That last thing the Cowboys did....was awful. And again, all eyes should swing towards Monte Kiffin. Because of Jerry Jones, there's a lot more 'they don't have the personnel' stuff around than you ordinarily see and this is true and right. But plenty of teams don't have the personnel and basically nobody has ever given up that many yards through the air to one guy, and they have given up the most yards through the air period this season...
And my god, when you're up 6 with a minute to go...I mean would a literal box around CJ at all times have been too much to ask?
As for whoever's calling the plays. I don't know if it's Garrett, Callahan or that sneaky Garallahan, but look. It doesn't matter what 15th century 'handbooke of footballe' running the ball three times with a small lead and 1:24 to go crawled out of. When you look at your actual personnel, which is Joseph Randle and Philip Tanner in the RB slot, Tony Romo, Dez and T-Will in the 'through the air' slot and more or less a swift puff of air (think Glaucoma test) where a secondary should be maybe don't do that when the most likely possibility is exactly what turned out to happen, a loss of 4 total yards and 22 seconds to take a still less-than-one-TD lead.
There is a huge difference, at this point between I know, it's painful, sorry 5 and 3, a 2 win lead on Philly, 3 on WAS and NYG, and all the tiebreaks halfway through the season, and 4-4 and etc. etc. And even a halfway competent plan on either side of the ball would have gotten it done, at the end there.
So we've, unfortunately, reached that point in the season, with that bitter taste of Cowboys despair in our mouths. But it took longer than usual, didn't it?
The good news is, the Vikings are, as they have been for many other teams, very probably the cure for what ails you.
It's not exactly definite. Somehow or another, despite the fact that they can't pass (27th in yards through the air), and despite the fact, even with AP, that they're not in the top half of the NFL in rushing yards, the Vikings have hung some points on some people. They've scored 24 or more 5 times this season, which isn't great news for a team who can't stop anybody doing anything.
But, on the other hand, they're really pretty awful. 1-6, and it's getting worse. Before last week's offensive 'explosion' against the Packers, they'd managed just 17 total points against those well-known juggernauts, the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants. Granted, the Panthers defense is actually pretty immense.
As for the Cowboys, they should get DeMarco Murray back, which, no offense to Joseph Randle who did his best, makes a huge difference. They are also once again facing a team with a hellaciously bad pass defense and should, once again, be able to tee off. The good news is, for once it's not a team with a bad pass defense AND a great passing game to even it out.
From the department of weird stats, the Cowboys opponents have included 3 of the top 5 worst pass defenses in the league in terms of yardage, which, since the Cowboys are the worst, is actually 3 of 4. And additionally, every single team they've played besides St. Louis (19) and Kansas City (8) is in the bottom 8 in that category. Meanwhile, they've also played 5 of the top 10 passing offenses in the league, including Denver and Detroit, numbers one and two. Then you've got Washington at 12, leaving, once again, St. Louis (19) and KC (22) as the outliers. It's pretty weird.
Meanwhile the Vikings have the 30th best passing offense and, yes, Tony Romo's 2,216 yards and 18 TDs look a little better than Ponder's 836 yards, 2 TDs. That's just math. Okay, sure, Ponder's split some snaps with Matt Cassell, but when you think about that, it doesn't make his numbers look better. Obviously, the O-Line is going to have its hands full with Jared Allen, everybody does.
Regardless, if the Cowboys aren't better than the Vikings then this season is pretty different than we figured it was.