The Dallas Cowboys, a Superbowl favorite as of late August, will now be lucky to drag themselves across the finish line with a playboff berth.
People, this is what they call a Texas-sized train wreck.
A cohesive, selfless team maybe could perhaps stand losing its quarterback for a month, suffering the embarrassment of off-field fistfights and indefinite player suspensions, grappling with a Swiss-cheese secondary lacking veterans, squinting in the glare of HBO cameras, or the dubious high-profile signing of another boderline malcontent receiver.
But this is not such a team.
The Dallas Cowboys have lost all of their swagger and confidence. They play with sloppy inefficiency and an abject lack of discipline. Turnovers, penalties, false starts, blown coverage, sideline tantrums, and - worst of all - denial that they're mediocre at best. Someone forgot to tell these guys that you have to actually win games to make it into the Superbowl. Showing up isn't enough to earn a W. The teams you're playing? They want to beat you. That means you have to kind of, like, try to beat them.
There's blame to go around, but the Cheese Fry would like to single out head coach Wade Phillips. When he was hired two years ago, anyone who knew anything about the Cowboys' awful history with nice-guy coaches should have seen this coming. Phillips is not a disciplinarian. He's one of those stupid-ass "player's coaches." Players need iron leadership, not soft-focus grinning companionship. This guy doesn't even wear a headset on the sidelines and by now he seems incapable of getting the Cowboys ready to play on Sundays. Whatever he's been doing, one wonder if maybe they should doing the exact opposite. The last time the Cowboys had this kind of coach was a horrific streak of three 5-11 seasons under the guidance of grandfatherly teddy bear by the name of Dave Campo.
The Cowboys have now lost 3 of their last 4 games. You'd think with each loss that they'd have some kind of epiphany, that these embarrassing defeats would serve as a textbook "wake up call" to get it together. So far that hasn't happened.
We're not sure it will.