After a 14-0 deficit from 2 INTs, you’d think things were out of hand. At 21-3 the stat guys even had bad news for the Cowboys, it was back in the 80s when the Cowboys had overcome a deficit this large (18 or more) to win. But giving credit where it is due, Kitna and Stephen McGee (after Kitna was hurt) didn’t let that slow them down, and the team rallied to get a 26-24 lead at the 1:46 mark of the fourth quarter. It should’ve been 27-24, but Buehler missed the extra point. Yep, that’s right the extra point. But with 1:46 left and a lead, it just takes some defense and the game is done and a great comeback is in the books. Oh wait, did we need defense? Well so much for that one.
The Cowboys have already allowed more points this season than at any time in club history.
Season Points allowed 2010 423 2004 405 1962 402 1989 393
So the wondering public (or maybe just me) is wondering, who takes that credit and who takes that blame? Sure Garrett can’t control the INTs, and the comeback was great. But an L is still an L and he’s now not the wonder kid replacement coach he might’ve been. Yet in the end, the extra point, wasn’t extra nor a point because Buehler missed what has got to the most practiced kick in the NFL, college, and even highschool I’d guess. He’s missed 2 of these in his last 40 attempts. Is that coaching, or just bad player discipline, bad form, or bad luck? I’ll let Jerry Jones make that call, but my opinion is it isn’t luck, and player skills are improved by discipline and practice, which is a coaching issue. The play of the entire defenseive unit, which could’ve made that kick not so important, lacked what was needed as well. Coaching.
So despite all of this, we knew the Cowboys were not going to playoffs, but there is other news to watch. Stephen McGee played well, taking his first NFL snaps in this game, and doing well with the team and handling the situation nicely. Sure he’ll need more time under center to get finely tuned, but he played well. And curiously, despite the abysmal season for the Cowboys, they got 5 selections for the Pro Bowl starting team this year, with only Atlanta and New England getting more this year. Witten is having a great year.
So in the end, the Cowboys seem to be exactly what the season indicates. A talented group of individuals, not a talented team. Let’s hope the off-season changes the team dynamic for the better.