Some people are fans of the Dallas Cowboys. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Dallas Cowboys. This 2016 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here. And buy Drew’s new book here.
Your team: Dallas Cowboys
Your 2015 record: 4-12. Karma-wise, 4-12 is the ideal record for any team that signs girlfriend-tosser Greg Hardy and then bends over backwards to cover for him as he jacks off at his locker to Gisele Bündchen, shows up late to practice, drives away from media scrutiny in a white Ferrari, gets in public fights with the coaching staff, and puts more effort into his stupid eye black than into rushing the passer. You would think it’s impossible to shame a team owned by Jerry Jones, but it finally happened last year. I’m almost disappointed that they cut him loose. I was hoping (expecting) that they’d double down and make him player/defensive coordinator.
Outside of the Hardy fiasco, last season was notable for the following things:
1. Tony Romo breaking his collarbone and then being rushed back by Jerry Jones just in time to break it AGAIN.
2. Winning a game because DeSean Jackson ran backwards.
3. Eli and Old Man Coughlin butchering the clock against them in Week 1.
4. This tweet:
(NOTE: Brandon Weeden was later cut by Dallas, picked up by Houston, and somehow started a playoff game. Correction: Brian Hoyer started that playoff game. That’s how much Weeden sucks.)
Your coach: Princeton Boy! BORRRRRRING. Jason Garrett is the Reince Priebus to Jerry’s Donald Trump. Watch him sit by helplessly and try to retrofit his coaching style to whatever management demands. “Oh? Oh, you want a Wildcat goal line package for Zeke Elliott? Well I think the problem with that is (SLAPPED VERY HARD) I’ll do it right away, sir!”
This is a team still caught between the lunacy of Jones and the relative stability of his son, who now runs the day-to-day operations. Imagine the number of times that Garrett has had run to Stephen Jones after getting wind of Jerry’s idea to have Chris Christie sit in on offensive line meetings. It has to be well into double digits by now. The old man is like a rabid hyena locked in a cage, scratching at lock and just DYING to get out so that he can sabotage his own team, drill for oil in your pool, and fuck your niece. Jerry’s become so antsy that he has to fuck with OTHER NFL teams in order to get his power fix. If his son won’t let him sign Johnny Manziel, he’s gonna move the Rams to LA instead. I can’t believe this wildcatting shit-for-brains is the shadow dictator of the entire league.
Your quarterback: Tony Romo… for one month! Yes, you get one month of playoff aspirations before this happens again:
With a withered spine and a collarbone that’s been reconstructed by Stark Industries, Tony Romo’s career is all but over. It should be a felony to let him take the field ever again. Someone is gonna rip out his scapula and stab him in the face with it. I can’t bear to look. Get away from football, Tony. You’ve got a family and a decent golf game. End this madness. Go retire to a life of unfathomable leisure before someone tears your fucking head off out there.
Once Romo hangs up his loosely fitting jersey for good, your backup options are Kellen Moore, seen here auditioning for the lead role in Simple Jack 2, and Mississippi State legend Dak Prescott, who was acquitted on DUI charges just this week. Oh wow, a famed college player with legal issues? He’ll fit right in with this band of idiots.
What’s new that sucks: Hey, Darren McFadden broke his elbow! And you’ll never believe how! No really, you won’t believe it at all…
Actually, you CAN make it up, especially if you were piss drunk when you hurt yourself. But don’t despair, Cowboys fans. Your team drafted human rocket sled and possible woman-beater Ezekiel Elliott to run the ball and spiritually fill the void left by Hardy’s rifle pile. AND you signed Alfred Morris! Why sign Alfred Morris? Look man, you’re gonna be playing Rex Grossman from off the street by Week 8. You’ll need all the backs you can get, and preferably ones that are NOT supervillains and/or on the verge of getting slapped with a 783-game suspension.
Also, the Double J drafted a guy who just had his leg die seven months ago, and he did it just one year after drafting Randy Gregory, who is already on the verge of washing out of the league. What bargains. As always, the Cowboys are less notable for their actual draft choices than the players Jerry Jones wanted to draft but did not. This year’s Double J wet dream was QB Paxton Lynch. In an alternate dimension, Jerry drafts ALL the quarterbacks. A team of fifty quarterbacks is unbeatable!
And Sean Lee hurt himself AGAIN. Can someone get this poor bastard some retirement papers already? Here is an actual headline about Sean Lee from this offseason:
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee’s dream is to play all 16 games for Super Bowl contender
Jesus, what a sad dream. “Inspiring! NFL Player Dreams Of Not Dying!”
