The season is a disaster. When it's "Super Bowl or Bust" and at the halfway point you fire the head coach with a record of 1-7, "or Bust" wins.
All is lost. But not all.
When the Dallas Cowboys play the Colts in Indianapolis this Sunday they'll be playing for pride and respect and 2011 jobs and interim coach Jason Garrett's future and - ahem - draft position.
Moral victories are in play. Good losses are realistic. Small steps are significant.
So, there's at least something on the line.
But, come to think of it, there have been a few positives in this forgettable Cowboys' season ...
5. Jon Kitna - Replacing Tony Romo, he's already shown that he's more than an adequate backup. Actually, isn't he the best No. 2 quarterback in the NFL?
4. Bryan McCann - The undrafted free agent from SMU has game-changing touchdowns of 101 and 97 yards. The Cowboys may have stumbled upon yet another productive undrafted player.
3. Doug Free - Remember back in training camp when he was a major concern? The first-year starting left tackle has allowed only three sacks this season. The offensive line has sucked, but Free's been good.
2. Wade Phillips - Stumbledoofus is gone. Without his passive approach, the Cowboys will play smarter, more disciplined and better into the future.
1. Dez Bryant - The Cowboys traded up to get him last April and if there's one thumbs up to 2010 it's the rookie receiver. His stats - 44 catches for 547 yards and six touchdowns - dwarf Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson at the same point in their rookie seasons. Yes Bryant gets too emotional and you still get the feeling he doesn't know the entire playbook, but for years to come looks like he'll be a scoring threat after receptions and on returns.
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