Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stop Putting Cowboys with Nfl's Top Teams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stop Putting Cowboys with Nfl's Top Teams

Article excerpt

Barry Switzer must have forgotten to dust off his coaching chestnut about basking in victory too long. It's the one where he reminds that humility is always only seven days away.

An unwelcome guest, humility visited the Cowboys last Sunday when they lost to Philadelphia at Texas Stadium. Now more sinister footsteps approach this team with a proud past and doubtful future.

Disaster lurks five days away in San Francisco. Total ruin is possible 12 days hence on a home date against Green Bay. Those are the consequences of twin defeats. Two victories would restore the Cowboys, at least image-wise, as a serious playoff contender. To describe them as such today flatters their modest 5-4 record. To disprove that they're a team of serious deficiency, dependent upon the lingering fumes of bygone titles, it's mandatory to run this short table against the 49ers and Packers. A split would only delay confirming a growing suspicion about the Cowboys: Decay has finally set in. Too many flaws are ingrained. There's an in-house theory that the team is mentally spent from its fifth year of winning Super Bowls and being expected to keep winning them. If this be true, the burden of prophecy is heavy. Success doesn't spoil as much as it tires. And it ain't easy being king despite the salary perks, doing radio and TV shows and having your ring kissed by well-meaning but bothersome peasants. Until the Cowboys beat another quality opponent - the Eagles are their only legit scalp so far - I suggest that hallowed perceptions about them undergo a change. Truth has waged a losing battle to fantasy since the season opened. Henceforth, stop referring to the Cowboys as the NFL's most-talented team. If they were, they wouldn't be 5-4. If they were, they wouldn't have lost to the Eagles, 31-21, or to 4-5 Chicago, Buffalo and its second-string quarterback and a beat-up Indianapolis team. The next writer, radio jabber-jockey or TV news reader who refers to the Cowboys as the most talented team in the NFL should face the most extreme penalty known to his trade: an expense account audit. It's time to describe the Cowboys thusly-closer to a mess than a mesh. …

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