In keeping with the national mandate to be all things Star Wars, not only was The Force not with the Dallas Cowboys this season but it is going out of its way to stick it to Jerry Jones as much as Darth Vader.
The Force hates Jerry.
This Cowboys season has crossed over from divine intervention to science fiction, only there is no hope inside our Death Star (AT&T Stadium).
Forced, horrible pop culture references aside, whatever R2D2 — Kellen Moore — does in the next two weeks and however the Dallas Cowboys ultimately finish out this the season of Pain, Misery and Broken Clavicles, the record will conclusively show this team stunk.
This season promised to be as good as the Force Awakens, yet it is worse than Episodes I, II and III combined (sorry if you are lost with the Star Wars references; in a season as bad as this, all of us are desperate).
No playoffs. No winning record. No .500 record. Draft talk in December. A last-place finish in the worst division in football, which includes the Big Ten. The Cowboys stink worse than Jar Jar Binks.
The sad part is this team is not that bad, but the record says otherwise, so they smell like an Imperial Cruiser port-a-potty. When the Cowboys’ season mercifully ends in two weeks, know that the record will not be how this team will be evaluated. Bet your Millennium Falcon that when this team grades out, the Cowboys’ “brain trust” — a contradiction in terms, at best — will say this team is better than the final box office haul.
This most recent painful loss featured all that was good and bad about this season’s team, including a season-ending injury to a former high draft pick (Gavin Escobar). This team’s penchant for playing close and the uncanny ability to not make a play is something out of a J.J. Abrams’ script; how else to explain yet another close conclusion that is the equivalent of C3PO’s arms and legs being ripped off?
When Coach Yoda finally surrendered on his apprentice, Matt Cassel, and reluctantly put in Moore in as this team’s New Hope in the first half, he had also given up on the season. This was not a desperate move made by a desperate coach but rather a blindfolded attempt with a light saber to hit a moving target.
The move actually came closer to its target than most of Cassel’s throws, but this team is simply not meant to win this season.
As the giant video monitor showed highlights of the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl team 20 years ago on Saturday night, the Cowboys no longer are the NFL’s Evil Empire, but rather they are now firmly the little rebellion that can’t shoot a blaster.
The Cowboys’ defense, which entered the game having forced the fewest turnovers in the league and are on pace to record an NFL-record low turnovers in a season, actually picked off a pass by a guy who was not even listed on the roster; Terrance Mitchell was called up from the practice squad this week and now has more INTs this season than Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne and Byron Jones combined.
But two other killer fumbles were negated by replay — just barely — that would have changed the game.
When Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who actually does bear a striking resemblance to a young Anakin Skywalker, fumbled in the final 2 minutes of the game it did appear as if the Cowboys might actually win a tight game.
Instead, replays showed that Fitzpatrick’s knee was down to negate what would have been a turnover that would have set up an easy, game-winning field goal. On the next play, Fitzpatrick completed a 43-yard pass not to Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker, but Kenbrell Thompkins to set up the game-winning field goal.
Much like we are familiar with the wretched aim of a Stormtrooper, we are numb to these scenarios for the Cowboys.
Nine times the Cowboys have been “in” games in the fourth quarter this season without their Jedi Master — Tony Romo — as their quarterback; they are 1-8 in such games.
The NFL is a close league, but this record is rather impressive despite the pain it inflicts on its team, and its fans. Imagine how good they would have been had their proven Jedi warrior — Romo — never busted his clavicle.
The best the Cowboys can do is six wins. When the coaches and staff meet to evaluate the season, all of these painful finishes will result in some decent grades, and more positive thoughts than a pathetic 6-10 record merits.
When the final words are written about this team, the results will indicate The Force hated the 2015 Dallas Cowboys.
Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.
Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof