I’ll admit, it was an entertaining, if frustrating, game for Cowboys fans last night. The expected news, but bad news regardless, is that this loss kills any hope (however small it was to begin with) that the Cowboys make the playoffs through the miracles of other team’s failure. They are now going to have a losing season. Given the defense is ranked 31st in the NFL, maybe that shouldn’t be surprising?
“We didn’t play good enough,” Brooking said. “That last drive we had an opportunity to stop them, and we didn’t. They absolutely just gashed us.
Now the defense did do a great job of holding Vick. McCoy and Jackson, not so much. In particular, Jackson beats Jenkins on a bad gamble by Jenkins who dove for the blocked pass, missed, and sent Jackson to the races resulting in a touchdown. Yep, Jenkins again. Bad decision making from a cornerback hurts no doubt. But he gambled without backup, and lost, for the play and also for the team. There are no assurances that the Eagles wouldn’t have gone on to score anyway, but that play essentially killed the game for the Cowboys.
None was more impressive, nor as demoralizing, as Jackson’s 91-yard touchdown catch and run in the fourth quarter.
With the Eagles pinned at their nine-yard line, Vick threw an out pattern to Jackson on the left sideline.
Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins made the fatal mistake of diving to try and knock down the pass. Jenkins whiffed and Jackson was gone.
Jackson cut back across the field and stopped at the pylon to slowly fall backwards into the end zone, like he was in an old iced tea commercial.
So they officially fall out of any chances of the playoffs:
Sunday’s loss officially killed the Cowboys’ playoff chances, too. Somehow at 8-8 there was a back door the Cowboys could sneak through into a wild-card spot if Green Bay, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay all lost the rest of their games.Realistically, that wasn’t going to happen. But even the craziest of scenarios is inconsequential now that the Cowboys are 4-9 and in need of a win over Washington Sunday to keep from clinching last place in the East.
So after it is all said and done, does Garrett stay as head coach? Sure the Cowboys are playing better and showing more discipline and grit than they did under Phillips, but they are still losing the big games. This was a winable game, as were many before it this season, and the Cowboys didn’t close. Offensive line, probably needs help. Defense, most certainly needs help. Garrett, we’ll see, but since he was part of the problem in the first part of the season as offensive coordinator, I’m hard pressed to give him too much leeway in the latter part of the season. He made visible and effective changes, but things are not better yet.
Although Phillips deserved to be fired after the team cratered in midseason losses to Jacksonville and Green Bay, you might recall that the Cowboys’ first five defeats came by margins of six, seven, seven, three and six.
Phillips always had a disconcerting way of saying his team won the second half or the yardage battle or some other irrelevant statistic.
If you’re going to penalize Phillips for those failures, you can’t give too much credit to the interim coach for these close-but-no-cigar defeats.
I like the close games, they are entertaining, but I would rather win and move to the post season than play entertaining but losing football. At least it’s better than not entertaining and still losing we had earlier, if that’s any consolation.