With a record of 3-5, the Dallas Cowboys are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. This is unfortunate, because it continues to give demented owner/general manager Jerry Jones a reason to hope that his Cowboys can compete in the playoffs.
A miracle run to the Super Bowl. Just like last year's New York Giants.
This team cannot compete in the playoffs, and it is all Jerry Jones' fault.
As much as Jerry Jones hates the word, these Dallas Cowboys are rebuilding. Every year, underperforming talent is jettisoned and replaced with young, hungry draft picks. This team cannot make a miracle run to the Super Bowl. Jerry Jones is to blame.
Jason Garrett is not at fault as head coach for the Cowboys woes, he can't help himself. Garrett was not prepared to take the reins. Jerry Jones saw the Dallas Cowboys rally around Garrett in the final eight games of the 2010 season (winning five of them and being extremely competitive in all of them).
But Garrett was not prepared.
Jason Garrett, with poor play-calling and clock management, has cost the Cowboys more games than he has won, but he can't help himself. He was not prepared.
When Garrett took over the Dallas Cowboys, he preached accountability, placing digital clocks in all of the meeting rooms. Holding players accountable for being on time. Making sure the small things are done right.
Where is that accountability with the senseless penalties? Where is that accountability with mental errors?
It is not Garrett's fault. He's not prepared.
Tony Romo has received just as much heat for the Cowboys' recent woes. His league-leading 13 interceptions are an easy target for critics to fire on. Upon closer inspection, many of those interceptions were not the doing of Tony Romo, but poor route running and catching abilities by receivers.
Tony Romo is not to blame. He has "star" receivers that lead the league in drops, interceptions caused by horrible route running and career hamstring injuries.
It's not Romo's fault. With overstated talent around him and an unprepared head coach, Romo is destined for mediocrity.
The blame lies solely, squarely, with Jerry Jones.
He is the ultimate barracuda. One of the fiercest fish in the sea but easily distracted by shiny things. This is evident by the lack of quality draft picks spent on offensive linemen. Romo is reduced to running for his life in many games, and the poor offensive line play caused a season-ending injury back in 2010.
Even when it seemed that Jason Garrett had the Cowboys on the right track with a solid drafting strategy, the Cowboys spent two picks to get one player—granted, that one player is Morris Claiborne. Jerry Jones bragged that the Cowboys had Claiborne as the highest-rated cornerback coming out of college since they evaluated Deion Sanders.
You can love him, or hate him, but Claiborne is no Prime Time—yet.
Only one problem, that draft pick could have been spent on a top-tier offensive lineman, and the second-round pick (sent to St. Louis in the draft-day trade) could also have been spent on a top-tier interior lineman.
Who is to blame for the Cowboys' 3-5 start?
Instead, Romo is stuck behind NFL rag dolls Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings. They have great company with the top two penalty-causers in the NFL (Doug Free, Tyron Smith).
The worst-case scenario is playing out for these Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones continues to view his team through rose-colored glasses. No objective review of talent is made, and the Cowboys will be just competitive enough to miss out on a blue-chip draft pick.
Jerry Jones hears how "full of talent" his team is and believes he will see a miracle Super Bowl run. The blame falls on Jones, because this team cannot.
Jerry Jones saw last year how the New York Giants grew hot as the season came to a close and rode the momentum all the way to another Super Bowl ring. This team cannot.
Heads should still be rolling after Eli Manning and company won their fourth game at Cowboys Stadium. The heads are still intact and inadequately preventing this team from excelling. The blame lands solely with Jerry Jones.
As soon as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys gets out of the way for the general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, then, and only then, will the Cowboys be able to succeed.
Until then, all of the blame lies with pizza-rapping, smooth talking owner of the Dallas Cowboys.