On Sunday December 11, 2011, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants in the most heartbreaking game of the year for Cowboys fans. There have been a few painful games this season. But this one revealed the truths about the Cowboys.
Truth #1: The defense has overachieved all season.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has done an excellent job transforming the defense into a respectable one. But in the most important game of the season, the defense could not get the job done. The Cowboys gave up 400 passing yards, 110 rushing yards and 37 points. The secondary was a sieve. The Cowboys blitzed but came up with no sacks. In the end, the defense could not hold a 12-point lead with 5:41 left to play. The defense needs an upgrade, particularly in the secondary.
Truth #2: The Cowboys are not a playoff team.
The Cowboys have beaten one good team (San Francisco 49ers) this season. Even if they somehow make the playoffs, their defense will be picked apart. The Cowboys are on the outside of the wild card race. That is why the NFC East title is so important. Even if the Cowboys defeat Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, they will have to beat the Giants in New York to win the division. The Cowboys cannot even beat the Giants in their own building.
Truth #3: The Cowboys need DeMarco Murray.
Felix Jones did have 106 yards rushing. But he is not the workhorse that Murray is. When the Cowboys desperately needed a first down to ice the game, Jones could not deliver. The Cowboys missed Murray throughout the game and in the end when it mattered the most. Now Murray is likely lost for the season with a fractured ankle. Along with Murray goes their playoff hopes.
Truth #4: The Cowboys do not play well in December.
December is a month when teams gear up for the playoff push. For some reason, the Cowboys do not step up to the challenge. They have typically struggled in December. This December, the Cowboys are 0-2.
Truth #5: The Cowboys can win with Tony Romo at quarterback.
You cannot blame Tony Romo for this loss. He passed for 321 yards and four touchdowns. Romo was one completion away from practically ending the Giants season. The Cowboys scored 34 points behind Romo. That should have been enough to win the game.
This was the most heartbreaking loss of the year for Cowboys fans. The game told us all we need to know about the Cowboys. They have talent, but they are a few players away from being a playoff team.
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Edwin Torres has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since the days of Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach. He enjoyed watching the Dallas teams of the 90s dominate opponents on both sides of the ball. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.