The Cowboys: The Disaster In Dallas

William BlakeCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

I think Wade Phillips' expression in the picture above describes the Dallas Cowboys' situation.


But how can Dallas salvage their season? How can they overcome not a loss, but an epic failure against the lowly St. Louis Rams? Well, before I get into any solutions, let's recap the huge week and a half its been for the Cowboys.


October 8: Pacman in trouble... again

Pacman Jones, the troubled cornerback who Dallas traded for this offseason, has failed to stay out of trouble. Jones was involved in an altercation with his bodyguard, and was known to involve alcohol. Alcohol has been Jones' death, as it has seemed to been the reason for nearly all of his troubles. 

As a result, Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Jones for at least four games, stating that the number could go up. The sad thing is that Jones was actually having a positive impact on the Cowboys when he was on the field. He's had 25 tackles, and was well on pace to get more tackles than his previous seasons in Tennessee


October 12: Dallas loses in Arizona

The Cowboys, trying to forget the Pacman Jones incidents, flew west to Arizona to take on the Arizona Cardinals. It was a well fought match, but in the end, Dallas lost to the Cardinals in overtime. This dropped the Cowboys to 4-2, but still had very respectable composure.

If the Cowboys were to lose again, however, it would tie last year's loss total. But that wouldn't happen against the St. Louis Rams, right?


October 12: Felix Jones is down

The other Jones in Dallas, Felix Jones, went down with a left hamstring injury in the Cardinals game. He was expected to miss at least three weeks. Jones has been the homerun hitter for the Cowboys this year, with already 266 yards rushing, three touchdowns, and a 98 yard kickoff return for a score. The rookie's injury left the Cowboys in a state of shock.


October 13: Dallas, we have a problem

Tony Romo, the Cowboys proficient quarterback suffered a pinkie injury, which would keep him out for about four weeks. At this stage, someone actually older than Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia, and Kurt Warner would play; Brad Johnson. The 40-year old who had seen an up-and-down career, would see his first significant amount of playing time in Dallas. 

It would take nearly a miracle for Johnson to play as well as the man he was replacing. Romo had a passer rating of 103.5, and already thrown 14 touchdown passes. Romo had definitely been impressive; now it was time for Johnson to earn his spot on the roster.


October 14: When Terrell met Roy

Roy E. Williams, one of the NFL's hothead wide receivers, was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Cowboys. His new contract kept him in Dallas until 2013. Dallas gave the Lions their 1st, 3rd, and 6th round draft picks for Williams.

Now, don't get me wrong; Williams is a better receiver than most give him credit. But this has to be one of the worst moves for the Cowboys. If the Tennessee Titans or Jacksonville Jaguars made this move, it would work wonders for their sub par receiving teams. 

But COME ON. You already have Terrell Owens, a hot-head receiver, so do you really need another? Jason Witten and Owens are both better pass-catchers than Williams, and Patrick Crayton is starting to come along some this season. 


October 18: Calm before the storm

Tony Romo had been inactive most of the week, but could have possibly started at quarterback. However, with much speculation going on the whole week that Romo might play, and might not play, Johnson was announced as the starter.


October 19: The storm

In the ugliest game the Dallas Cowboys have played in year, they lost to the St. Louis Rams. Yes, those 1-4 Rams. Johnson threw three interceptions. The defense gave up 34 points to a team lead by an interim head coach. 

No one could have predicted this letdown of epic proportions. Sure, there were a few injuries, but with Marion Barber and Terrell Owens, you don't have ANY reason to lose to the Rams, by 20.

Johnson struggled, barely completing 50% of his passes, as well as the three interceptions I mentioned above. However, Johnson's mistakes weren't all his fault. Witten and Owens didn't get open. Williams was so bad he didn't even catch a pass. 

What happened on Sunday afternoon was a nightmare for Cowboys fans. 

But there's more.


October 19: Roy Williams is out

The first Roy Williams on the team, the Pro-Bowl safety, is out for the season. Done. Out. Never to return (well, in 2008).

This just adds to the problems of the Cowboys defense. Their pass defense was already below average. Who knows what will happen to it now.


What to do

The Cowboys are stuck in a horrible situation. You've lost two players from your secondary, and two players from your offense. You've added a receiver who could brew up controversy anytime now.

The Cowboys need to ride on Mario Barber's back. He's only gotten over 20 carries twice, and has only scored one touchdown in his last four games. Phillips needs to get Barber the ball more. Every game for the rest of the year, Felix Jones or no Felix Jones, this guy needs 20 carries.


Next, you need to get the ball to Terrell Owens. Yeah, I hate it when receivers shoot off their mouths about things too, but let's face it: Owens can do stuff with a football that few others in the league can. That means he needs more than eight catches over his last three games. That means he needs a 100-yard receiving game. 

And finally, Wade Phillips needs to get a grip. When he named head coach, I didn't know how long he would last. With Jason Garrett lurking, Phillips has a time bomb strapped to his back. He needs to make the playoffs and quit accepting trades for players like Roy Williams and Pacman Jones.

Its not all over for the Cowboys, but you have to wonder; how the heck are things going to get better. You have to get the ball to your playmakers in times like these. Phillips needs to figure that out fast.