You know it's bad when an NFL player -- a captain no less -- admits that all the outside criticism is affecting his team. I guess not even the laidback Wade Phillips can comfort his Cowboys players right now, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com pointed out Wednesday afternoon.
"Guys have gotten into a rut, to be honest with you,” linebacker Bradie James told reporters Wednesday. “It’s a lot of negativity and a lot of criticism and people don’t respond too well to criticism, no way, shape, form or fashion about it. But the way you play, criticism sometimes is warranted, and that’s what we have to understand."
It's a little sad to hear a professional athlete admit that critics are affecting a team's performance. And just think what it would be like if the Texas Rangers weren't in the World Series right now. Most North Texas sports fans -- and reporters -- aren't consumed with the Cowboys right now. That will change in a couple weeks. I just hope James and his teammates are bracing themselves for what's about to happen.
This is a team that has been coddled by its head coach and its owner since Bill Parcells left following the '06 season. And now you're seeing the fruits of their labor.