Sports Shorts: It’s Do or Die For Cowboys

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2011

by Kate Delaney

Be honest; when you looked at the Cowboys schedule didn’t you have a sinking feeling that finishing the season in New York on New Years’ Day might be an ominous sign? As a fan, it is still hard to believe that the Cowboys are in this situation in the first place! Looking back is futile but how can you not? This team should be breaking down footage of potential playoff teams not sweating it out in a do or die situation.

I give Jason Garrett credit for sticking to the positive message in his last media huddle, even if he did sound like a parrot. He must have said, “We are happy for the opportunity” at least fifteen times no matter what questions the grizzled veterans or the wet behind the ears reporters threw at him. Garrett’s no dummy; he went to Princeton. He knows the odds of the Cowboys clinching, especially with all the momentum the Giants bring into the game after beating the Jets last week.

Who is feeling the most pressure heading into the Big Apple? Quarterback Tony Romo makes the list for blowing huge fourth quarter leads in too many games and I’m not talking about the usual December swoon. Go back to the October game against the Lions where they squandered a 24 point lead thanks in part to Romo meltdowns! Remember the two interceptions returned for TD’s and a final pick that set up the winning kick in the 34-30 loss to the Lions? Okay, water under the bridge or crying over spilt milk, but he could use some redemption. What better way to shut up critics than to lead the Boys off the field heading into the playoffs?

Garrett, who is also regularly assailed on sports talk across the metroplex, makes the list for a myriad of coaching blunders but none bigger than the Arizona game. We’ll spare you the details but you remember – calling time out with six seconds left, icing the kicker Dan Bailey who just made a 49 yard field goal that would have won the game in regulation. Instead the Cowboys lost in overtime 19-13.

Finally, wild-haired Rob Ryan and his defense! One week, world beaters and analysts talking about Ryan being offered head coaching jobs, and the next week they couldn’t stop Betty White in a Snickers commercial.  Last time the defense got nowhere near Eli Manning.  Somebody needs to rock Manning’s world. No matter what plays Ryan designs they have to work in the second half too. This is when the defense collapsed this year; a deadly combination with the Romo implosions late in many of the Cowboy losses.

So it all comes down to this one game – win or go home. The NFL isn’t stupid; they shifted the showdown to primetime on Sunday night. Let’s hope we all have “happy hangovers” on Monday in DFW.

Too Early

Hats off to Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle who after being blown off the court by the Nuggets 115-93, right after the Christmas day fade in the 105-94 loss to the Heat, didn’t make any excuses. Carlisle said, “I’m the head coach and it’s my job to get these guys ready to play and it’s clear that they’re not.” It’s still early Rick, plenty of hoop left and nobody is blaming you – yet.

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