Ernie Sims #59 of the Dallas Cowboys tries to tackle Robert Meachem #17 of the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 10, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans won the game 49-17.
Sorry, Cowboys fans. But last night’s 49-17 loss in New Orleans wasn’t a quit or a laydown or grounds for firing everybody in sight.
Nope, rather it was just confirmation that the 2013 Cowboys are what we thought they were – a mediocre team capable of both pushing the undefeated Chiefs and 1-loss Broncos, but also getting blown out on the road by the NFC’s second-best team.
There’s quitting. And there’s not being very good. You wanted to see a lack of effort so you can yell and scream and have a valid argument for sweeping changes during next week’s bye. But what you got instead was acceptable effort from sub-par talent that resulted in an embarrassing performance.
But there is a distinct, important difference between can’t and won’t. Please get that straight.
Jeff Heath tries his butt off. He’s just not very good. Same with Jakar Hamilton. And Ernie Sims. Micah Pellerin. Drake Nevis. Jarius Wynn. Kyle Bosworth. Et al.
The Cowboys entered training camp with .500 talent. They need some luck to get to 9-7, much less 10-6. While they’re fortunate to play in the NFL’s worst division and are somehow tied for first place at 5-5, their injuries in the defense make it almost impossible to suit up a competitive unit. Especially against one of the league’s best offenses.
At one point Sunday night Monte Kiffin’s besieged defense featured three undrafted free agents in the secondary, a linebacker who wasn’t in training camp and three linemen who were signed after Week 3. Now, think about that. Did they quit? Or perhaps are they just not very good?
If you want to bemoan the lack of depth on this team due to bad drafts and poor salary-cap management, we can have that discussion. But that’s different than accusing players on the field from quitting.
I predicted this team would finish 8-8. For a change, Jerry Jones didn’t even hint at the phrase “Super Bowl” when talking about his team’s expectations. The bar has been lowered. The Cowboys aren’t underachieving.
Please, stop being handed the keys to a Ford Fiesta and getting mad when it doesn’t drive like a Porsche.
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.