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Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders is hardly the first NFL observer to point out that the Dallas Cowboys are hapless. However, the way that he went about it suggests that Sanders has fallen into the same trap that Jerry Jones fell into on his way to contributing to this giant mess.

Sanders is right to point out that the Cowboys need help, but he’s gone looking for that help in the wrong places.

The Dallas Cowboys were dreadful, again

The only thing worse than having to watch one of the NFC East’s four horrible teams play on national television is having to watch two of them. Unfortunately, football fans witnessed precisely that to cap off the Sunday schedule in NFL Week 8. The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles were as hideous as expected for a pair of teams with losing records in the losingest division in the NFL.

Cowboys third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci was just 21-for-40 for 180 yards … and he was the better starting signal-caller. Carson Wentz of the Eagles threw for two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball away twice.

The teams were a combined 9-for-31 in converting third and fourth downs. Despite that, the Eagles were able to ride Boston Scott’s 70 rushing yards and seven Cowboys penalties (four went for first downs) for 68 yards to a 23-9 victory at Lincoln Financial Field to improve to 3-4-1 atop the NFC East standings.

Deion Sanders’ joke about the Dallas Cowboys highlights their problem

Despite all the awfulness, the Dallas Cowboys were leading the Philadelphia Eagles at halftime, 9-7, thanks to three field goals by Greg Zuerlein.

Still, it was too much for Deion Sanders to watch. Sanders was already halfway through his NFL career when he joined the Cowboys for five seasons beginning in 1995. He earned first-team All-Pro honors three times as a Cowboy, winning a Super Bowl that first year and reaching the playoffs three more times before moving on to the Washington Redskins in 2000.

“All former @dallascowboys that were real ballers between 92-96 I believe @TroyAikman has a plane let’s meet at Love Field to go the Philadelphia,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “We can be there by halftime if @CharlesHaley94 & @michaelirvin88 are on time. I can’t take this anymore! We’ve got to help now. #Truth.”

Former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin had already registered his frustrations last week.

“The Cowboys had people really thinking, including myself, that they were ready to be Super Bowl-bound, and they’ve been a Super bust,” Irvin said during an interview on 95.7 The Game.

But haven’t owner Jerry Jones and a lot of fans been guilty of believing pretty much the same thing annually since not long after the run of three Super Bowl victories in four years in the early 1990s? They’ve presumed every nine- or 10-win season since has put them on the doorstep of winning it all.

What’s happened in the past, whether it was driven by Deion Sanders in 1995 or Tony Romo in 2010, isn’t going to help fix the here and now.

It won’t get better as long as Jerry Jones makes the decisions

There are two ongoing problems with the Dallas Cowboys this season.

The first is injuries. With both starting tackles lost for the season and other starters lost for shorter durations, the offensive line has struggled. Center Travis Frederick retired in the spring, and the situation has grown progressively worse.

Tack on the season-ending injury to fifth-year quarterback Dak Prescott and then Andy Dalton’s concussion, and Dallas is hurting at the most important position on the field.

The second issue is the defense. The Cowboys allow a league-worst 170.9 rushing yards per game and are fifth from the bottom in third-down efficiency. Throw in their NFL-worst total of seven takeaways and it’s understandable why they’re surrendering 33.3 points a game.

But the real issue is that the Cowboys have been living in the past for at least 15 years.

Maybe it’s time to accept the fact that, even in the Cowboys’ best seasons, there’s typically only one other team per year in the NFL East that isn’t inept. Four or five winnable divisional wins a year hide the fact that Jerry Jones has spent big over the years but hasn’t necessarily picked the right players.

He’s changed coaches. He’s changed quarterbacks. Maybe it’s time for Jerry Jones to hire a football guy to make all personnel decisions, because Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin ain’t coming back.

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