10. Brandon Weeden isn’t a good quarterback. But I think we’ve seen enough already to determine that he’s better than Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore. While the Cowboys take their final, futile breaths of 2015, Weeden has led the Texans to two victories in their late-season playoff push. Ouch.
9. I don’t condone losing on purpose between the white lines, but there’s no reason the Cowboys should win next week. Don’t play Dez Bryant against the NFC East champ Redskins, absorb another loss and improve their draft pick. That’s the primary goal in Week 17. Which is awful.
8. Good news: Jason Witten caught a pass in his franchise-record 118th consecutive game. Bad news: His 12-yard catch in the 2nd quarter was his only of the game and he was targeted only twice all game. If there’s one thing Moore should’ve known it was that Witten was his safest, best weapon on the field.
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7. Byron Jones has had a good rookie season and has a chance to be a great player. But, like J.J. Wilcox, he needs to work on his angle. He took a horrible, inside route toward Bills’ running back Mike Gillislee’s game-sealing touchdown down the right sideline.
6. You know the season has gone awry when we’re singing the praises of someone named Deji Olatoye. The undrafted rookie had an end-zone interception and all, but the fact that he was even in uniform in Week 16 is a sign that Plan A was scrapped long ago.
5. If not for a holding penalty Darren McFadden would’ve rushed for 100 yards in this game and 1,000 yards in this season. If he plays next week he’ll get there, needing only three more yards. In a forgettable season, McFadden has been a memorable positive.
4. He’s got a similar skill set, but it’s gonna take a minute until Lucky Whitehead blossoms into Dwayne Harris. While the former Cowboys’ kick-returner flourishes with the Giants, Whitehead Sunday was called for a crucial holding penalty on McFadden’s fourth-quarter run and then fumbled the kickoff after Buffalo’s final touchdown. Yuck.
3. Still hard to stomach this offense. Without Tony Romo we expected a significant drop-off. But not this. Sunday was the fourth consecutive game and 7th time this season that the Cowboys were held to one offensive touchdown or less. Even more embarrassing, that’s four games this season they haven’t scored a touchdown. Moore threw 18 incompletions and 13 completions and Dallas got inside Buffalo’s 44 only once in the second half. For the season the Cowboys have made 41 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, and have scored only 17 touchdowns. Just amazingly inept.
2. One of the few bright spots of the season has to be the return of Sean Lee. Snubbed by the Pro Bowl, he was all over the field again Sunday with 15 tackles, two for a loss and a half-sack. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best linebackers in the business.
1. By my math Sunday was the Cowboys’ most meaningless game since the 5-10 squad started Stephen McGee in the 2010 finale at Philadelphia. By mid-January – or maybe lunch today – we won’t remember anything from this one. But in search of a silver lining, at least Al Jazeera left the Cowboys alone.
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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.