P.T. Barnum, famed businessman and promoter of circuses once said: "There's a sucker born every minute."
Well, given the current state of the now 1-6 Dallas Cowboys, Barnum could count the owner, coaching staff and fans among the suckers.
Dallas entered training camp with high hopes, aiming to become the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. However, given the lack of discipline, heart, and the general ability to compete with even the lowliest of opponents, the Cowboys are just hoping they will even be allowed to attend the Super Bowl and watch from the stands.
There are a lot of factors that go in to being a bad football team. There is a need for poor coaching, careless players, inept management, and a listless owner on a ego trip. If you were to make a check list for the Cowboys, there would be marks by all four criteria.
To say that the Cowboys are bad would be paying the team a compliment. They're horrible.
After opening the season with a closely contested loss to the Washington Redskins, the Dallas Cowboys have quickly gone from troubled, to mediocre, to just plain terrible. Save a Week three 27-13 win against the up-and-down Houston Texans, and Dallas has left little for fans to cheer about.
When looking at the schedule one could make the argument that Dallas has been in every game this season, but that wouldn't tell the entire story.
The Cowboys were terribly outplayed by Chicago after some first quarter adjustments by the Bears. They were comically bad against Tennessee, turning the ball over three times and committing 12 penalties for 133 yards—the back breaker being a celebration penalty that only tied the game. They fought hard against Minnesota, but if you've seen Minnesota then. . .you know the tail wags the dog. They were an absolute joke on Monday Night Football against the Giants after Tony Romo suffered a broken clavicle. And Sunday's game against Jacksonville was the second verse of their performance against New York: a bunch of quitters with no heart.
In all, this team has resembled a circus more than a NFL football team, with owner Jerry Jones acting as the ringmaster.
Prior to the beginning of the season, the Cowboys held camp in two different venues: San Antonio, TX, and Oxnard, CA. Why any team would re-locate their operations during one of the most crucial preparation periods of the season is almost inconceivable, but Jerry Jones thought it was a good idea.
Further, in an attempt to haze rookie Dez Bryant, veteran wideout Roy Williams tried to get Bryant to carry his shoulder pads. Bryant refused, and the rest is history—$55,000 dinner with a side of unneeded-distraction.
During the preseason, Jerry Jones was asked about the talent level of his team, and he responded by saying, "I thought the team, two years ago , was the best team that I've ever been associated with that didn't win a Super Bowl or the national championship. But the one two years ago was the best one; this one is better then that team on paper."
What Mr. Jones failed to realize, is that on the field, the 2010 version of the Dallas Cowboys is now comparable to teams like the winless Buffalo Bills and the one-win Carolina Panthers. Even perennial losers like the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders have twice as many wins as the preseason "Super Bowl contenders."
Yet Jerry remains in denial about the ineptitude he has now witnessed for eight weeks.
Clearly this team is in need of a makeover. Head coach Wade Phillips continues to "aw shucks" and "gee whiz" his way through press conferences, pointing out that the team did "some good things," while rarely addressing the bad. This type of mindset has ruined the team, which was best exemplified by the absolute tank job the defense put on after Tony Romo was injured in Week 7 against the Giants. Further, while Wade continues to make up for the team's output, Jason Garrett, the Cowboys' Princeton educated offensive coordinator, continually outsmarts only himself.
That leaves the players.
For some reason, the Cowboy players have developed a sense of entitlement, and as a result, there is no competition for playing time.
The players know who calls the shots in Big D, and it isn't uncle Wade.
The Cowboy players are self-assured. They know who writes their checks and they know who says whether or not they play. How else could you explain Roy Williams—who has emerged of late—continually playing in critical situations last season? Or, why do defensive backs like Gerald Sensabaugh or Mike Jenkins continually play, despite making decided efforts to miss tackles.
Former Cowboy coaches Bill Parcells and Jimmy Johnson—who were noted disciplinarians—wouldn't stand for it, and that's why Jerry showed them the door. Even Jerry's son, Stephen Jones, had to convince his stubborn father that it was time for Terrell Owens to leave.
The idea that the Cowboys could make the Super Bowl this season was a dream, one that has slowly turned into a nightmare.
The Cowboys can be a winning football team again, but they have to have the right personnel, not a ringmaster and his traveling band of idiots.