Bad. But just how bad?
The St. Louis Rams, who entered with four offensive touchdowns in their first five games, scored three in Sunday's first quarter. The Cowboys, who entered with Super Bowl aspirations, produced botched snaps, missed field goals, eight penalties, four turnovers and ...
Said Terrell Owens, “The Rams came out and kicked our butts.”
“You see this kind of stuff,” sounded Cowboys’ radio voice Brad Sham, “on a bad high-school team.”
The Cowboys were the only NFL team favored by at least a touchdown to lose yesterday. And, considering Dallas’ talent and just how putrid the Rams were/are, this autopsy is one of the most gruesome in franchise history.
Sure Dallas was missing three starters (Tony Romo, Kyle Kosier and Terence Newman) and its punter (Mat McBriar), but still.
"We're going to get this turned around," head coach Wade Phillips cautioned moments ago at Valley Ranch. "All of our goals are still available."
Sunday's "cringe moment" came midway in the third quarter. Trailing 31-7 -- that score was supposed to be reversed, right? -- the Cowboys had just allowed Stephen Jackson a 16-yard run. On the next play, defensive tackle Chris Canty got his ass shoved two yards off the line of scrimmage. But after DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears tackled Travis Minor for a 1-yard loss, it was Canty -- arriving to the pile about two seconds late -- who turned and stared down the Rams' sideline and criss-crossed/waved his arms in a "Not on my watch!" fashion.
Are you effin' kidding me? The Rams rushed for 180 yards. Canty had 1 tackle.
As Jimmy Johnson used to say about posers, Puh-leeze.
After you ponder how Ware could later celebrate a sack with his team down 24, how someone named Donnie Avery could run wide open in the secondary, how a fifth victory this season might be in jeopardy and how much you’re willing to pay to launch the Internet campaign calling for Wade Phillips’ head, take a minute to ponder just where being uncompetitive against the lowly Rams ranks on Dallas’ all-time embarrassing stinkers?
Jerry Jones' post-game tirade tells you it’s gotta be up there, right?
10. at Rams 34, Cowboys 14 – Sunday’s epic meltdown against lowly opponent featured a staggering 34 unanswered points.
9. Eagles 49, at Cowboys 21 – Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens produced a season’s worth of highlights on Monday Night Football mismatch in ’04.
8. at Giants 15, Cowboys 0 – In a futile effort that typified '89's 1-15, Dallas was stopped four times from New York’s 1-yard line in the closing minutes.
7. at Redskins 26, Cowboys 3 – Coming off their first Super Bowl, Dallas was unceremoniously dethroned in ’72 NFC Championship Game by feisty Washington coach George Allen.
6. at Titans 31, Cowboys 0 – Quarterback Anthony Wright was laughably inept as Dallas finished ’00 with a Christmas night whimper.
5. at Bills 14, Cowboys 3 – Loss to 0-11 Buffalo in ’84 paved way for missing the playoffs for first time in 10 seasons.
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4. Cardinals 38, at Cowboys 0 – Humiliation of ’70 shutout on Monday Night Football ignited Super Bowl run.
3. Eagles 27, at Cowboys 0 – Rookie quarterback Troy Aikman sacked 11 times in ’89 Thanksgiving embarrassment.
2. Bears 44, at Cowboys 0 – ’85 playoff squad was thoroughly dismantled in Texas Stadium by eventual Super Bowl champs.
1. at Texans 19, Cowboys 10 – ’02 loss to Houston in the expansion franchise’s first game will eternally sting. – Richie Whitt