You Are What Your Record Says You Are

And my Dallas Cowboys are not very good:


You could also blame the lack of discipline this team shows. Dallas was penalized a season-tying 12 times for a season-high 133 yards...

One of the penalties was a silly one in which Marc Colombo did a celebratory chest bump with Jason Witten following a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Colombo lost his balance and fell down flipping over, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. 

Coach Wade Phillips called the penalty unacceptable. It forced the Cowboys to kick off from the 15-yard line, and the Titans' Marc Mariani returned the gift 73 yards to the Cowboys' 5. Tennessee would score when Chris Johnson dove into the end zone with 3:28 to play for a 34-27 lead....

There's more. 

Right guard Leonard Davis was benched in the first half and he returned in the third quarter only when his replacement, Montrae Holland suffered a swollen right eye, limiting his vision. Davis wasn't alone in his poor play. Romo was sacked a career-high six times. 

David Buehler missed a potential go-ahead 40-yard field goal in the third, although he made a chip-shot 26-yarder to tie the score in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Mike Jenkins was called for two pass interference penalties on the first drive of the game. Orlando Scandrick turned his head away from the play when the ball was in the air on the first touchdown pass of the game.

I was listening to Norm Hitzges last night on talk radio in Dallas and he made the point that this isn't about the coaching, it's about players executing. Maybe that's true. But I'm not exactly clear on what a head coach actually does. Is it simply designing schemes? It certainly is arguable that Dallas doesn't actually have a head coach--they have a glorified defensive coordinator.

One sense either a lack of accountability, or an abundance of players too stupid to get out of their own way. In either case we're talking about problems beyond the field--an inability to coach players, or an inability to honestly evaluate them.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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