ARLINGTON, Texas – There are regular turkeys that most people eat on this day. Two legs and wings.
And then there’s the turducken, the one that John Madden would bring out after the annual Thanksgiving Day game. It’s got multiple legs pointing in all kinds of directions.
When you start finger-pointing, make sure to grab you one of those turduckens. You’re going to need multiple fingers and toes for this one.
Blame Jason Garrett all you want – he’s the head coach. He deserves the blame and for some reason, he can’t get this team playing better than average right now.
But I’ve said it for weeks and I’ll stick by it even more right now – these players don’t seem to be much better.
This is the holiday where people like to be lazy. All the food comas you get and laying around the couch and eating multiple plates of food, you can find yourself cutting corners.
But don’t do that when you’re blaming this football team.
If you think for one second that Garrett is ruining an ultra-talented team that should be 10-2 or 9-3 but instead is 6-6, I think you’re being lazy in your efforts to place blame.
This is everyone.
The coaching was bad yet again on Thursday. The players might have been worse.
Add those two things together and you get a 26-15 loss to the Bills, who entered this game looking for a second win against a team with a winning record. They don’t get one today since the Cowboys have now fallen to .500 at 6-6.
When I looked at the Bills’ schedule this week, I quickly noticed what a lot of others have figured out about this team – they hadn’t beaten a good football yet.
Guess what, they still haven’t. Not taking anything away from them, they are a good team that finds ways to win. But they certainly didn’t beat a good football team in the Cowboys.
In fact, the Cowboys don’t even look as average as their 6-6 record.
Please don’t mistake this column as an excuse for Garrett and the coaching staff. They’re not doing a good job at all. The Cowboys are rarely ready to play, and they have very questionable decisions with play-calling. From the head coach to down to the coordinators and position coaches, there are way too many mistakes.
But I’m really tired of hearing about all the “talent” on this team. Where? Who?
I mean, if you want to keep saying there are “three Pro Bowlers” on the offensive line, just ask yourself if they’re playing like it. Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin – I’m not calling them out as the culprits, but they are the ones who get the credit when things are going well. But they don’t push people around when it’s first-and-goal at the 9-yard line.
This was a team built to run the ball and dominate the line of scrimmage. But they don’t do it.
It’s not just them, but it affects everything else on offense. The running back hasn’t looked elite all year. Ezekiel Elliott was on his way, but there wasn’t a lot of room to run after the first quarter.
Let’s get to the quarterback. Dak Prescott has been better this year, but today? Probably one of his worst games.
The passes were off too many times, including early in the game when he had Michael Gallup running deep but the pass was underthrown and knocked away. Of course, the big one people remember was the fourth-down pass to Zeke that one-hopped to him. I’m not sure it would’ve been a touchdown, but we’ll never know.
Dak held onto the ball a little long, seemed indecisive at times and just more uncomfortable than we’ve seen. Again, I think he’s been the best player on the team so far, but Thursday wasn’t his best.
OK, this defense. I really don’t think these guys are as good as we thought. We had the two linebackers taking the next step and being one of the best duos in all of football – yeah, hasn’t happened. We thought DeMarcus Lawrence was going to have double-digit sacks and command constant double-teams, but he really hasn’t been the best rusher. D-Law hasn’t been bad, but he’s not the difference maker we thought.
The secondary hasn’t been terrible, but they don’t get any turnovers and have proven to allow some big plays at the worst times.
And, of course, the special teams have been anything but special. I really think it’s time for a new kicker as Brett Maher missed two more. I just think if you’ve got a guy that only kicks well from one hashmark, maybe it’s not the best kicker available – even if he’s got range past 60 yards. It’s the ones from 30 and 40 that matter the most.
I know you guys are still hammering the point to fire Garrett and get a new coach, but again, that’s the easy way. That’s what happened in 2010 when the Cowboys were 1-7 and Jerry Jones couldn’t cut every player so he did what he had to do and fired Wade Phillips.
Obviously, you can’t get rid of every player, nor should you. There are some really good players on this team, but they didn’t really seem to show up on Thursday.
Just remember, when you’re passing around the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and dinner rolls, don’t leave anyone out.
Just like the blame game you’re going to play after this one. Everyone needs a helping or two of that.