The Dallas Cowboys are in panic mode. Their season is spiraling out of control and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but a lot of it must go to the person who assembled the team: owner Jerry Jones. While the Cowboys have grappled with mediocrity for a while, it’s unclear whether Jones sees the franchise’s need for change.
He may have gotten the wake-up call he needed with one of the Cowboys’ recent losses. The question is, will he listen?
The Cowboys’ preseason expectations
The Cowboys are coming off a rough couple of decades. They have yet to qualify for so much as an NFC title game since the mid-90s. While they’ve been to the playoffs multiple times since their 90s heyday, they’re struggled to get much further.
Over the last decade, they were mostly average under head coach Jason Garrett. Last season they finished a disappointing 8-8, choking away an early-season division lead. This was the last straw for Garrett. Jones fired him and turned to former Green Bay Packers’ coach Mike McCarthy.
Heading into this season, the Cowboys were favorites in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles, the reigning division champions, were banged up. The Washington Football Team was in disarray while the New York Giants weren’t expected to be competitive at all (a promise on which they’ve delivered). It seemed like the NFC East was a clean slate, there for the taking. It has not gone according to plan for Dallas, however.
The Cowboys’ 2020 season so far
The Cowboys are off to a horrific start through the first half of the 2020 season. They are currently in third place at 2-6, according to ESPN. Only the awful Giants at 1-7 are keeping Dallas out of the cellar. Dallas’s defense has been especially bad, giving up 33.3 points per game. That’s worst in the NFL.
While they weren’t winning before it, a season-ending injury to quarterback Dak Prescott certainly didn’t help anything either. Their fate now rests in the hands of Andy Dalton, a quarterback who qualifies as a solid backup but who leaves much to be desired when he’s asked to carry a team for the bulk of a season.
With eight games remaining, Dallas finds themselves at a serious crossroads. But what was the true low point for this dumpster fire of a season? It actually came during their last game, and it may be exactly what Jones needed to see to be convinced of how far they’ve fallen.
The wakeup call Jerry Jones needed
The Cowboys lost to a bad and beaten up Philadelphia Eagles team on Sunday Night Football. This is bad enough on its own — losing to an NFC East opponent is almost doubly worse than losing to another team as it sends you even farther behind in the standings. But this loss stood out for historic purposes.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Eagles won despite gaining less than 250 yards of total offense. That’s the first time a team has won with such offensive futility since the 1982 playoffs. Philly also turned the ball over four times and allowed four sacks. Against most other teams, that’s a recipe for a blowout loss. Against Dallas, it served as only a mild setback.
Of all the pitiful Cowboys’ performances this year, this one may have been the worst. Now it’s up to Jones to course-correct before the team ends up sliding even further into oblivion. Whether he gets the point this time is anyone’s guess.