First off, I’m blogging through tragedy right now, so please commend me. My palms are sweating, my heart is pounding, and I’m stuck in an eternal warp of crippling depression brought upon me by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, I’m not the only depressed fan though.
This team will not stop ripping out the hearts of its fans on a yearly basis. Like, if we’re gonna lose, can we just get blown out? The number of times I transitioned from screaming in celebration to being sprawled out on the floor praying to be run over by an 18-wheeler was absolutely astronomical. Here’s a list off all the times my heart was completely snapped in half by this team today. I guarantee I’m missing a few, there’s just too many to count, but these are the ones that really got me.
This team came out today like they didn’t know they had an NFL playoff game to partake in. The 49ers jumped out to a 13-0 lead, and the Cowboys looked like they were participating in a hungover Saturday morning walkthrough practice. If they came out with the slightest bit of intensity maybe they would’ve had to rely on a 16 point fourth-quarter comeback that was never gonna happen. You can honestly blame this one, as you can with pretty much everything else in this game, on McCarthy. How do you not have your team fired up for a playoff game?
If you’ve read one piece of my writing surrounding the Dallas Cowboys this season, you’d be aware that a constant theme of my Sundays for the last 20 weeks has been resisting the urge to slam my head into the wall after the Cowboys continue to be the most penalized team in the league. Luckily today they got that all sorted out, and played really disciplined football. No. It was horrible. They had 14 penalties, and they all seemed to come in the worst possible situations. 5 of them were pre-snap, and on the most crucial defensive drive of the game, they allowed two first downs from penalties. It got to the point where every time I saw the little FLAG box pop up in the corner of the screen I would feel all happiness in body being sucked into a polar vortex of Mike McCarthy rage. It’s every week with this team.
The Fake Punt
This didn’t end up having that big of an influence on the game, but it should be noted that the fake punt sequence was a microcosm of this entire game. We run and execute an awesome fake punt play to complete perfection, and then completely botch everything that immediately followed it. McCarthy somehow thought he would be able to outsmart Shannahan, which was never gonna happen, and then tries to get too fancy and takes a five-yard delay of game, which basically kills the drive. Was that not the whole game in a two-play sequence? Finally, something goes your way, and you just immediately shoot yourself in the foot.
You can’t really blame the Cowboys for this one, but Robbie Gould is a real asshole. Coming into the game his season-long was 51 yards. Today he hit for 52 and 53. Right down the middle. That’s six points, AKA the difference in the game. It’s just little luck stuff like that which will NEVER go the Cowboy’s way for as long as I live.
Zeke was awful today. Absolutely terrible. It’s been obvious for weeks that he’s the second-best running back on the team, yet the coaching staff insisted on giving him first and second down carries that were constantly killing the momentum of drives. When Pollard was in he’d at least go for like 5 or 6 yards, Zeke was barely getting back to the line of scrimmage. The third highest-paid running back in the league went for 2.6 YPC on 31 total rushing yards in a playoff game. Nice. He did block two guys at once on that one play so that was pretty cool.
The Potential Game-Winning Drive
I seriously think if I wasn’t a 20-year-old masterpiece of human health and physique the stress of the second to last Cowboys drive would’ve put me in the hospital. We got the ball back with about 2:40 left with three timeouts, and just completely sputtered out. That’s the time where the elite of the elite quarterbacks are supposed to really show who they are, and he did. Missed throws, took sacks, really just didn’t make anything happen. And to top it all off, on the final 4th and 11 heave the ball could not have been closer to being caught by Wilson. If he doesn’t fall down they probably score, and my Grandmother isn’t sending me condolence texts like my puppy just got euthanized.
The Last Play
Were the Cowboys gonna convert a time expiring heave to the end zone? Probably not. But I would’ve loved to see it. It is the ultimate kick in the nuts for a game like that to end with someone deciding to run the ball with 14 seconds left with no timeouts. Who’s idea was that? A seven-year-old who’s played a couple madden games would tell you that it was a completely Ludacris decision, but the Cowboys are doing it in the biggest moment of their season.
And not that it excuses it, but that ref sucked. Everyone’s making a huge deal of Dak handing the ball to the center, but that was so the refs’ fault. He just wasn’t there in time, and then once he got there he bumped into Dak making it so he couldn’t get the spike off in time. You have one job. Get to the line in time.
My final thoughts: I don’t think I can take watching this sport anymore. I have watched this team every year for my entire life, and not one time has it ended with me being satisfied. You will never have a more wide-open championship window than the Dallas Cowboys do right now, and Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott, and Ezekiel Elliott just continuously urinate on those championship hopes. Dak has the best weapons in the league and can’t crack 20 points in the playoffs, McCarthy couldn’t get this team to play with discipline to save his life, and it just honestly seems like everything in the football universe is working against this team. They’re gonna go like 9-8 next year, come extremely close to the playoffs, miss them, snap my heart again, and NEVER WIN A SUPERBOWL. I HATE SPORTS. It’s just never gonna happen, ever. Something happens to athletes when they put that star on the helmet where they just become absolutely allergic to winning. This is a losing franchise and a complete joke. I wish I got into like twitch streaming instead of football, because maybe then I’d have some god damn happiness in my life. I hate everything.