It’s not enough just to lose for the Dallas Cowboys, they have to find new and creative ways to lose; they make losing epic. There’s no need to rehash what happened; not the six turnovers, not the same mind numbing mistakes, (isn’t that every game they play), and certainly not the Dez Bryant touchdown that wasn’t because none of it matters. The NFL is a bottom line business and the only thing that anyone cares about was the Dallas Cowboys lost a heart breaker, again.
In case you have forgotten, and I’m sorry for bringing up these games on a day like today, since 2006 here are some on the crazy ways the Dallas Cowboys have lost games.
*In the 2006 playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks, the Cowboys lose on a fumbled snap. Not sure if any of you remember that one?
*The next season, the Cowboys lose to the New York Giants in the playoffs after having home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
*In 2008, the Cowboys lose to the Arizona Cardinals in overtime on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
*Also in 2008, Tony Romo and the Cowboys are in complete control of the Pittsburgh Steelers when they collapse. The Steelers were down 10 points in the fourth quarter but come back to tie it in freezing Pittsburgh and Romo throws a pick six; game over.
*No, 2008 was not a good year. The Cowboys lose in a win and in situation for the playoff against the Philadelphia Eagles. They didn’t just lose, but they get blown out and Tony Romo famously says, “If this is the worst thing that happens in my life, I’ll have lived a pretty good life.”
*The opening of the new Cowboys Stadium and the Giants spoil the party by kicking a field goal in the final seconds to beat Dallas.
*The first game of the 2010 season against the Washington Redskins and the Cowboys think they have a game winning touchdown pass from Romo to Roy Williams, only to have it called back because of a holding penalty on Alex Barron. Let’s also not forget the play at the end of the first half where Tashard Choice fumbles on a run out the clock play at the end of the first half and the Redskins return it for a touchdown.
*Last season the Cowboys open up against the New York Jets to open the season and dominate the first three quarters and go up by 17 points. The Cowboys are about to put the game away when Romo fumbles on the one yard line and later throws the crushing interception to give the Jets the win.
*Again, last year, the Cowboys take a 24 point lead on the Detroit Lions and allow the Lions to win the game after a few pick sixes and a great touchdown catch by Calvin Johnson.
*Anyone remember last year in Arizona when Jason Garrett iced his own kicker, or better yet, didn’t allow his quarterback to move his team closer to field goal range at the end of regulation? Dan Bailey makes the first kick but Garrett calls timeout and then on the actual kick for the win, Bailey misses. The Cowboys go on to lose in overtime.
*Cowboys blow a 12 point lead to the Giants in the final five minutes of their first match up last year. They fail to seal the game when Miles Austin loses the ball in the lights or fails to run the proper route on the lob from Romo. Either way, the defense lets the team down in the end.
*In the final contest last year, Dallas loses to the Giants with the playoffs on the line.
*This season the Cowboys have already lost by getting blown out by Seattle after everyone thought they turned a corner following the season opening win. They have also lost by turning the ball over five times on a loss to the Chicago Bears at home on a Monday night.
*Two weeks ago the Cowboys dominate the game, yet they fail to learn from last year’s mistake and don’t move the ball into closer field goal range with one timeout and twenty six seconds left.
*Finally today, the Cowboys go down 23-0 because of terrible turnovers and sloppy football yet they manage to get back into the game and they even take the lead. They move the ball down the field, take their final shots at the end zone and seem to come down with an improbable win when Dez Bryant makes a great leaping catch! Only Bryant’s fingers barely come down out of bounds and the call is reversed.
If you go back up and count, that is 15 heart breaking games in the span of just six years. How much can one fan base take? These losses add up to a lifetime for some teams. Not for these Cowboys; not for Jerry Jones, Tony Romo or whoever seems to be coaching this group. They just can’t get it done. While the Giants seem to get every single break possible, the Cowboys have the opposite fate.
Not that fate had as much to do with what happened today because you can’t expect to win when you turn the ball over six times. You can’t expect to win with bad decisions by your quarterback, your star wide receiver and your head coach, rarely does that happen. The truth is, turnovers aside, the Cowboys were the better team today. Good teams make just enough playes to win games, the Cowboys make just enough mistakes to lose.
You saw the boneheaded throws by Tony Romo; you saw the awful fumbles by Bryant and Felix Jones and I’m guessing I wasn’t the only person who didn’t understand not running the ball at least once with under two minutes to play and a 2nd and 1 to go. Three passes, three incompletions, including an interception.
If that wasn’t enough to drive a stake through the Cowboys and their fans hearts, they got a few more shots at the end zone and Bryant came down with one of Romo’s jump balls but…
You know the rest.
The rest goes something like this; the Cowboys lose. The Dallas Cowboys have an amazing tradition as one of the NFL’s greatest franchises. Unfortunately, right now they’re also now known as a team that can’t do the things they need to win. Never mind the little things, they don’t do the big things either.
I am very excited by the way the Cowboys fought today; proud as you can imagine in their attitude. A friend of mine told me at halftime he thought they were going to win, I didn’t have the guts to tell him I agreed. I did. I thought Dallas had everything they needed to rally against the Giants but in the end they came up short.
You can say it’s a game of inches and the Cowboys were that close, literally, today. However, it was all the yards and poor decisions in between those inches that cost the Cowboys a win.
No different than the past six years.
you can follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi