Jason Garrett said he "believes," which is part of his job, and one of the real dangers of his profession right up there with chatting with his boss on the sidelines during a game.
Hope and Optimism do not simply ask but mandate that in order for the Dallas Cowboys to win the regular-season finale on Sunday night in Jersey we must be like the head coach and believe.
How can we? Why should we?
Since Dec. 1 the team is 1-3, thus maintaining the Cowboys' commitment to late-season collapses.
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The last time the Cowboys entered a regular-season finale with a playoff-berth-or-Cabo at stake was '08 in Philly. Uncle Wade's crew threw down a memorable 44-6 loss.
And there is always the "Jerry Factor."
Not in recent memory has Cowboys Nation been asked to believe in spite of what the Eye Ball test, common sense and history says very few should.
If during the season of hope, love, forgiveness and returned gifts you are desperate for a reason to believe I offer you this: Tony Romo.
That's all Santa brought.
The first 15 games have demonstrated that Princeton might want to consider taking back Jason Garrett's degree. He appears to be suffering from the Smartest Guy in the Room Syndrome and simply cannot trust his team yet.
The first 15 games have demonstrated Rob Ryan is verbally gifted, but his defense is painfully flawed.
The first 15 games have demonstrated while Cowboys team president Jerry Jones might be brilliant, Cowboys GM Jerry Jones is an older Matt Millen who has stocked this team with young players who are already in need of replacements.
The first 15 games have demonstrated that Tony Romo is the Cowboys' Obi-Wan Kenobi on Sunday against the Giants -- he is their only hope to play a 17th game.
After 15 games the Cowboys have been exposed as what we pretty much all feared when the season began: Average. They should have finished this season 11-5, but they were really an 8-8 team all along.
A fraction of these realities can be diluted only by the quarterback who so many of you are convinced is a slightly better version of Gary Hogeboom, 2.0.
Romo's bruised right hand suffered in the first quarter against the Eagles on Saturday should be OK by the time the Cowboys play the Giants on Sunday night.
If this hand is somehow broken ... he needs to become left-handed.
Watching Stephen McGee direct the Cowboys against the Eagles should tell you a few things, primarily being they are finished without their starter.
If Romo can't play, the game needs to be canceled, refunds need to be issued and NBC needs to "flex" out in favor of airing one of its many soon-to-be-canceled crime dramas.
Or if the NFL and NBC insist, put the headset on Jerry and let him complete this fantasy football dream and finally let him call the plays.
While the Cowboys have flirted between dating Good and Average, no one is whining about the quarterback these days.
The blame now has shifted from the quarterback to the head coach with the Ivy League degree, the defensive coordinator with the large mouth, and the can't-miss-target, Jerry.
Not that Romo is Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but he has covered up weaknesses and flaws of this team that to criticize his play over the past two months would be difficult.
The quarterback so many of you love to hate has, since the beginning of November, been about as good as can be expected. In these past eight games he has completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions. Most of the killer, self-inflicted plays have been noticeably absent from his play.
Against the Giants on Dec. 11 he threw for 321 yards with four touchdowns and no picks, his team scored 34 points and it wasn't enough. He was one Miles Austin "lost in the lights" ball from being nearly flawless in that game, too.
Given the many shortcomings of this team the reality is Romo will need to be flawless on Sunday night. Anything of the self-inflicted variety will cost them the game.
Can he do it?
Yes. He can.
Will he do it?
Both you and the Cowboys have to believe -- Tony Romo is their only hope.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760
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