Pat Kinnison

Are Cowboys At A Crossroads On Saturday?

The Cowboys season could be hanging in the balance after last Saturday's 35-24 loss to Baylor and then OSU donor Boone Pickens calling out head coach Mike Gundy this week in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.

I've seen days like this. It happened once or twice during the Les Miles era and it has happened on a couple of occasions during the Mike Gundy era.

The most recent was the 2014 season and on the eve of Bedlam that season in Norman. Oklahoma State was staring a 5-7 season right in the face and the end of a streak of eight straight bowl game appearances. Mason Rudolph came out of redshirt in the previous game and in Norman that Saturday OU head coach Bob Stoops took a penalty that gave Oklahoma State a second chance at a punt return and speedster and now budding Kansas City Chiefs star Tyreek Hill took full advantage of it.

The Tuesday before the game, OSU coaches had taken Sunday and Monday to go recruiting, and Gundy gave his most unusual and perplexing press conference. He gave off the aura of a man that was on the brink of chucking his job and going off on a sabbatical.

The Hill punt return and dominant overtime against the Sooners led to the win and Gundy was holding "selfie" parties for fans a few weeks later, both in Stillwater and in Phoenix prior to the Cactus Bowl win over Washington. Also, during that time was a Kumbaya moment as OSU donor Boone Pickens, athletic director Mike Holder, and Gundy smiled and took pictures together. The bridge over troubled waters lasted into the 2015 season, but not beyond.

Now, in less than a month's time Pickens has called out Gundy in the media and the most recent interview with the Austin American-Statesman also called out OU President and Big 12 Chair of the Board of Directors David Boren.

I'm not betting on any "break up to make up" scenario this time. I can tell you based on very unscientific returns from callers and texters on Sportstalk with Robert Allen and Friends that the margin is running 9-out-of-10 in favor of Gundy.

My hope is somehow Oklahoma State factions, even if they can't get along, will at least simmer in silence. The outward expressions can only serve to help the opposition. I can easily see Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury or Baylor assistant Kendall Briles, or TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham carrying a copy of the Dallas Morning News into a recruit's home trying to persuade him from going to play for Mike Gundy based on comments about the coach from the man that is supposed to be one of the school's biggest backers.

I would say can't we all just get along, but instead I'll say can't we just suppress it from our rivals. My greatest hope is that Gundy, his staff, and the Cowboy players persevere through the week, continue a good week of practice, and then get a big win over Texas on Saturday. As we've seen in the past big wins over powerhouse rivals can always fuel some good feelings.  


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