What has always sucked: Fuck this organization. Most of their fans STILL don’t live in Texas.
Everything you know that is bad about modern sports—from antiseptic concession stands to repulsive stadium boondoggles—comes from Jerry Jones’s strategic vision of taking an NFL franchise and using it as a crowbar to open up every available bank vault. He’s probably already writing off last week’s bus crash on his tax filings.
In Jerry Jones’s NFL, the game of football itself isn’t a priority. It’s simply a means to get into the more compelling and lucrative business of brand licensing and one-sided parking revenue agreements. This is why the NFL can’t figure out what a fucking catch is. They don’t CARE. They’re so busy breaking ground on a new media center in Inglewood that the game is left to rot.
This is Jerry’s fault. As far as he’s concerned, this team’s only job is produce TV content, regardless of quality. The offense has no depth whatsoever. Half the defense is suspended. And yet I will still be forced, Clockwork Orange-style, to watch this team multiple times on national television this season. Do you realize that Jerry owns the largest and most expensive stadium in the universe and STILL can’t figure out how to issue tickets properly? This fucking guy.
The Cowboys are a perfect avatar for Dallas, a city that is both large and utterly pointless, surrounded by shithead housewives with Make America Great Again hats, bad roots, and Botox injected directly into their brains. This is a city where a woman was mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs. In 2016! Knowing Dallas, they probably treated the dogs for their injuries first. I hope that, when the aliens come, they make vaporizing the Metroplex a priority.
What might not suck: “It’s one of the best offensive lines in the league!” you will say to yourself as the offense bogs down at the opposing 40 and Garrett elects to punt on third down.
Let’s remember some Cowboys:
- Shante Carver
- Steve Beuerlein
- Tashard Choice
- Mark Tuinei
- Bill Bates
Hear it from Cowboys fans!
I am 26. I root for the Dallas Cowboys, have my whole life. I am not from the DFW metro. I am not even from Texas. Literally every time I have a football discussion with anybody new and am asked who I root for I say the Cowboys sheepishly. The person will make a disgusted face at me and groan. I right away get defensive and start trying to justify why because everybody, everywhere (but especially in Philly where I live) immediately hates you and thinks less of you as a person. I put myself behind the 8 ball with every new person I meet because of my allegiance to a team 1,200 miles away that has done nothing but go .500 my whole life.
Because I know that Jerry would still love to sign Johnny Effin Football even if he showed up to the Cowboys offices with a needle hanging out of his arm and a dead hooker in the trunk of the car that he crashed into the light pole on the way in.
March, 2015- The Cowboys (aka Jerry) let DeMarco Murray walk to the Eagles because the stars on this team are the offensive line and any running back could have a good season behind them.
Thursday, April 28, 2016- The team spends a top five pick on a running back, a move that goes against all current NFL logic, because the Cowboys say they have only a few years left of Tony Romo and need to add in pieces that can help him get to a Super Bowl.
Friday, April 29, 2016- The Cowboys spend their second round pick on a talented, but injured linebacker, who should get healthy just about the time Romo’s back goes supernova and forces his retirement.
This team literally contradicted their own draft strategy three times in a calendar year.
Jerry only drafted Ezekiel Elliot because his name sounds like a brand of single malt scotch.
The defense has more holes than a pair of Plaxico Burress’ sweatpants, and the players pegged to bring the most improvement to the unit are suspended for the first four weeks of the season because they got high.
Our whole season will be undone once our quarterback unexpectedly sneezes too hard and has to hands the reigs to either a guy who looks like a pizza delivery guy.
Our fans will scream that Dez caught it until they are blue in the face, while ignoring the fact that Aaron Rodgers meticulously dissected the team on one leg all day that day & would almost definitely had continued doing so if it needed to be done.
The fact that all of these things are true, and yet I will still find a way to believe that this is the year they right the ship and win something for the first time in my adult life.
Last November I took my mother to a Sunday matinee of a live rendition of The Sound of Music rather than watch this pile of garbage play the Bucs. I made the right choice.
I legitimately convince myself every few hours that it was actually smart for us to take Ezekiel Elliot over Jalen Ramsey because of how explosive our offense MAY POTENTIALLY be for the next 4-5 years. Then I remember that the corpse of Darren McFadden averaged 4.6 yards per carry behind our offensive line, and Morris Fucking Claiborne will be taking snaps as a starting cornerback.
I welcome this upcoming 8-8 season. We deserve much worse karmic retribution just for every asshole who defended the Greg Hardy signing last year by saying, “I mean... he’s a good football player.” Fuck you all to hell.
Jerry Jones is a total asshole who has to constantly be held in check by his son, who’s probably also an asshole. We were actually considering RE-SIGNING Greg Hardy after that disaster of a season last year. That’s how fucked we are.
I remember how I felt when I found out the Cowboys first signed him, it wasn’t really a shock as much as it was a realization of a prophecy. We will continue to sign shitheads and terrible people and we will continue to somehow be valued by Forbes as the most valuable sports franchise in the world. It’s fucking stupid.
If I could start over and pick a different team to follow, I would. But unfortunately our brains don’t work that way.
*takes a deep sigh*
Fuck Jerry Jones with an oil rig.
Our owner literally said “I want me some glory hole”
Tony Romo is old enough to remember The War of 1812, and hasn’t been healthy for a full season since the Great Depression.
Our owner considered Greg Hardy a team leader last season.
A Sports Illustrated profile on our owner devolved into a Johnnie Walker Blue Label ad.
The last time the Cowboys made it past the divisional round of the playoffs, Bill Clinton was receiving covert blowjobs .
Our owner once committed contract tampering during an interview for an article.
And half of our defense is on the second phase of the NFL drug testing program.
Fuck this team.
The best offensive line in football allowed Darren Fucking McFadden to finish fourth in the league in rushing last season despite having no semblance of a passing game and not even starting all 16 games, yet we still felt it was necessary to blow our highest first round pick in 25 years on another running back.
I don’t know why I’m a Cowboys fan. I shouldn’t be. I’m not even from Texas. Damn it.
Because Tony Romo’s collar bone has the structural integrity of a high school science class bridge-building project model made out of day old Olive Garden breadsticks and hot glue.
Because we are fundamentally incapable of winning without Tony Romo.
Because Ezekiel Elliot has already been accused of beating his girlfriend.
Because even after Romo went down in game 2 last year and I subconsciously knew our season was over, our division was such a colossal dumpster fire that we weren’t mathematically eliminated until after Tony broke his collarbone for the SECOND time. I watched every single game doing Mitt Romney Election Math about the Cowboys path to the Super Bowl.
Because I have no doubt that Jerry will find a way to monetize #DallasStrong if he hasn’t already.
I really wish I could stop being a fan of the Cowboys until Jerry dies, but unfortunately that’s just not how fandom works. I keep hoping that during one of the 80,000 times a game that they cut to Jerry’s stupid face up in the owner’s box, a red dot will appear on his forehead and the TV feed will suddenly cut out.
Fuck our owner Jerry Jones, fuck our head coach Jerry Jones, fuck Tony Romo, fuck Jessica Simpson, and especially fuck Samer.
Our coach is an automaton that was genetically engineered by the Jones family to regurgitate banal platitudes that vaguely resemble something like Tom Landry, only without the insight, innovation or general common sense. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything more impotent and sad than watching Jason Garrett cower away from Greg Hardy during his sideline tirade last year against the Giants. He constantly harps on “doing things the right way” and the importance of having “high character guys” in the locker room but his players have served more suspensions than any other team in the league over his tenure. A running back at #4 overall? A fucking running back? A god damn running back. It’s like no one in this organization has been paying attention to this league for the past 15 years. We had a top-5 pick for the first time in decades and we took a player that we could have had at number 25. I hope Jalen Ramsey becomes a super-hybrid combination of Deion mixed with Ed Reed and Ezekiel Elliot is crushed by Sky Mirror in a freak rookie-hazing incident. Fuck him. Fuck Rolando McClain. Fuck Randy Gregory. Fuck Dallas Bryant (Not really, he’s cool). And quintuple-fuck that waitress groping, CTE-denying, soul-sucking, spineless cock-weasel that we call an owner for all of eternity.
People are going to talk about a healthy Cowboys offense like it’s some earth-shattering bastard child of Daenerys Targaryen’s fleet and the ‘99 Rams, all because our offensive line is good. This is bullshit.
Sure, our All-Pro receiver (coming off major foot surgery) is good, as is our (36-year-old) quarterback. Beyond that, though? Our next two wideouts are Terrance Williams — who sleeps in KY-filled oven mitts before big games — and Cole Beasley — who is a $13 million @PFTCommenter punchline. We still haven’t found a suitable replacement for Jason Witten, who is now useful for precisely one route, the five-yard buttonhook. We employ Darren Fucking McFadden in 2016.
