This week, the Eagles will face the Cowboys for the first time this season on Sunday Night Football, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
It seems like things are quickly falling apart in Dallas.
The Cowboys fell to 3-5 with a 28-14 loss to the Titans at home Monday night. Tennessee spoiled the debut of Amari Cooper, for whom Dallas gave up a first-round pick in a last-ditch effort to salvage their season during a mediocre year for the NFC East.
Cooper had a decent night, getting the Cowboys on the board halfway into the first quarter. He finished as Dallas’ leading receiver with 58 yards and five receptions on eight targets.
But it wasn’t enough for the Cowboys to take down the 4-4 Titans, who beat the Eagles (in overtime) and the surging Texans but lost to teams such as the Bills (2-7) and Ravens (4-5).
Ezekiel Elliott had 96 total yards in the first half.. and then touched the ball 6 times in the 2nd half. The Titans didn’t keep Zeke in check.. The Cowboys kept Zeke in check..and that’s ridiculous
— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 6, 2018
After the game, the discussion about making a coaching change began in earnest: Could this be the end for head coach Jason Garrett? In his eight seasons leading the team, he has won just one playoff game (a wild-card game in January 2015) despite being the second-longest-tenured coach in team history.
Team owner Jerry Jones told a reporter that “he does not anticipate any coaching changes,” head coach or otherwise, during the season.
Things got worse for the Cowboys on Tuesday when Hall of Famer Troy Aikman told a Dallas radio station that he thinks a change needs to be made.
“It hasn’t always mattered who the head coach has been,” he said on a Tuesday appearance on 1310 The Ticket. ”So to me, if you’re asking me, I’d say there has to be a complete overhaul of the entire organization.”
He continued, implying the change might not start and end with Garrett.
“I’ve heard Jerry say, ‘OK, look, we’re going to do it differently. I’m going to do it differently.’ … But it’s the same. Nothing changes,” he said. ” … Yes, coaching is important. Personnel, all those things are important. But how are you going about evaluating how you’re going about running the organization?”
ESPN reports that Aikman and Garrett are close friends — they played on the same Cowboys teams in the 1990s — but Aikman acknowledged that “I can’t think of a loss that was this bad at this point of a year.”
It doesn’t start and end with just the head coach, though.
Jones vouched for quarterback Dak Prescott on Tuesday morning, telling a 1053 The Fan that the young quarterback is “going to get extended” when his rookie contract allows for a new deal to be made after this season.
Prescott was 21-for-31 on Monday night, throwing for 243 yards with two touchdowns (the other went to Allen Hurns in the second quarter). But Prescott made two crucial mistakes that resulted in 14 points for the Titans: He threw an end-zone interception in the first quarter that led to a Tennessee touchdown, and lost a fumble in the third that allowed the Titans to score their third TD of the game.
Raiders are in a better place than the Cowboys. They know they’re awful. Cowboys are in as bad a place as you can be in football. QB-less, coacheless and in denial about both.
— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) November 6, 2018
For their part, the Cowboys don’t think they’re completely out of the race.
“What are we, two games back with eight games to play?” guard Zack Martin told ESPN. “There’s lot of football left. That’s what we’ve got to focus on. One week at a time and chip away at this thing, and we’ll have a shot at it.”
After this week’s Sunday night matchup, the Cowboys will still have one more date with the Eagles and two other NFC East games to play: at home vs. the Redskins on Thanksgiving and at the Giants to end the regular season on Dec. 30.
Irvin sweats out ‘First Take’
Former Cowboy Michael Irvin was a guest on ESPN’s First Take, live from Dallas on Monday. He got into it with host Stephen A. Smith and made an emphatic and impassioned defense of his former team.
“Tonight, right here in Dallas, we see the dawn of a new day,” he said, expounding on the addition of Cooper to the roster. “The beginning of a new age, and a time when the Cowboys will rightfully regain and take their proper spot among kings.”
Irvin got the pro-Dallas crowd so fired up, fans were chanting “Michael!” and Irvin declared he had “taken over” Smith’s show. He also got so sweaty, someone had to run onto the stage to wipe him down.
Smith poked fun at Irvin’s reaction Tuesday.
Smith’s former talk-show sparring partner Skip Bayless had a few things to say on FS1’s Undisputed on Tuesday morning.
“I would like to announce I can no longer defend my Dallas Cowboys.”
“This team is no closer to the playoffs than Dallas is to Paris, France,” he continued. ”… That was pathetic.”
Tennessee’s Kevin Byard was the recipient of Prescott’s end-zone interception, and the big-time play allowed the safety to embark on a celebration that looked awfully familiar.
Byard ran out to the 50-yard line and danced on the Cowboys’ star, emulating a Terrell Owens celebration from 18 years ago.
“It was just something I thought about at the hotel, just thinking about Monday night in Dallas,” Byard told NFL.com. “Thinking what can I do if I make a play. And it was really just to show the team that we are not scared. We are here to play ball. We are here to win the game. I made the play and I ran straight to the 50 yard line. It was kind of off the wall a little bit.”
Byard’s move was approved by the Hall of Famer.