Pretty Much Screwed: The 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys
Welcome to “Pretty Much Screwed,” our definitive guide to the upcoming NFL season. This team-by-team preview details why your favorite franchise might have to start looking forward to next year — but highlights at least one reason for you to be hopeful. Today: our Matt Rudnitsky tells you why the Dallas Cowboys will continue to suck.
The Cowboys are always Pretty Much Screwed. But why, exactly, is that the case in 2013?
The 2010-2013 Dallas Cowboys are (basically) the 2010-2013 USC Trojans.
In 2010, the USC Trojans hired Lane Kiffin. In three seasons since, USC has played in one shitty bowl game, which they lost in embarrassing fashion.
In 2010, the Dallas Cowboys hired Jason Garrett. In three seasons since, the Cowboys haven't made the playoffs, or finished above .500.
Both teams have received considerable hype going into all three seasons. Last year, the Trojans entered the season ranked No. 1. They ended the year as unranked trojan droppings. Last year, the Cowboys were a darkhorse Super Bowl contender. They ended the year as unranked cowboy droppings. Devils Advocate: "There are no NFL polls." Me: "Shut up."
Both teams have considerable prestige that hasn't been justified in years. Both teams have lots of talent, and little to show for it. Both teams are despised, rightfully.
The Cowboys responded to this by hiring Lane Kiffin's dad.
What's the only thing worse than hiring Lane Kiffin? Hiring the man who molded Lane Kiffin into Lane Kiffin. If Monte Kiffin wasn't Lane Kiffin's dad, Lane Kiffin might have turned into John Kiffin, respectable, underrated football coach. Instead, he became Lane Kiffin.
Seriously, Monte Kiffin is 73 years old. The Cowboys had Rob Ryan. They blamed him for their problems last year, even though they were decimated with injuries. It's very easy to make fun of Rob Ryan (HAHAHAHA HE'S FAT AND HIS BROTHER THINKS MARK SANCHEZ IS GOOD), but the Cowboys problems last year weren't his fault. Bringing in a new, leaner, yet wrinklier face is not the answer.
Last we saw Monte Kiffin, he was giving up 62 points to a Chip Kelly offense, the same offense he will now face in the NFC East.
Yes, his pedigree is great. But he's also 73 years old and probably tries to draw on his iPad playbook with chalk.
You can combine two of their most important players into one name.
You know what spells 7-9? The ability to combine two of your most important players into one name. Lost? Let me explain.
Team that doesn't suck: San Francisco 49ers. Two important players: Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. Combine their names? Colin Kaeperwillis. Sounds awful.
Other team that doesn't suck: Denver Broncos. Two important players: Peyton Manning and Von Miller. Combine their names? Peyton Manningiller. Sounds awful.
Team that sucks: Dallas Cowboys. Two important players: Tony Romo and Mo Claiborne. Combine their names? Tony RoMo Claiborne. Sounds charming.
See? Pretty Much Screwed.
Their schedule is hard as poop.
The Cowboys play in a division where no team sucks. The Giants, Redskins and Eagles all have the potential to be really good teams. That's six probably-tough games. They also have to play at Detroit (I swear they don't suck), at Kansas City (one of the toughest places to play), at Chicago and at the Drew Breeses, as well as vs. the Peyton Mannings and Aaron Rodgerses.
Their only gimme-game is vs. the Oakland Raiders.
Their schedule is really hard. Harder than poop, now that I think about it. (Unless you recently swallowed diamonds.)
Why they might not be screwed: They're really talented. A switch to a 4-3 defense might make DeMarcus Ware and the entire defense better than they are, and he is incredible, and they have a lot of potential when healthy. Tony Romo sucks at times, but he can also be electric, we sometimes forget. The Cowboys have one of the most talented offenses in the NFL. Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and an underrated (if healthy) offensive line is very, very good. The Cowboys are actually slight favorites in the NFC East by many oddsmakers. Their hype isn't out of control for a change, and they're probably underrated.
Actual season prediction: I will get laughed at for this, but I do not care. I think the Cowboys are criminally underrated, and will win the whole shebang. The shebang meaning the NFC East, and the Super, Duper, Bowl. I say 10-6, and a Super Bowl victory over an AFC team to be named later. Actually, let's go with the Chiefs. I really like the Chiefs. Now you can truly mock me.
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