Cowboys 19, Panthers 14: Dallas Straps on Beer Goggles, Takes Home an Ugly One

Categories: Sports

ratliff_speech.jpg
dallascowboys.com
So, uh, you know, let's try not to lose this thing.
Friday afternoon, tragedy struck. America laughed while Big Tex smoldered, fairgoers having no free hands to wipe the tears as they double-fisted turkey legs and corn dogs. With the memory of the deep-fried deity lighting a fire in their collective boots, the Cowboys stormed out of the locker room and blasted the opening kick-off ... out of bounds. It was misfires like that that plauged the Cowboys all day, keeping them from putting any distance between them and the Panthers in a 19-14 win. If you find yourself feeling a little unsatisfied this morning, just keep telling yourself, "The Cowboys won."

A white-knuckle win against a team that might claim three victories on the year, but a win nonetheless. The difference between 3-3 and 2-4 may not seem like much, but in a clustered NFC East, every victory is precious.

There were still all of the signature markings of a 2012 (or 1998-2011) Cowboys game: inopportune penalties, questionable play calls and an over-reliance on special teams, but sometimes that's what it takes. The ball seemed to bounce the Cowboys' way more often than not, and they leave the Panthers in the rear-view, settling back into that well-worn .500 rut. Let's take a sip of some observations and then chug through the awards.

Hey, At Least The Punt Coverage Is Good: If there was one area that was executed flawlessly by the Cowboys, it was their punting. The mighty leg of Brian Moorman combined with the sure-formed tackling of Eric Frampton and Lance Dunbar resulted in the Panthers averaging one yard per return on four punts. While the on-field performance is fine, it's curious that the Cowboys continue to carry two punters, Moorman and lefty Chris Jones, on the roster. With a team that's been continually bitten by injuries, it seems that offensive line depth or defensive talent would be a higher priority. I suppose when you're busy trying to turn your stadium into Galleria Mall West, things like that go unnoticed.

Cowboys Offense Crushes a Bottle of Ambien: If the Panthers' rushing total of 112 yards seems paltry, then the Cowboys' tally of 85 ground meters is downright embarrassing. With Demarco Murray on the sideline, the combo of Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner struggled for 74 yards on 28 carries against a bottom-feeder Panther rush defense. The passing attack fared only slightly better, keeping the team's head above water with 227 yards.

Romo was efficient and mistake-free, though he did throw a pass directly to stunned Panthers linebacker James Anderson, who dropped the easy pick. Most disturbing of all was the continuing dearth of touchdowns. In order to be an above-.500 team, the Cowboys need to be able to finish drives with seven points as opposed to leaving everything on the foot of Dan Bailey. It cost them the Ravens game and very nearly cost them in Charlotte as well.

Time to Break Out Some More 'Tussin: TIE Phil Costa and Sean Lee -- It seems as though every week has turned into an adventure for the Cowboys medical staff. There hasn't been an entire game this season that has featured the full anticipated starting 11 for the Cowboys' defense. This week, Sean Lee got his turn in the locker room, as he hurt his toe in the third quarter and didn't return. If Lee is lost for even one week, it would be a gigantic blow to the defense. His level of play and familiarity with Rob Ryan's schemes have kept the defense functional these first six weeks.

Lee at least had some company back in the friendly confines, as center Phil Costa suffered an ankle sprain in the second quarter. Jason Garrett deviated from his 10-word press-conference vocabulary to note the injury as "severe," so this one could sting for a while. Fortunately for the Cowboys and backup center Ryan Cook, the Giants are on the table next week, and we all know what happened the last time Cook faced the Giants.

Let's give out a couple awards.


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9 comments
ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

wow a cowboys article and we get 3 fucking comment, actually 2 and a double post, no wonder Tone doesnt give a shit if they have a sports writer.  

DoggyMcGriff
DoggyMcGriff

They won. That's just great. 

The evidence is pretty clear that Jerry is content with a mediocre team. 10-6, 9-7, 8-8, even 6-10- they all make Jerry a lot of money. Similarly, its pretty clear that Cowboys fans are also content with a mediocre team. What will it take for people to stop showing up? How bad do the Cowboys have to be for fans to demand, with their dollars, that Jerry stop playing GM and hire professionals to run the team? I don't know, but whatever the magic number is, we haven't sunk that low yet. 

As a true Cowboys fan, I pray that the Cowboys lose every Sunday, so that this team can finally get headed in the right direction. Every win like this only makes it that much less likely that the Cowboys are going to be very good again in my lifetime. 

SmithyMcGuff
SmithyMcGuff

They won. That's just great. 

The evidence is pretty clear that Jerry is content with a mediocre team. 10-6, 9-7, 8-8, even 6-10- they all make Jerry a lot of money. Similarly, its pretty clear that Cowboys fans are also content with a mediocre team. What will it take for people to stop showing up? How bad do the Cowboys have to be for fans to demand, with their dollars, that Jerry stop playing GM and hire professionals to run the team? I don't know, but whatever the magic number is, we haven't sunk that low yet. 

As a true Cowboys fan, I pray that the Cowboys lose every Sunday, so that this team can finally get headed in the right direction. Every win like this only makes it that much less likely that the Cowboys are going to be very good again in my lifetime. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

The Cowboys still suck... another pathetic undisciplined display , Roll that mess out there next week and Eli will be signing his name on the star at midfield.  Thats ok, im sure the Fan is busy  wrapping its lips around Jerry's shaft today since they won

Fungosity
Fungosity

@Dallas_Observer They need to sit Dez until his contract is up #please #now

justinwbitner
justinwbitner

 @ScottsMerkin I thought there would be more activity as well, but I'm sure the commenters will re-emerge after this Sunday's game, good or bad.

 

To your earlier point, this kind of game against the Giants will almost undoubtedly result in a loss.  The Giants have a knack for the close game.  There are several built-in excuses for this thing to go south (key injuries, consistent penalties), but of course no matter what outcome you expect, the opposite will likely occur.  

 

justinwbitner
justinwbitner

 @DoggyMcGriff At what point does your definition of a "true" Cowboys fan become what people generally call "fairweather?"  I'm not saying that Jerry is doing a great job or that he knows what's best for the team, but just because the team isn't elite doesn't mean it's time to jump ship. 

 

I like to use the example of the Rangers.  Five years ago, you may have said that they aren't worth paying attention to either.  If you'd tuned out that whole time, though, it wouldn't have been as sweet when the Rangers finally did break through in the postseason.  Of course, the big difference there is that the Rangers have a personnel-driven GM that's on the job 24/7. 

BettyLou
BettyLou

@justinwbitner @DoggyMcGriff A true Cowboys fan wants to do what he can to see that they get better. A fake "true" fan shows up every day and lines the shitty owner's pockets with money no matter what the team's management does to make his fan experience a lousy one. A true fan is willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of the team. A fake "true" fan wouldnt dream of sitting out a game or games. Those fans arent true fans, theyre simply addicted to the experience. They dont really give a shit about the teams performance, as long as they can watch.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

 @justinwbitner  @DoggyMcGriff The Rangers were barely worth paying attention to during the last of the Hicks era. And the attendance reflected it. Did it send a message that actually worked? Probably not. Would showing Jerry that his amazing stajium won't always be filled if he doesn't know a GM's ass from a hole in the ground? I think it'd scare the crap out of him if for once there were 20,000 empty seats. And how long are the masochistic goateed mouthbreathers going to be content wasting thousands of dollars on season tickets knowing the team is treading water and the owner makes money anyway? Plus Romo and Witten aren't getting any younger...

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