way for Dallas to bolster its front seven. He shows excellent range against the run and in coverage, and is a far more disruptive pass-rusher than his 4.5 career sacks would lead you to believe.

As Cowboys Run Out Of Time, It's Hard To Trust All-Seeing GM/Owner Jerry Jones - Tim Cowlishaw - SportsDay
For the second time this century, the Cowboys have managed to follow a playoff victory (the only two they have managed) with a losing season.

For now, what we can can determine is what has been lost. I believe it comes down to two critical things. Time and trust.

Struggling, Punchless Offense Has Been Nightmare For Dallas Cowboys - Clarence Hill - The Star-Telegram
The Cowboys offense is bad...really...really...bad.

"I was looking at warmups at the last game," Linehan said Wednesday." All the quarterbacks and running backs that were dressed on game day were not even here in training camp. And I count running back Darren McFadden because he missed time in camp and there was time I didn't see him. And definitely the last time I was in Lambeau Field there were all different players. And that was 13 games ago."

SportsDay On-Air: Should Cowboys Start Thinking About Draft Picks? - Video FOX Sports
Say it isn't so? The Cowboys can only look forward to new talent coming in next season with three games still left to play.

After Season-High In Missed Tackles, Marinelli Eyes Improved Run Defense - Nick Eatman - Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys entered last week’s game with the Packers against a team that featured a slumping running back. But Eddie Lacy certainly ran his way out of his struggles against the Cowboys, totaling 124 yards with a touchdown.

And the Cowboys are about to face another big-bodied tailback this week in Chris Ivory, who ranks fifth in the NFL with 194 rushing yards, to go along with seven touchdowns. Ivory already has career-highs in attempts (217), yards and touchdowns and is coming off a 101-yard performance last Sunday against the Titans, his first 100-yard game since Week 6.

With Cowboys Likely Out, Who Should Fans Be Pulling For In The East? - Danny Phantom - Blogging The Boys
Even though the Cowboys don’t appear to be making the playoffs, they can still come out winners in the divisional race.

Now that we've thrown all that silliness aside, I think we can all agree that the NFC East playoff representative is going absolutely nowhere in the post season. No...where. It is not unfathomable that they pull off a playoff victory. Even the sun shines on a cat's leg sometimes (I'm not sure if that's how the saying goes), but to string together some wins in the playoffs, that's asking a lot. In all likeliness, it will be a short-lived post season experience and most likely result in a blowout exit. So that's something to look forward to.

Don't Fret Cowboys Fans, You Still Have The League's Best O-Line - ESPN
Which units grade out the best when you factor in every player in every group across the league? Pro Football Focus has Dallas' offensive line at No. 1, even though the Cowboys offense has stunk it up all year.

This unit isn't what it was a year ago, but it's still pretty formidable. Tyron Smith is having the best season of his career and he, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick each have a spot inside the top three of their position ratings at PFF. Rookie La'el Collins has had more highlight blocks than any lineman in the league in his first season, but too many mental mistakes too, occasionally zoning the wrong way or just flat-out getting beat on the line. He figures to only improve, but Doug Free's performance at right tackle is a drop-off from a year ago. He has surrendered twice as much pressure (30 to 15) as Smith on the other side, and has not run blocked well.

Dallas Cowboys: Machota: Risk Cowboys Took In Last Year's Draft Paying Off Now - Jon Machota - SportsDay
The Cowboys took a serious risk last year when they traded their second- and third-round picks to rival Washington in exchange for the 34th selection. Now that pick is starting to take form and become more formidable in the 'Boys defense.

In a year of so many disappointments, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been one of the few bright spots, recording five of his team-high six sacks during the last five games. Lawrence, who has only been called for two penalties, has also climbed to second on the team with 26 quarterback pressures.

Linehan, Cassel See Quarterback’s Freedom In Different Ways - Drew Davison - The Star-Telegram
Scott Linehan is hoping in these last few games that Matt Cassel will show that he's capable of better play for the Cowboys.

"Just go out there and cut it loose," Linehan said. "I think there’s some freedom in the fact that if you just … you’re here for a reason and he is. Just trust your abilities and your instincts and sometimes that frees a player up."

Cowboys Hoping To Find Offensive Rhythm Against Jets - FOX Sports
There was no letdown last game for the New York Jets, who will try to avoid letting up Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

"I think one of the most disappointing things for our team this year is our inability to take the ball away, particularly after we had the success we had in doing that last year, and how much that contributed to us winning a lot of ballgames," coach Jason Garrett said.

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If you haven't yet submitted your picks, now would be a good time. Here's the link to the entry form.

If the link above doesn't work for whatever reason, use the following alternative, which does not autofill your BTB user name into the entry form.

Alternative Pick 256 Entry Form

We have 160 participants who've already submitted their picks for Week 15, and they are predicting four losses for the NFC East this weekend:

65% like the Jets over the Cowboys

91% like Panthers over the Giants

59% like the Bills over the Redskins

97% like the Cardinals over the Eagles

If you haven't submitted your picks yet, you still have until 8:30 pm EST tonight to do so, but might as well get it done now by following the links above.