Vikings 24, Cowboys 21: My Top 10 Observations
10. Bad as this looks - and 1-4 is bad - the season isn't over. I know history says they have a 95 percent chance of missing the playoffs, but no one in the NFC is worth a damn. A 10-win season and, yes, a division championship is still possible. And much as he might deserve it, head coach Wade "Stumbledoofus" Phillips isn't getting fired during the season. Owner Jerry Jones doesn't fire coaches in-season and with a possible lockout looming in 2011 it wouldn't make sense at this point anyway. So stop it.
9. I know this has gotten old, but the Cowboys again won the stats and lost the score. If I would've told you before the game that Dallas was going to out-gain Minnesota by 126 yards and hold in check Randy Moss (55 yards), Adrian Peterson (3 yards per carry) and Brett Favre (118 yards) you would've chalked up a win. Me too. Hard to fathom, or explain how this statistically superior team is 1-4. A lot of teams win ugly; the Cowboys lose pretty.
8. Fitting that the game's final, futile play featured the Cowboys frantically throwing laterals in total chaos. This team has deteriorated into a Benny Hill bit where everybody chases everybody, someone falls down and at least one person loses their trousers.
7. Of Dallas' 11 penalties, Alan Ball's was the most damaging. Dez Bryant returned a punt 34 yards to Minnesota's 42 to set up shop late in a tie game. Instead, Ball was called for clearly holding a Vikings' gunner, pushing the Cowboys back to their own 14. Three plays later quarterback Tony Romo combined a mis-read and a lazy throw into a game-losing interception. This just in: The Cowboys' safeties suck. And they're no better on special teams.
6. The Cowboys play good football. They just don't play smart football. In the words of linebacker Keith Brooking, "The Cowboys beat the Cowboys. Again."
5. Love Dez Bryant and his play-making abilities, but what's he doing fielding a punt inside his own 5-yard line? Not that the Cowboys had much of a chance at that point, but he wasted time and surrendered yards with yet another of his team's dumb mistakes.
4. Props to Roy Williams. Two more touchdowns. The Cowboys are 1-4 despite Williams, not because of him. I'll admit, I didn't see any of this coming. If you predicted Cowboys bad/Williams good, take a bow.
3. Up 14-7 at the half, the Cowboys lost the game on the first play of the third quarter. Why the hell did David Buehler kick the ball down the middle of the field? In fact, why - inside a dome - didn't he boom the damn thing into, or out of, the end zone? After all that, Gerald Sensabaugh totally whiffed on his tackle attempt of Percy Harvin and 95 yards later it was a tie game.
2. How oh How oh HOW do you get an excessive celebration penalty the week after losing a game because of an excessive celebration penalty? This team is as stupid as it is undisciplined. Miles Austin, we're looking at you. And shame on you for not sticking around the locker room to explain your two giant gaffes: The celebratory leap-frog of Williams for a penalty and the push-off that negated a 68-yard touchdown.
1. An undeniable sign of the Apocalypse: Jerry Jones out of positivity. "I'm not [optimistic]," Jones said in the locker room. "I'm very disappointed." The Chilean miners climbed out of their hole. Can the Cowboys? The good news is that in the medicore NFC every team has at least two losses. The Cowboys picked a good year to get off to a bad start.
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