It is essentially the most disappointing and underachieving season in franchise history.
Never had been more expected of a team that accomplished so little.
Owner Jerry Jones spent $135 million in offseason signing bonuses and guaranteed
money to ensure a Super Bowl run this season after the Cowboys' 13-3 season last
year was one and done in the playoffs.
Jones signed offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to a $3 million annual contract
and they traded three draft picks for wide receiver Roy Williams.
Now Jones is talking about taking everybody to the woodshed following a no-show
performance in the season finale against the Eagles.
With a winner-take-all spot as the last playoff team on the line, the Cowboys
didn't even come out to fight, losing 44-6.
The Cowboys finished 9-7 one year after going 13-3 in the regular season. Coach
Wade Phillips has now guided the Cowboys to a 10-10 record after starting the
2007 season 12-1.
The Cowboys have taken a step back under Phillips. Yet Jones said there will be
no coaching changes. He said continuity is the way to go and plans to keep the
coaching staff intact.
What went right: The Cowboys had a strong draft class. Rookie running backs
Felix Jones and Tashard Choice are keepers and should be strong producers for
seasons to come. Tight end Martellus Bennett showed flashes as a nice complement
to Jason Witten. Rookie cornerback Orlando Scandrick, a fifth-round pick, showed
that he will eventually develop into a starter. He outplayed first-round pick
Defensively, the Cowboys got great performances from linebacker DeMarcus Ware,
who led the league with 20 sacks, just 2.5 short of the league record, nose
tackle Jay Ratliff, who made his first Pro Bowl, and middle linebacker Bradie
James had 195 tackles and seven sacks.
What went wrong: Let us count the ways. Injuries top the list as the Cowboys
lost safety Roy Williams, rookie running back Felix Jones and guard Kyle Kosier
for the season. They also lost quarterback Tony Romo for three games, which
resulted in two losses that might have made a difference in the season.
Cornerback Terence Newman missed six games with a hernia to severely hamper the
There was the failed experiment with Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was suspended for
six games after being reinstated following his 2007 season-long suspension.
But the biggest disconnect was on offense, where the Cowboys' attack misfired all
season. The Cowboys never unveiled the explosive big-play attack they had in
Wider receiver Terrell Owens blamed offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for not
being able to adjust as teams had adjusted to the Cowboys.
Even Romo blamed Garrett at the end of the season, saying the offense and its
protections got exposed.
The midseason trade for Williams didn't help either as he was never a factor,
catching only 19 passes and scoring one touchdown.
Tallying Up the Damage
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