How do we fix this? Alfred Morris, of course! Alfred Morris seems like a very cool person, but I live in DC, and I’ve seen him faceplant into his linemen’s ankles more times than I’ve overpaid for a cocktail. Jason Garrett is going to take three weeks to realize his big free-agent signing sucks, then run poor Ezekiel Elliott 35 times a game until his hamstring combusts in Week 10.
I’ll let someone else — the NFL’s disciplinary office, to be exact — explain the shitshow on the defensive side of the ball. Fucking Cowboys.
For home games you can have the pleasure of paying more to park approximately 37 miles away from Jerry World, than for four tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game across the parking lot. The majority of the fans who show up for the games get equal pleasure from bitching about the team AND being proud of how notorious and well known the Cowboys are, all while actually ignoring most of the game they paid for using their entire 401k. The acoustics at AT&T Stadium are designed to amplify the crowd noise that doesn’t actually exist until about 3 minutes before halftime and 2 minutes before the end of the game, which is also conveniently the only time your average Cowboys fan doesn’t whine and complain about Tony Romo. Best of all, our owner has a little game he likes to play, where he fills out a roster using San Quentin cast offs and staples it to a flaming bag of dog shit that he leaves on our coach’s doorstep at3am on game day. Fuck Terrance Williams, fuck our lack of QB depth, and most of all fuck our worthless Swiss cheese defense who will give up 4 touchdowns before realizing the game has started.
We’ll throw money at this franchise and the NFL with eagerness that is, frankly, underappreciated by the rest of the NFL- and then we’ll tear our jerseys and cry for mercy on a fucking biblical level the minute our hopes appeared dashed, and what’s worse- we’ll expect people to extend us their empathy when there are do-nothing, win-nothing shit stain franchises like the Browns and the Jags who would fucking kill their own families for even a chance at competency. And when it’s an unremarkable season (unremarkable because, despite being bad, we didn’t really get a top pick or even get blown out in our own shitty division), we are reduced to the empty, hollow men and women that we truly are, doomed to wander the NFL hellscape hearing about Super Bowls we were too young to remember while we ponder just what the fuck “America’s Team” even means.
This is Cowboys Privilege, a concept I have been preaching to my fellow NFL fans about for a while now. We are the darlings of the NFL. Now, I know that there are teams like the Pats or the Packers or even the Giants that might try and play that angle, but only one team in the NFL has ever been oblivious enough to call themselves “America’s Team” with zero sense of irony. Can you imagine if the Pats ever called themselves “America’s Team”? There would be mass beatings of Boston fanboys over it. Hell, the Eagles called themselves the “Dream Team”, and they were practically laughed out of contention by the rest of the NFL.
We want all the benefits of winning AND losing. We can’t just win like assholes- we have to lose like assholes too. There are STILL people (myself included) bitching about Dez’s botched playoff catch like it was some Old Testament level comeuppance from God himself. The Browns lost a game on a kick six against the team that stole their fucking franchise, and we have the gall to bitch about losing a playoff game almost two years ago?! Fuck us. We deserve to lose every game on a call like that.
Again, this is Cowboys Privilege. We are the rich kids pretending to be poor so we can fit in. We have all the advantages, all the money, all the breaks- and we STILL want you to feel sorry for us when we fuck up. The media, the fans, hell, even other people’s fans will talk us up into some kind of narrative ‘cuz every year it seems like the Cowboys should win.
That’s the worst part. Somehow, everyone gets it into their heads that the Dallas Cowboys are contenders just ‘cuz. You know these stories- Garrett’s need to prove himself, Romo being due to make good on his legacy, Dez needing to turn around his life narrative, Jerry needing to prove he has a plan with more forethought than the average glutton in a candy shop. No one ever just outright says, “this team is a dumpster fire”. No, we have to get a full five-act Greek tragedy before we can get there, ‘cuz these are the Cowboys, and the Cowboys never do anything, including lose, casually.
You people don’t want us to win. You think Pats fans are fucking obnoxious now? Oh, no, no, no- they are amateurs- they pale in comparison to the Cowboys fans waiting, just WAITING for the moment we hit playoff contention. Have you met these people? They are fucking horrifying. It has to be some sort of gene that unlocks whenever we go above .500. Suddenly, the dynasty is back. It’s like on the Simpsons when Homer accidentally starts a war with Russia and the Soviet Union pops back up into existence.
Jerry World shares a parking lot with a Walmart. Money-grubbing geriatric carnival barker jackass.
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