With three games left in the 2012 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys could still technically make the playoffs, but it won’t happen. If Dallas had injured defensive starters like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Barry Church and Jay Ratliff healthy, then it would be realistically possible, but still highly unlikely. Sure, it’s fun for Cowboys fans to hang on to this dramatic finish to the season, but the Dallas faithful should be hoping for America’s Team to go 0-3 in Weeks 15, 16 and 17 to ensure the possibility of a better future.
No, don’t get too excited. We’re not talking about the resignation of Jerry Jones or anything miraculous like that. However, you can bet that Jones will keep Dallas’ worthless head coach Jason Garrett around for at least another year if the Cowboys somehow stumbles into the playoffs this season.
Truth be told, it would be very impressive if the Cowboys made the playoffs this year considering the truckload of injuries that have plagued the team this season. The following starters/contributors have missed significant time (at least one full game) this season:
Running backs Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray
Receivers Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin
Cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins
Safeties Barry Church and Gerald Sensabaugh
Centers Phil Costa, Ryan Cook and Kevin Kowalski
Offensive tackle Tyron Smith
Punters Chris Jones and Brian Moorman
Defensive end Kenyon Coleman
Defensive tackles Sean Lissemore and Ratliff
Linebackers Dan Connor, Alex Albright, Orie Lemon, Anthony Spencer, Lee and Carter
No team with that many injuries would ever be expected to even content for a playoff spot, but the Cowboys are not only in position to claim a Wild Card spot but possibly even win the NFC East title, although it won’t happen.
As mentioned, Cowboys fans should hope the Cowboys don’t beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins because that would ensure at least one more year for Garrett. Getting rid of “Red J” as he’s called (or at least was at one time) certainly won’t fix all of Dallas’ problems, but the Cowboys’ offensive play-calling can’t possibly get any worse.
In addition to Garrett, a postseason appearance would keep Jones from at least attempting to make significant upgrades to the Cowboys’ roster, which are absolutely critical for the team to have any hopes of contending for a Super Bowl in the Tony Romo era. It took back to back embarrassing seasons for Jones to make two big moves and two worthless ones that he thought were good this past off-season (Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau), so he sure isn’t going to put a lot of effort in actually improving Dallas’ offensive line if his team makes the playoffs.
Even at 8-8, if the Cowboys get into the postseason, Jones will be convinced they’re a Super Bowl contender (he’s said so at least a half dozen times this calendar year). Any members of the Dallas faithful who believe that are as delusional as he is, so the few who are real Cowboys fans should root hard for Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Washington (sacrilegious, I know) these next three weeks. Otherwise, this team is doomed.