Cowboys not good, not bad, just stuck in middle

Posted Saturday, Jan. 04, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A
More information

6,645

Yards allowed by the Cowboys’ defense, most in team history and the third most in league history.

1-6

Cowboys record against teams that made the playoffs.

4

Fourth-quarter leads blown by the Cowboys in 2013.

1,121

Rushing yards for DeMarco Murray, the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.

28

Takeaways by the Cowboys’ defense, 12 more than the previous season.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The Dallas Cowboys can’t say they are bad. They can’t say they are good. They can say they are both.

Right in the middle: 8-8.

For three consecutive seasons, the Cowboys have broken even, good enough to play for the NFC East Division championship in Week 17 each year, bad enough to lose each year.

Injuries are a problem, but they are for everybody.

Defense is a problem, worse than it ever has been for a franchise with a defensive heritage.

Game management is a problem — coach Jason Garrett’s decisions hurt the Cowboys against Detroit and at Arizona in 2011, at Baltimore in 2012 and against Detroit and Green Bay in 2013.

But there are strengths.

DeMarco Murray became a 1,000-yard rusher, even after missing two games. He ran behind a line that by season’s end had become the most consistent part of the team.

Left tackle Tyron Smith turned in an All-Pro season, and rookie center Travis Frederick — handed the starting position about a minute after he was drafted — proved up to the task.

And the Cowboys began figuring out how to get turnovers. They got 28 takeaways this year, getting a payoff from their emphasis on stripping the ball.

But the good balanced out the bad, and the bad balanced out the good.

For the high-powered start against the New York Giants, there was the disappointing 16 points the next game at Kansas City. For the Thanksgiving week sweep of the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders, there was a 1-3 December that followed. For the delirious optimism after the shootout against Denver, there was the cold reality of New Orleans.

Good. Bad. Both.

The Cowboys hit all three areas in what turned out to be, ultimately, a disappointing season.

Each year, that is what 8-8 has spelled.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @calexmendez

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
Phoenix «106Final | Box
Indiana83
Miami «99Final | Box
Orlando92
Toronto «110Final | Box
Cleveland93
Philadelphia83Final | Box
New York «91
Dallas92Final | Box
Houston «95
Sacramento «113Final | Box
Minnesota101
Washington «111Final | Box
Milwaukee100
Brooklyn87Final | Box
San Antonio «99
New Orleans «106Final | Box
Utah94
Full Scoreboard
Week 12Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Kansas City20Final | Box
Oakland «24Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
St. Louis 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: FOX
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Seattle TV: FOX
Miami 4:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS
Washington 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CBS
Dallas 8:30 PM ET
NY Giants TV: NBC
Monday
NY Jets 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Baltimore 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, November 22Full Scoreboard
St. Louis «3Final | Box
Ottawa2
Montreal «2Final | Box
Boston0
Detroit1Final | Box
Toronto «4
Minnesota1Final | Box
Tampa Bay «2
Pittsburgh1Final | Box
NY Islanders «4
Columbus2Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Buffalo «2Final | Box
Washington1
Florida2Final(SO) | Box
Nashville «3
Los Angeles4Final | Box
Dallas «5
Carolina3Final | Box
Colorado «4
New Jersey4Final(SO) | Box
Calgary «5
Chicago «7Final | Box
Edmonton1
Arizona «4Final(SO) | Box
San Jose3
Full Scoreboard