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Digging a hole, then coming back, while effective against Cleveland, did not work today

Tim's picture

On Thanksgiving the Cowboys showed us their very best and their very worst. Their worst ranks down with the very worst in the whole league. Their best - well, its okay, I guess, but it just isn't good enough.

Want the excuses? Okay, let's take a look at a few names from the opening day roster who were out today (including a couple who got hurt today and missed much of the game):

RB DeMarco Murray
C Phil Costa and his back-up Ryan Cook
RG McKenzy Bernadeau (not hurt, but playing out of position)
LT Tyron Smith
WR Miles Austin and his back-up Kevin Ogletree
NT Jay Ratliff
ILB Sean Lee and his back-up Bruce Carter
SS Barry Church

Some key rotation guys:
DE Kenyon Coleman
CB Orlando Scandrick (#3 CB and nickel/slot corner)
DE Sean Lissemore

Two more, back-ups who were on the depth chart at the season's start:
S Matt Johnson

So that's three out of five OL starters, two of the top five wide receivers, the starting running back, four of the top six safeties, two of the top four defensive ends and the #3 cornerback.

I might be missing a few - this is off the top of my head.

So that's out of the way. Here's the reality: when they had chances, the stars didn't come through, either. Miles Austin did not miss the whole game. He was in long enough to drop both passes thrown his way, including one that would have been a touchdown. Dez Bryant, who had a really nice game, also dropped a touchdown. That one might have been futile, but with a minute and one time-out remaining, it was pretty much the last glimmer of hope. And he needed to make up for his fumble earlier in the day anyway. Brandon Carr got burned. DeMarcus Ware got handled by Trent Williams, and was a step too late to make the play on his one big hit. Tony Romo threw for a career high 441 yards and his 26th career three touchdown game. He might have had a win, too, if he hadn't thrown the ball to the Redskins twice.

Was that a pass interference that should have negated the first interception? I thought so. When you shove the receiver and he is halfway to the ground before you catch the ball, that's probably interference.

But here's the thing: when RG3 threw behind his receiver, Bruce Carter didn't adjust to it, Pierre Garcon did. Because lucky bounces happen, but they're only lucky if you are good enough to take advantage of them. The Cowboys are not unlucky. Their stars are just not good enough, even when the opportunities are there.