There are a couple of narratives concerning the Dallas Cowboys as a whole that have been floated. One is the notion that for one reason or another, the NFL and its controlling properties have it “out” for the Cowboys. That the powers that be are constantly looking to inhibit the Cowboys’ chances of success because of some sort of bias against them. This one holds little merit.
Second is the idea that other teams “get up” to play America’s Team. They are the most visible sports team in the world, play in a luxurious stadium, and are generally the focus of primetime television or big stages where you can make a name for yourself. This one may hold a little merit, but professional football players probably care in this same way about other teams or opportunities.
We discussed Thursday’s humiliating loss on our official Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
One could make an argument that both of these narratives were in play on Thanksgiving Day as the Las Vegas Raiders seemed to enjoy the Turkey Day stage while benefiting from flag after flag as they beat the Dallas Cowboys. The penalties were frustrating and certainly did not seem normal, but it is the latter point that is a bit more concerning in the aftermath.
Whether it be because of their sterling history in the NFL or their success this season, the Cowboys are a team that is hunted. They are not very good at handling that role which is disconcerting as we enter December football.
There are only losers from Thanksgiving Day and they are the Dallas Cowboys
This is our weekly winners and losers discussion here at BTB and it just didn’t make sense to list out specific losers after Thursday’s game. Why put ourselves through the redundancy?
Dak Prescott played poorly before lighting it up in the fourth quarter (only to have a costly miss towards Noah Brown in overtime). Anthony Brown got called for a DPI, another DPI, then a DPI again, and somehow an additional DPI. Trevon Diggs struggled to tackle. There were drops by wide receivers. It all sucked.
The point here isn’t to gloss over, or somehow be passive, about these performances, but the real loser is the Dallas Cowboys as a whole. They were 6-1 and at the top of the NFL and had finally earned the benefit of trust from many of us. We were sold.
Dallas won games this season in ways that we had never seen them do in recent memory. They went to New England - persevering through a number of penalties there incidentally - and fought off all adversity to scratch a win out. It had been while since we had seen that.
Impressively, they played the long game when they visited the Minnesota Vikings and sat Dak Prescott because, as we believed, this team was capable of bigger goals and those aren’t won in October. They purposely (wisely obviously) put themselves at a disadvantage and still won. Trust had been earned.
Whatever benefit of the doubt that the Cowboys had has been spent little by little, third-down failure after third-down failure, first-down run after first-down run over the last month. We could explain away the loss to the Denver Broncos as the team being too big for their britches, and justify the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs by injuries against a team that has lived atop the NFL’s mountain of competition for the last three years. Thursday was supposed to justify our defenses of their name over the last month.
While the Cowboys did make it close, the fact that they struggled to do so against a team that had lost three games in a row and had just about quit on their season is particularly discouraging. The season is not lost by any means as all of the group’s wants and wishes are still ahead of them, but our implicit trust that they would accomplish them has faded into obscurity.
These are not our older brother’s or father’s Dallas Cowboys. The elephant in the room that is starting to show itself is that they might just be our Dallas Cowboys, and that is a group that has disappointed year after year since the heyday of the 90s.
Thursday was supposed to be a band-aid that stabilized our condition for another week while our immune system could fight off the infection. Unfortunately, all it did was pick at old scars and remind us that what has hurt us before is more than capable of doing it again.
So go the Dallas Cowboys.