Sports Outside the Beltway

Cowboys Embarrass Franchise in Texas Stadium Finale

The Dallas Cowboys played one of the most embarrassing games in franchise history tonight, in a game that was supposed to honor the legacy of a franchise that has won five Super Bowls and been to two more since Texas Stadium opened its doors in 1971.   Never has a team with so much talent achieved so little. Thankfully, the game was on the NFL Network, which most fans don’t get.

To be sure, the Baltimore Ravens are a good team.  And the blowout loss against the hapless St. Louis Rams earlier this season was more pathetic on paper.  But the season wasn’t on the line and we had the excuse of Tony Romo being out with an injury.  There was no excusing the complete collapse of the offense, defense, and special teams tonight at home in a must-win game.

Romo was awful, giving up two picks, taking unnecessary sacks, and overthrowing receivers all night long.  The play calling was worse.  Even though Rashard Choice was running surprisingly well and Romo was off — yet again — Jason Garrett continued to call for long bombs and passes into traffic that his QB clearly didn’t have in his bag tonight.  So much for the Head Coach in Waiting.   It appears that the real genius behind last year’s offense was Tony Sparano, who’s helped engineer an amazing turnaround of the Miami Dolphins.

The vaunted Wade Phillips Defense was a joke.  Sure, they held the Ravens to field goals most of the night and got a bunch of sacks on rookie Joe Flacco. But they gave the game away with not one but two long touchdown runs in the closing minutes.  They should be ashamed.

The special teams have been a joke all season, with the exception of Nick Folk’s field goals.  (And Folk has been less than mediocre on kickoffs.)  The coverage is embarrassingly bad and the return teams are awful.  Why Bruce Read still has a job, I’ll never know.

Phillips should never have been hired. He’s a solid defensive coordinator but the Staypuff Marshmallow Man simply doesn’t have what it takes to be a head coach.  And everybody but Jerry Jones has known that for years.  He’d won precisely zero playoff games in four previous  stops as a head coach.  The fifth time wasn’t the charm.

One hopes he’s embarrassed the star for the last time.

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