Better late than never.
If any team in the NFL needed a Bye this weekend it’s your Dallas Cowboys. Their bodies are bumped in the form of injuries to Sean Lee, Justin Durant, Jason Hatcher, Miles Austin, et al. And their pride is bruised in the wake of last week’s 32-point humiliation in New Orleans.
In the past the Bye has provided the perfect elixir for what has ailed the Cowboys. Of course it’s rare that they’ve entered their off week this late, or this depressed.
Not since 1990 – the year the NFL jammed a Bye into the 16-game grind – have the Cowboys enjoyed their vacation this late in the season. That’s the good news, that they have a week off to heal and regroup before getting back at it with three games in 16 games weaved around Thanksgiving.
This has typically been the Cowboys’ time of year. Tony Romo is 22-5 in November and historically the Bye has been a success. Since ’90 in the game before their Bye the Cowboys are 17-6. And in the game following their Bye they are 15-8.
But, make no mistake, they have seldom entered the break this low.
In ’08 the Cowboys lost to the Giants 35-14 before the Bye. In ’11 Romo threw three second-half picks in a loss to the Lions entering the break and last year it was five interceptions that lowlighted a 34-18 defeat to the Bears. But never have they suffered such a blowout and been in such disarray entering the Bye.
If the defensive sieve and offensive third-down troubles are fixable, the Cowboys have an important ingredient on their side: Time.
So while we cringe at the thought of starting middle linebacker Ernie Sims and we wonder whatever happened to the Cowboys’ self-anointed “secret sauce”, at least there’s reason for optimism:
The Cowboys won’t lose this weekend. And history suggests they’ll win next Sunday.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.