By Keysha Hogan
Great potential and endless talent is almost meaningless when teams fail to win games. This week’s Cowboys loss to the Baltimore Ravens was particularly frustrating because success was within reach. In last 8 minutes of the game, the offense seemed disorganized as they began to implode. Players were taking their time out of the huddle, and collectively they racked up 35 yards in penalties on a single drive, but eventually fought their way into the end zone.
After this small taste of victory, the hits just kept coming. Dez Bryant dropped the 2-point conversion and time-outs were mismanaged. Under pressure, their leaders panicked and the team was backed into a hurried 51-yard field goal attempt. There was clearly no plan and the clock expired.
So what happened? All of the interceptions, dropped passes and unfocused playing must be attributed to something. Each year focus shifts from the QB, to Jerry Jones and to the coaching staff trying to figure out what needs to change in order to win some ball games. Is it possible that failure has finally become familiar? Or maybe it doesn’t matter how well the first half goes because they’ll just allow self-sabotage to rear its ugly head?
I’m willing to bet that in many in the Cowboys organization are traditional “Type A” personalities. They are the bunch that is made up of the competitive, proactive, ambitious workaholic multi-taskers. Often they miss simple solutions to problems because they are overlooking important details, which in turn create bigger problems. For example, not paying attention to the game clock and mismanaging time outs or being preoccupied with everyone else’s job and position and not catching the ball.
And while I’m dolling out blanket diagnoses, I’m pretty sure that fans, especially those of you with JerryWorld tickets, have become ambivalent about our team. When former Cowboys’ QB and Patron Saint of WingStop, Troy Aikman stopped by The Ticket last week he spoke about the how quiet it is during the game. “I don’t think Dallas has ever really had a great home field advantage, “said Aikman. “There was no way you could go down there near the goal line and use hard count in an opposing stadium and yet in Texas Stadium, teams did it all the time.” I know that after shelling out for high-priced tickets and sitting in front of that ginormous screen, it’s easy to kick back and enjoy the show, but c’mon we’ve got to turn this thing around.
It’s tough to decide if we, as increasingly fickle and hostile fans, are the enemy or the players’ crippling mental mindsets. But we must find the answer. Face it, we are the kid whose older sibling is using our hand as a weapon and screaming “Why are you hitting yourself!?” Something is forcing our hand to do make these mistakes. With any luck, we’ll get out for own way deal with these issues before something extreme happens and we spend another playoff season upset and regretful.