Oh sure, there are 11 games left, and anything can happen. But at 1-4, the Cowboys would really be hoping for a miracle.
And while they will continue to fight and battle, they are also now resigned to the fact that they are what they are: a bad football team with no hopes of a turnaround if they continue to go down that path. Owner Jerry Jones acknowledges that he is not optimistic.
That's a huge statement for the always-positive Jones, who actually put the most pressure on his team with his talk in the preseason about making history. The Super Bowl is held at the Cowboys' $1.2 billion facility in February, and Jones wanted to the first team to win a Super Bowl at home.
Playoff talk is now out the window. Jones is only hoping for the tiniest of baby steps — winning one game. Or rather, winning a second game this year. His team is now in the midst of its second two-game losing streak, sandwiching a win against the Texans Sept. 26.
Asked if he would consider making a coaching change from embattled Wade Phillips, considering his team's penalty-prone ways and penchant for not playing smart football, Jones declined.
He said the problems are not just with Phillips and the coaching staff. They go from the top on down, him included.
"I'm not (optimistic)," Jones said. "I'm very disappointed. But I would never consider firing a coach during the season. I accept all the blame. We are 1-4. One undeniable fact is you go by your record and you go by the score. Can we come out better in the future? I think we can, but we've got to stick together."
Receiver Roy Williams says the Cowboys have the talent to right themselves. He came to Dallas from hapless Detroit and knows a bad team when he sees one. He says the Cowboys just must find a way to quit beating themselves.
Of course, that's hard to do because the same problems have been plaguing them in every game. Penalties, turnovers, missed assignments and miscues.
"I've never been through this," defensive end Marcus Spears said. "It's heart-wrenching. We are going to fight. But we are what we are right now. We are one and four. We are not in the top of the NFL. It's just what it is. That's the answer. Until we can turn this thing around and stop killing ourselves, we will have this conversation again."
It has already been a long season in Dallas, and it's certainly not what the Cowboys expected.
"When you are 1-4, it's not a situation you like to be in," quarterback Tony Romo said. "It's not ideal. It's frustrating and very disappointing. Every day is not an enjoyable day. There are a lot of sleepless nights."
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