Eatman: Worst Time To Play Their Worst Game


CHICAGO – The season isn't over. It just feels that way.

All the stuff we heard from the locker room after the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Bills suggested the Cowboys were definitely about to turn this around and run the table. And it sounded like we were the crazy ones for not believing it.

Still in control of their destiny.

Still confident to get it done because they've done it before.

And they come out in Chicago and do this? This was their response?

The Cowboys needed to have their best game of the season against a Bears team that isn't any good. So what happened? They stumble into Chicago and produce their worst game of the season.

Played their worst game. Coached their worst game. That's a bad combination against any team, especially on the road.

And I don't think the 31-24 score really does this game justice. Sure, the Cowboys got some late scores in the fourth quarter to make it look competitive to the rest of the world that might not have watched or turned it off.

But you guys reading this right now ... you guys know the deal. You know the Bears just straight up "took it to" the Cowboys, as owner Jerry Jones pointed out several times after the game.

It was close at the beginning. It was close at the end. But all the plays in between were virtually dominated by the Bears.

Yeah, the Cowboys are 6-7 and no matter what the Eagles do Monday night against the Giants, they'll still have a share of first place in the NFC East with a tiebreaker advantage.

But at this point, does it feel like they win another game? Seriously, if you play this poorly against the Bears on the road, what makes anyone think they can beat the Rams at home, the Eagles on the road or even the Redskins, who just beat the Panthers.

After this game in Chicago, once again the Cowboys said all the right things about how their confidence is and that it's not over.

But where's the hope? What is there to go on that makes anyone think the Cowboys can right this ship?

What makes this one harder to swallow is just how much they were manhandled by an average team. It's one thing to lose by a couple of points to the Saints on the road, or by four to the Vikings and Patriots.

But this seven-point loss to the Bears felt like 20. And it probably would've and could've been if they didn't let off the gas – on both sides of the ball.

I thought this was the worst game we've seen from the offense since probably the Saints game in Week 4. Dak Prescott wasn't on his game at all and there really was no weather-excuse to blame this time.

They came out strong, looked great as they marched down and scored. But after that, for the second straight week, they didn't have anything else for their opponent.

I hate to say it, but sometimes numbers lie. And right now, the numbers are saying the Cowboys are the No. 1 offense in the league. But they're not.

When they face good defenses, they can't win. Simple as that. Thursday marked the fifth time this year the Cowboys have faced a defense ranked in the top 10. And after this game, they're now 0-5.

On a bigger scale, it's the same thing with this team. They can beat most of the bad teams on the schedule. They can't beat the teams that are really good, pretty good or in this case, pretty average.

The Bears aren't a good team. But they looked pretty darn good on this Thursday night.

So now what? Time for a change? I know that's what the fans want. I know they think a different voice is needed at this time.

Maybe they're right. I know a change is needed somewhere. I don't know if replacing Jason Garrett and promoting some undeserving assistant coach is going to fix anything. Ironically enough, I didn't know if promoting Garrett to head coach back in 2010 was going to do anything either, but yet he managed to at least turn the team in the right direction.

But the circumstances are a bit different now. That was a team that had one victory. This team is still in first place.

That alone makes it complicated.

Yes, changes are needed right now. I'm sure there will be a change at kicker. Maybe some other personnel moves in terms of starting positions and/or playing time.

But none of that will really appease this fan base.

Ultimately, it's up to Jerry Jones to decipher what exact change will occur. But it's obvious that something has to happen. The Cowboys had every reason and every incentive to come out and play their best game of the season.

Instead, they played their worst.