The designated driver of truth

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Oct 19, 2008



It's uncommon for us to be the voice of sobriety. After all, our motto is "keep 'em coming barkeep, we got a long drive ahead of us."
 
But we're always the voice of reason.
 
The case of the 2008 Cowboys has proves that we can drink excessively and still drive the bus of analysis without veering off the road.
 
After all, there was so much buzz around the Cowboys this off-season you didn't even have to drink in Dallas to get a glow on. After Tom Brady's Patriots, they were almost everybody's choice to win the Super Bowl. When Brady went down in Week 1, it merely opened up additional floodgates of drunken, factless hackery dedicated to the Cowboys.
 
Naturally, the Cold, Hard Football Facts refused to yield to the hype.
 
Sure, we predicted Dallas would win the NFC East. But the Cowboys love ended right there.
  • We predicted the Cowboys would do nothing in the playoffs.
  • We told you the team had efficiency flaws, as evidenced by our Bendability and Scoreability indices.
  • We pointed out that Wade Phillips was the only coach among the Top 30 winningest of all time without a single playoff victory.
  • We stuck with the Giants at No. 1 one in our preseason Power Rankings, getting ripped by readers and Cowfrauds fans in the process, while much of the known football world placed Dallas ahead of the champs – despite the fact there was not a shred of evidence to support the hunka-hunka burnin' love.
In other words, while the football world got buzzed on Cowboys hooch, we remained the designated driver of truth. So if you rode into 2008 with the Cold, Hard Football Facts, you made it safe to this point in the season.
 
Those behind the wheel of the Cowboys conestoga were not so lucky.
 
The wheels began to wobble on the Cowboys chuck-wagon with Dallas's 26-24 home loss to Washington back in Week 4.
 
The Cowboys bandwagon looked even shakier in a 9-point victory over the winless Bengals and a 30-26 loss last week at Arizona.
 
The wheels not only fell off the wagon Sunday, the entire ride went careening over the ridge, taking the lives of all those aboard, as Dallas was humiliated by the one-win Rams, 34-14.
 
Tony Romo, of course, was injured the week before, so the offensive load fell on the shoulders of aging Brad Johnson, who was terrible, completing just 50 percent of his passes with three picks. But that's only part of the story.
 
The real story, as we pointed out in this week's Monday Morning Hangover, is that the Dallas defense imploded in the face of what had been one of the league's worst teams and worst offenses.
 
Dallas is a team that sent 11 players to the Pro Bowl last year, more even than the undefeated Patriots. Then they were bounced in the first round of the playoffs, at home. Clearly, this was a team that was never as good as the "pundits" wanted you to believe, and a team that benefitted from its status as "America's Team" and one of the most glamorous franchises in all of sports. Basically, the glitz blinded people to a team that the Cowboys had some fundamental flaws ...
  • It's not particularly well coached.
  • It's not as talented as the "pundits" would lead you to believe.
  • It was not a great defensive team.
  • And it does not play particularly smart football.
The flaws were exposed for all to see following the 20-point loss to one of the worst teams in football.
 
In fact, after a rocky few weeks, the bandwagon was already shedding tuba players before Sunday.
 
As one Dallas fan, Kenan Rappuchi, wrote to us on Friday, "Can you please tell me if we will continue to be frauds all year? I need the facts, so I know what caliber handgun to get for my 12-year-and-counting December shooting spree. This year, I hope the dog gets it."
 
Well, let the bullets fly, Kenan. But remember ... alcohol and bullets, like "pundits" and hype, are a very combustible mixture.

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