Monday, December 29, 2008

Skins' "Collapse" Really Not That Bad

Give Dan Wetzel a Pulitzer. Maybe the award is only for newspapers, and Yahoo! Sports online contributors are not eligible, but give this guy something for his brutally accurate and downright lyrical piece entitled “Cowboys, not Lions, were top flops.”

It’s so rare that a couple dozen paragraphs put such a profound perspective on an NFL season. While the Jason LaCanforas of DC gleefully revel in a Redskins 8-8 season and never cease to remind us of the “disastrous” decisions made by the ‘Skins collective braintrust, Wetzel reminds us of how much worse off the Cowboys are.

Some gems from this beautiful calling-out of the frauds in Dallas:

“The Detroit Lions became the first team to go 0-16 in league history but the most disastrous season in the NFL this year belongs to the Cowboys.”

“[The season] was a train wreck of melodrama, mistakes and misplaced priorities. For Dallas to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs with that much talent is an epic failure.”

“Tony Romo continued to fall apart after Dec. 1” (my birthday; what greater gift?)

“Repeated late season collapses – the Cowboys have lost their last nine regular-season finales, and have done nothing in the playoffs – are in this team’s DNA.”

Perhaps most importantly, Wetzel reminds us:

“At midseason, owner Jerry Jones even mortgaged some of the team’s future to get more talent. He traded a first-, third- and sixth-round draft pick to Detroit for receiver Roy Williams. Like most of Dallas’ moves, it didn’t pan out. Williams caught just 19 passes in 10 games.”

So it seems there are other owners/pseudo-GMs out there capable of making poor decisions about trading draft picks! One would be correct in mistakenly thinking such dundering was limited to Washington, with all the previously referred to optimism-hating abounding in local publications.

There you have it: Dallas is worse than 0-16 Detroit, making the 2008 Cowboys The Worst Team of All-Time (relative to expectations).

Remember when the ‘Boys were 3-0, virtually anointed by ESPN as a 16-0 Super Bowl contender, lauded as unstoppable, with all melodrama left far behind them, and a lock to destroy a weak Redskins team at home? A less lazy blogger might dig up some damning quotes from the likes of Chris Berman, Peter King (what’s he going to do with no Romo or Favre in the playoffs, by the way?), et al, but that blogger doesn’t live here anymore (as evidenced by his first post since before Thanksgiving).

What about more failures much more spectacular than the Redskins 8-8 record?

The Broncos lost their last three games to gag away a division title, which they eventually lost to an 8-8 team.

The Bucs lost their last four to go from 9-3 and in command of their division to 9-7 and in the same could-have/should-have boat as the Cowboys.

The Jets, those Titan-killers of November 23 that spawned so much all-New-York-Super-Bowl frenzy, lost four of their last five as Brett Favre nicely evened out his TD/Int ratio to miss the playoffs, sending Peter King and John Madden into a depression from which they may never recover.

Washington at 8-8 doesn’t seem that bad anymore. That 6-2 start was just a teasing taste of things to come. Plus, now the Skins get another crack at the Lions next season, and a revenge date with the Rams. They finished where many thought they might, unlike that team of fraudulent false gods in Dallas.


Minor Thread said...

December/January Pleasures:
1a: Skins contending in the playoffs
1b: Dallas Meltdown

Luckily, we have had plenty of 1b these past ten years, if little of 1a.

I still think the Skins have far too much in common with the Cowboys (meddling owner, weaker head coach), and that's their problem. There's a reason the NFC East has been dominated by the Giants and Eagles this past decade.

I had your optimism in 2000, but the burgundy-tinted glasses are having trouble overlooking the zero division titles since Norville.

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