Monday, October 20, 2008

Cowboys at a Loss

Going into this NFL season, local fans believed that the Dallas Cowboys had so much talent that only underachievement of monumental proportions would prevent that team from winning a Super Bowl. Thus, with the Cowboys third loss in its last four games, the natives are restless, with at least one local sports columnist joining disgruntled fans in asking for the head of coach Wade Phillips on a platter.

It is always debated in sports whether losing breeds bad team chemistry, or vice-versa, but the current situation does raise questions about owner Jerry Jones' decision to bring in so many players of questionable character, as well as the ability of Mr. Phillips to reign them in. While football fans across the country are most aware of Pacman Jones' very public problems with law enforcement, those who follow his former team, the Tennessee Titans, are also aware of his unique ability to destroy camaraderie in the locker room. Certainly, Mr. Jones most recent fiasco hurt the Cowboys in two ways: it has deprived them of a player they were counting on at a point when another key defensive player is sidelined with an injury, and it has created a major distraction for the team.

Meanwhile, for all of Terrell Owens egomania, the wide receiver does always play hard when the game is on the line, but his complaints about not getting enough passes thrown his way in games where most are going in his direction also has proven distracting. That scenario also makes the decision to trade three draft picks to the Lions for yet another wide receiver who will make the Dallas receiving corp even more crowded seem bizarre.

There is still plenty of time to turn things around, and this team has too much ability to write off. However, it is at least possible at this early point in the season that the Cowboys will become the best team in the current era not to make the playoffs.

It couldn't happen to a better team.

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