How Bout Them Cowboys?

They made Mitchell Trubisky look historically good.

Jim Rome
December 06, 2019 - 9:20 am
Jason Garrett

USA Today

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Mitchell Trubisky had a good game. 23 of 31 for 244 yards and three touchdowns in the air, plus 63 yards and a touchdown on the ground. You just know dude is running around Halas Hall turning all the TV’s back on, and cranking up the volume every time his highlights show up. 

Great. With that out of the way, let’s get down to the real business: HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS? 

Woof!! , that was a dog of a performance last night.  You talk about a lay down. And the incredible thing is, that just like the Bills game on Thanksgiving, it didn’t start out that way. In both games, they came out on the opening drive and looked like a well-oiled machine. 

Not only was that opening drive last night good, it was great. It was arguably their best of the year. Covering 75 yards, eating up nearly nine minutes, and it was penalty-free. And finally capped off with an Ezekiel Elliott.

For all the talk of the Cowboys’ offense not being balanced and not featuring Ezekiel Elliott enough, that first drive was perfection. After having 12 carries on Thanksgiving, he had 8 carries on the first drive alone.

Not only that, but the defense showed up huge on their first possession. They forced a takeaway for the first time in four games on the opening drive. 

Wait – that can’t be real, right? They couldn’t really have entered last night’s game on a streak of more than 250 snaps without a takeaway. 

But they finally broke that streak last night. 

And then it all fell apart. They took a 7-0 lead and then promptly gave up 24 straight points. And were blown out. Don’t let the final score fool you – that was not a 31-24 game. Not even close. 

There were missed tackles, missed blocks, dropped passes, horrible pass protection, and a missed field goal: everything possible mistake that could be made was made and most of them were made multiple times. They were so bad on defense they made Mitchell Trubisky look good. The Cowboys defense was so bad it made it seem like Chicago doesn’t have a qb problem: so bad on defense, that it make the bears actually look smart for trading up and picking Mitch Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshawn Watson: so horribly defensively, that they made Chicago look like they actually have a franchise quarterback.

Again, and I can’t stress this enough, they made Mitchell Trubisky look good. Not just good, but historically good. 

According to CBS Sports HQ: Last night, Trubisky became the first player in NFL history with: 70% completion rate on at least 30 attempts, 3 touchdowns, more than 50 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. 

You can look at it was Trubisky being the first to pull that off.  I prefer to see it as the Cowboys being the first ever to be deficient enough defensively to allow it. Because it wasn’t like it was Aaron Rodgers, or Brett Favre or Steve Young who did it. It was Mitchell Freaking Trubisky.

The absolute worst thing you can say about a football team is that they quit, so that’s not something I bring up lightly, but I have to ask – did the Cowboys quit last night?  Quitting is essentially, the worst thing ever.  But you know what’s even worse than quitting?  Them not quitting; and trying.  And still getting hammered in a must win game, by a really mediocre team, a week after getting humiliated at home, on national TV.  Quitting is horrible.  Not quitting and showing up like this is even worse.

So let me just give them the benefit of the doubt and say they did quit. Because. The only thing Dallas executed well were the shots of the sideline where players are staring off into the distance, or yelling at each other in slow-mo, complete with spit flying,… and then there are the slow zooms in on the dull, expressionless face of Jason Garrett.

And yes, I did wait this long to bring up his name. Because we’re past the point of talking about whether or not Jason Garrett should be fired. We’re years past that. He’s going to be fired.  If the Dallas Cowboys are a serious NFL football team, and Jerry Jones really does care whether they win or lose, he’ll fire his dull, expressionless coach. Let’s be real. Watching this guy on the sideline: seeing as to how no one is getting less out of more than he, it’s fair to ask, exactly what the hell does the clapper actually do? Aside from not getting fired?? Does this guy ever say or do anything, at all? Say or do anything other than clap and look beleaguered?  So he’ll be fired; and he should be. And while his guys will say they love him and would never quit on him, man they sure have a funny way of showing it. All of them.

The once-vaunted offensive line was getting beaten on basic pass rushes. Dak’s targets were dropping very catchable balls. And the defense was whiffing on one tackle after another. The way Dallas was tackling, you’d have thought Chicago had somehow had about 11 Barry Sanders in Bears gear last night. 

That was a hideous display in a game they absolutely had to have. How do you explain that first drive and then the rest of the game?

Elliott tried: “Uuuuummm. Ah. I mean, bleep.”

That’s the perfect explanation. And Robert Quinn took a shot at explaining the defense: “They been having a struggling offense. We created two turnovers on defense. They still put up 31. You’re just kind of puzzled sometimes. ... I don’t think anyone saw this [coming].”

Actually, we all saw this coming, and that’s the problem. There’s no shock here. There’s no surprise. It wasn’t surprising that they lost and lost the way they did, so save this bullcrap about how the cowboys were in a state of utter shock on the sideline over what has happening. This always happens: this is who you are: and who you’ve been: sorry, underachiever: a team with as much or more talent than anyone 1-53 but sub .500 overall.  That’s your normal: and you 53 are the only people in the world who don’t know it. So no, this isn’t surprising at all. Nor is it surprising that Jason Garrett didn’t get fired. It’s pretty clear that Jerry and his son really don’t want to fire their adopted, red headed son. But they will. They have no choice. Because that’s a team with no heart, or mental toughness, or grit. A team with a glass jaw. And team that came out, landed a haymaker, and when the Bears counter punched, collapsed in a heap, spitting out their mouthpiece.  The ref didn’t even bother counting: he waved it off immediately the second the Cowboys hit the canvas.  

In any other situation, the head coach and GM would be fired in the tunnel on the way back to the locker room after a game like that. But you knew that was never happening last night. Because the GM is the owner and the owner and GM love the head coach. 

So the only thing left was to hear what kind of bizarre world salad would come from Jerry Jones after the game.

"These guys are mentally OK for me, and all these guys are talented enough for me, so that's good. I'm questioning how to put together a coordinated one that complements each other, how to put together a team that can win a football game. ... We're not collectively getting together as a team and doing the things it takes to win ballgames."

I’m going to be real. This is not an exaggeration. I have literally no idea what he’s talking about. "These guys are mentally OK for me, and all these guys are talented enough for me, so that's good.” – What does that even mean?

What about last night let you know that the team was mentally ok And of course there was more. With Jerry, there always is. 

"It's leveled out here”

What has leveled out? You’ve lost three straight and show no signs of stopping. I thought you hit rock bottom Thanksgiving Day when Buffalo went into your house and punked you. But considering how that went down, how badly you needed this one and how poorly you played, this is even worse. And it may not be rock bottom: it’s probably not: who knows when this free fall will end. When Garrett finally does get fired? Probably not, because guess who will still be there: the one guy who has presided over this entire disaster, year after year, Jerruh. Firing the head coach won’t fix this. But firing the head coach and GM might.