Do not fall into the trap that has been laid about the Dallas Cowboys' playoff chances. Hopefully, the Dallas Cowboys’ win against the New York Giants didn’t fool you, because the Saturday afterward, the Baltimore Ravens made them look like the contender pretenders that they are.
The ‘Boys have a lot of talent—and a lot of issues. Firstly, Pacman—yes, he’s still Pacman; he hasn’t grown into “Adam”—Jones has not found a way to stay out of trouble. He also is talented, but his potential has been short-circuited by constant his off-the-field issues. And even though the team won't admit it, it takes a toll on them, too.
Then, after tough RB Marion Barber had to sit out the Cowboys' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (a hard-fought 20-13 loss), Jerry Jones called him out for sitting out the game with an injury. It should be noted that it wasn’t as if he took himself out of the game; the training staff deemed him unfit to play.
Jones questioned his toughness saying, ”He can play with that injured toe. He can play with the soreness and a combination of those things. I see nothing that led us to believe he couldn’t.”
After the huge backlash from the media, he backpedaled from his comments. Calling out a do-nothing rookie that had three huge fumbles is one thing. But to call out Marion Barber, a player who continually sucks up his pain and plays through it while other players moan for the training staff, showed that Jerry Jones is partly to blame for the teams troubles.
He tried to put all that talent, all those egos on the same team to buy a championship (reminiscent of my New York Yankees). Unfortunately, football doesn’t work that way. It’s a team game; always has been, always will be. Egos can never take the forefront.
And now this: the somewhat foreshadowing feud between Terrell Owens and Jason Witten. Once again, Owens will create another drama that will most likely push him out of another contending team.
If Owens doesn’t get all of the throws—be it Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, or in this case, Tony Romo—all of a sudden it’s a national crisis. He’s the victim; the quarterback is the villain. And now he and the other receivers—whom have egos of their own since they all were at some time primary receivers—Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams.
Throughout all of this drama…the Cowboys are fighting for a playoff spot.
Dallas presently has the final playoff spot in the National Football Conference. They control their own destiny: win, and they're in. Lose, and they are ejected from a January 2009 Wild Card Game appointment because Tampa Bay, Chicago, and even Philly are on the outside looking in.
Plus in two nights, the Eagles would love to play spoiler on their divisional rival at home. Though neither team has momentum and they both have had their internal problems (McNabb and Reid in Philly, and the aforementioned debacle in Dallas), I don’t see the Dallas Cowboys winning.
Once the pressure is on the Cowboys and Tony Romo, they don't deliver. In the Romo era, the Cowboys have never won a postseason game; in this decade, they haven't won a season finale. That streak will continue because of this ongoing problem, which therefore ends their season and the lights on Texas Stadium will go out for good.
So, in other words, stick a fork in Dallas’ season; they’re done.