Only thing missing from Sunday’s 28-17 not-nearly-as-close-as-the-score-indicates loss to the 49ers was a major injury, an Ebola outbreak and perhaps an elevator video of Jerry Jones knocking out the team’s mascot, Rowdy.
Seriously, you couldn’t have scripted a more revolting debut.
Tony Romo was hesitant, rusty and awful. The play-calling – despite a third offensive coordinator in the last three seasons – looked all too familiar. Tyron Smith seemed human. No one in the Cowboys’ secondary got a hand on a pass. And even AT&T Stadium was littered with noticeable patches of 49ers’ red.
San Francisco, remember, was playing without three key defenders in NaVorro Bowman, Glenn Dorsey and Aldon Smith. Yet after the first quarter the 49ers had run four offensive plays – and built a 21-3 lead.
Romo promised to make better decisions. Jason Garrett calmly reacted as if he’d simply dropped his butter knife, and as though he hadn’t actually witnessed a football game and had to watch it again on tape to make sure he saw what he thought he might have seen.
There was no urgency. There was no anger. There is little hope.
The game was over at 28-3 at halftime. It was the largest intermission deficit ever for the Cowboys, who have been playing football since 1960. The second half had all the intensity of a pre-season game. The 49ers took their foot off the Cowboys’ neck, didn’t score in the second half and still were never threatened in the least. This was mercy, and it should have featured a running clock to avoid further embarrassment.
Can’t remember the Cowboys being dominated like that in an opener since a 35-17 loss to the Vikings in Bill Parcells’ second year in 2004. That team limped to 6-10.
If Sunday was any indication, these Cowboys will be lucky to get to that record.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.