Power Rankings: Preseason: 4. This week: 30.
Where they stand: Based on expectations, this is probably the worst season in the organization's history. The Dallas Cowboys are 1-7 at the midseason point after being hailed as a Super Bowl favorite. Owner Jerry Jones was finally forced to fire head coach Wade Phillips on Monday once he finally admitted that Phillips had lost the defense. Now, Jason Garrett will have an eight-game audition to see if he can be the full-time head coach. The 6-2 New York Giants await the Cowboys in the Meadowlands and it's not as though Tom Coughlin will have any sympathy. Garrett may need to make some personnel changes immediately.
Falling: It's really tough to single anyone out since so many players have been awful, but we'll give it a try. The Alan Ball experience at safety has been an unmitigated disaster. He's slow to react and once he gets there, he's not big on tackling. Darren Woodson tried to tell the NFC East blog that this secondary would have issues this season, but we wouldn't listen at the time. "Pro Bowl" cornerback Mike Jenkins was supposed to be an elite-level player. But he has been picked on by everyone this season and he has lost standing in this locker room. Mike Sims-Walker and Kenny Britt both have torched Jenkins this season. And I'm sure we're leaving someone out. Oh yeah, throw Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox in there. Star players such as Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware simply haven't met expectations. And I didn't even have time to address this sad offense.
Rising: Dez Bryant is going to be a star in this league. He's one of the few players who has met expectations after missing most of training camp with an ankle injury. He's a threat to score each time he touches the ball and it appears that losing is painful for him. That's more than you can say for a lot of these players. Mat McBriar continues to impress as the punter and I admire the way Terence Newman has fought through injuries to stay on the field. OK, I'm fresh out. Feel free to give me some ideas. Roy Williams got off to a good start, but he hasn't flourished with his old pal from Detroit, Jon Kitna.
Midseason MVP: Let's go with Bryant. I think he's lived up to the ridiculous expectations everyone had for him coming out of the draft.
Outlook: Not good. The Cowboys are obviously out of the playoff race. But there will be intrigue because of the presence of Garrett. If he can win three or four games, Jones will have something to think about at the end of the season. The season got a lot more interesting when he was elevated to head coach. I think you'll see a lot more fiery Garrett than what you're used to seeing. Will the players respond? I have my doubts.