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It might seem unusual to see a team that is tied for its division lead on a list of the most disappointing teams in the league, but the Dallas Cowboys are an exception.
Dallas currently has a 5-5 record and is tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the lead in the worst division in football.
The New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles all got off to slow starts at the beginning of the year, but the Cowboys were unable to capitalize.
Many people place the Cowboys’ underwhelming success on the shoulders of quarterback Tony Romo, although he hasn't been the source of the Cowboys' problems.
The oft-criticized Romo has completed 64 percent of his passes this season for 2,681 yards, 21 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Those numbers are pretty impressive; if he were on a team like the Texans, they would likely be sitting on top of their division and still be a team in the hunt for a Super Bowl.
The Cowboys offensive line shoulders part of the blame for the offensive struggles. The interior of their line, except for rookie center Travis Frederick, has been inconsistent all season.
When analyzing the Cowboys, the blame partially falls on defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and the Cowboys’ struggling defense. With the exception of DeMarcus Ware and his lower-than-usual amount of sacks, five, there isn’t much to be happy about on that side of the ball.
Dallas currently has the 24th-most efficient defense in the NFL. They are 185th against the pass, which is higher than their 25th placing in the category last year. They also have the 28th-best rush defense in the NFL. It’s hard to be too successful with a defense like that.
Another interesting fact about the Cowboys defense is its variance statistic. The variance statistic, which can be found on footballoutsiders.com, measures a team’s consistency on a weekly basis. According to Football Outsiders, Dallas has the 31st-most consistent defense in the NFL.
While analyzing how that compares with their division foes, the Cowboys have the most inconsistent defense in their division. The Giants rank 28th in the statistic, while the Eagles rank seventh and the Redskins struggle, ranking 23rd in the league.
Luckily for Dallas, they play four divisional games going down the stretch, and they are still the favorite to win the division. Football Outsiders gives them a 60 percent chance of clinching the division.
If Dallas is unable to win the division, look for a lot of changes to be made in the coaching staff and with the defensive side of the ball. Head coach Jason Garrett could lose his job, while the Cowboys could revamp most of their defensive unit.