If one were to devise a drinking game based on Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, the card for scoring at home would be short and extremely inside football and ultimately boring.
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And evaluate (drink).
Of course, this would be negligent — to encourage this kind of excessive drinking among amateurs. Jason Garrett is a professional "process" user and he will hurt you. In the course of a single interview The Redheaded Genius, what I call Garrett or did before I realized Princeton did not teach proper timeout protocol, may invoke "process" in double digits. Even moreso in times of trouble.
It’s all about the process, as he reminds us daily. And by his way of thinking, if the Cowboys did things the right way, the results would take care of themselves. Which makes Sunday at The Meadowlands a referendum on his process or possibly process in general.
Based on what happens when the Cowboys face the Giants, one of these dysfunctional messes will be able to lay claim to being the best team in the NFC East and hang their "Tallest Midget" banner. The other will start sifting through the rubble of another wasted season.
Somewhere, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid and his Dream Team will be crying.
Question: How were the Eagles unable to win this raggedy division?
Better question: How are either the Cowboys or Giants in position to do so? It was only a couple of weeks ago the Cowboys were choking away a game to the Giants, who then responded by getting pummeled by the dog-butt Redskins.
The underachievement is thick on both teams. Neither is trustworthy.
One is going to the playoffs. The other gets the shame spiral of trying to explain how they again failed to reach the playoffs. The walk of shame in Dallas and New York is beyond brutal unlike in say, Cincinnati, where failure, if not expected, is at least a frequent enough visitor that everybody just kind of waves when he shows up again.
How long ago does Mark Sanchize seem? Now he’s Sanchez and half of New York wants him fired.
Me? I’d be interested to watch Sanchez when unencumbered by Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer.
This is sports life in New York, where failure leads to back-page rip jobs and underachievement is worse. They were calling for Tom Coughlin’s job before the Cowboy comeback and will again if the Giants lose Sunday.
The Cowboys face the same offseason of questions and frustration if they lose. They are much too good to be this bad, or else they really are this bad and have spent years overvaluing the talent base of this core group of guys. Either way, the Cowboys have built a culture of disappointment. They lead the league in extending their own and predicting big things only to fall woefully short in those game things they play on Sunday.
The Giants at least have a recent Super Bowl on their resume. The Cowboys have hype.
Their train wreck feels more spectacular, too, because they have craziness like what went down on Christmas Eve. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went down to the sideline during the game to advise his coach on in-game decisions. This is crazy even by Cowboys standards, yet this kind of silliness is what accounts for football operations in Dallas.
And we wonder why they have managed to win a big bag of nothing?
The Giants have their own problems, of course. Their defense is chief among them. It is important to note, in their season-saving comeback in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, their defense almost gave it up there at the end. They did, really, saved by the Cowboys kicker missing his second attempt after being iced on the first.
The giggle is one of these teams gets to win The NFC East.
If the game were in Dallas, it would not even be a question of who wins. The Giants would. Quarterback Eli Manning owns JerryWorld, has ever since he inscribed his name on one of the walls after leading the Giants to victory in the opening of the stadium.
Manning has been what was keeping the Giants afloat, much like Tony Romo for the Cowboys.
This is another reason to think the Giants win. Depending on who you believe, Romo had a swollen/bruised/broken hand after a collision with an Eagles helmet on Saturday. It is probably worth noting this is what brought Jerry Jones to the sidelines. He felt it necessary to tell Garrett that he didn’t think Romo should keep playing in what was a meaningless game.
If you do not think your coach knows this, he probably should not be your coach.
In fact, it is almost impossible to see the Cowboys winning this game, which is probably why they will. Both teams are very good at doing what they are not supposed to, under-delivering or overachieving.
If the Cowboys do lose, though, just know it is part of the process.