|No matter what Wade Phillips says, this team believed it was a Super Bowl contender. It feels like the Cowboys have packed three seasons into one and the embarrassing loss to the Eagles was a punch to the gut. They started out hot, but the cracks began to show in losses to the Redskins and Cardinals. Tony Romo's broken right pinkie finger kept him out for three games, and it exposed the club's decision to enter a season with Brad Johnson as its backup. Jerry Jones will now try to use the Romo injury as an excuse. |
Romo led the Cowboys to a win over the Redskins in his first game back, but it was the arrival of the defense that almost saved the season. Along the way, the Cowboys dealt with the Pacman Jones suspension and T.O.'s alleged jealousy of Romo and Jason Witten's relationship. In most seasons, a trade for an elite wide receiver such as Roy Williams would qualify as a big deal, but in 2008, it only served as an interesting footnote. Jones has given Phillips his vote of approval, which is baffling. Grade: D-
Biggest surprise: Cowboys rookie Tashard Choice has been one of the bright spots in a season full of distractions. First-round pick Felix Jones was brilliant at times early in the season, but a toe injury landed him on injured reserve. When Marion Barber suffered a toe injury, Choice was thrust into a starting role. He responded in a big way and the Cowboys could end up with a three-man rotation similar to what the Giants have in 2009.
Biggest disappointment: The fact that Terrell Owens has become an ordinary receiver. His apologists will point to his 10 touchdowns as evidence of his relevance, but in reality, teams figured out how to eliminate him for the most part. He had two huge games -- the first game against the Eagles and the home game against the 49ers. Other than that, he put up numbers befitting a solid No. 2 receiver. The aforementioned Williams should also share in the disappointment. For whatever reason, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett couldn't get him involved in the offense, and so far, the trade was the closest thing the Lions had to a win this season.
Biggest need: Someone who will actually hold players accountable, but apparently that hire won't be made. The Cowboys will probably lose Zach Thomas, so they could use more depth at inside linebacker. It would also help to bring in some reliable help at safety. There's no guarantee they bring back Roy Williams at that position.
Best moment of the season: The win against Tampa Bay sort of gets lost in the shuffle now, but it went a long way in stopping the bleeding caused by Romo's absence. Wade Phillips was instructed by Jerry Jones to take over the defensive play calling, which was something Phillips didn't admit until he was certain the defense was succeeding a few weeks later. The Cowboys battered Jeff Garcia for much of the game, and for the first time in weeks, the team had an identity.