'Mediocre,' maybe, but don't call this year's Dallas Cowboys 'boring'

'Mediocre,' maybe, but don't call this year's Dallas Cowboys 'boring'

Credit: Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Kyle Orton #18 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts during their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on December 29, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA Sports

Posted on January 1, 2014 at 7:32 PM

No one is better than the Dallas Cowboys, when it comes to being average.

They finished 8-8 for a third year in a row. That's happened only two other times: Green Bay did it from 1983-1985, and the Houston/Tennessee Oilers from 1996-1998.

The Cowboys have been doing it since 1997; they're 136-and-136 in the last 17 seasons.

But don't confuse "average" with "boring;" this team is anything but boring.

"We had five losses this year by a total of eight points," said Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett the day after the Cowboys lost to the Eagles, 24-22. "Three one-point losses, a two-point loss, and a three-point loss."

One of those one-point losses should have been a blowout win. Against Green Bay, the Cowboys blew a 26-3 halftime lead. Before that game, the Cowboys were 42-0 in games when they led by at least 20 at halftime.

That was just one of a handful of history-defying losses by this team.

In the Detroit game, the Cowboys were plus four in turnover margin. Going into that game, NFL teams had won 54-of-the-last-55 with that kind of turnover advantage.

Dallas had three games in which they scored 35 points or more; their record in those games was 1-2, the two losses coming to Green Bay (37-36) and Denver (51-48). The rest of the league had a 57-2 record when scoring at least 35 points.

That speaks to the defense, which allowed the most yards in franchise history by about 1,000.

They allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for at least 400 yards against them in four different games. The previous record was three.

Quarterback Tony Romo also made some dubious history in the Broncos game. His passer rating was 140; it was only the second time in 64 games that a quarterback had lost a game with a rating that high and at least 30 pass attempts... and Romo lost the other one, too (against the New York Giants in 2011).

It was an interesting season, but it ends up 8-8 again. Cowboy fans are more than ready for a winning record, no matter how boring it might be.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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