The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued their free fall from the cusp of the 2010 NFL playoffs. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys went into Raymond James Stadium and taught the young Bucs numerous lessons in the first 20 minutes.
There were very few bright spots. The sunniest of optimists could only point to Josh Freeman's and the crowd's attitude.
Tampa's youth revolution has devolved into a scene from Lord of the Flies. They did show a little fight but not enough to take Raheem Morris' job security off life support.
Some views of the Bucs were already coming into focus before the Cowboys game, but now, they're crystal clear.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced a 3rd-and-5 on their first drive of the game. Josh Freeman didn't find anyone open and took off running.
The impressive part wasn't that he got the first down, but that he carried a defensive back five extra yards. He didn't even think about sliding.
Granted, Freeman might be trying too hard. The following play after his scramble for a first down, he fumbled the ball because he didn't sliding early.
The crowd matched Freeman's passion and enthusiasm. Not only did they sell out the stadium, they were so loud when the Dallas Cowboys faced a 2nd-and-goal, the cameras were shaking.
One play in the first half illustrated just how despondent the young Tampa Bay Buccaneers have become.
Tony Romo was able to easily buy plenty of time to find Dez Bryant towards the back of the end zone. As Mike Mayock pointed out, the defensive backs gave up on the play.
If any of them had continued towards the ball during the play, they would have been able to stop Bryant's bobbled catch.
The toothless pass rush is an even more glaring example of the lack of competitive attitude that was prevalent throughout the team. Romo had multiple plays where he was able to hold on to the ball for five seconds before he had to get rid of the ball.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs either lack the ability—or the will—to tackle.
It's obvious that they refuse to cover anyone. Tony Romo shredded the defense all night and had completed 23-of-29 passes at one point.
Jason Witten continued the embarrassment by simply running by multiple players on his way to a first down later in the game. At least two Bucs dove at the ground in the vicinity of the big tight end instead of engaging him.
Josh Freeman spent most of the night on the run attempting to give his receivers a chance to shake open. No such aid was forthcoming.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were without Arrelious Benn, but the display provided by the rest of the receiving corp was shameful.
A shining example occurred in the second quarter.
Freeman had a ridiculous amount of time and ended up throwing the ball away. The play actually caused Brad Nessler to say that there "must have been good coverage by the Dallas Cowboys."
That is the first time that sentence has been uttered in years.
Raheem Morris was already on the hot seat, but now, his pink slip has surely been completed. On numerous occasions, the camera showed the face of a man who was frustrated and bewildered.
After Josh Freeman was forced to use a timeout in the first half because his teammates didn't know what was going on, Morris stood there with a blank look.
Additionally, the defense continued to rush only four players instead of blitzing.
It was obvious within the first two drives that they needed to get to Tony Romo. The only time they stopped Dallas in the first half was when they got him on the run.
Morris has run out of answers.
It would be best for both parties to part ways.The Bucs will get a much-needed new voice in the locker room, and the young coach will get a chance to revive his career in a new location.