Reliving a Wild Cowboys Season
The ups and downs of an NFL season are felt by players and fans alike.
While the Dallas Cowboys didn't have the season they would have liked, the 2020 season provided a classic example of the highs and lows that take place over the course of a year.
And who better to re-ride that emotional roller coaster with than unapologetic Cowboys fan and Undisputed co-host Skip Bayless?
Follow along as we recap the season with some of Bayless' most compelling tweets and clips from the show.
As everyone knows, every team is undefeated before the season starts. Optimism is abundant, and while Dallas' decision to hire Mike McCarthy to replace the outgoing Jason Garrett didn't inspire Bayless initially ...
... he started to come around after Jerry Jones lavished praise upon the former Green Bay Packers head coach.
Here's what Bayless had to say almost a year ago to the day, following McCarthy's introductory press conference:
Sept. 14 — Offensive pass interference incident:
After an offseason dominated by Dak Prescott and discussions about a long-term contract — or lack thereof, as it turned out for the time being — for the Cowboys quarterback, it was time to get to business.
Unfortunately, Dallas started off their season with a controversial loss that saw Cowboys wideout Michael Gallup called for offensive pass interference on their final drive of the game, which the Los Angeles Rams won 20-17.
Bayless addressed the loss the following day on Undisputed, saying, "You cannot make that call at any time in the game, but especially if you're going to decide the game."
Sept. 21 — Banana kick vs. Falcons:
The football gods were benevolent to Dallas in Week 2, as they escaped in unbelievable fashion against the Atlanta Falcons with a 40-39 victory.
Starting down a 39-24 deficit midway through the fourth quarter, all signs pointed toward an 0-2 start for the Cowboys. But Dallas rallied, capped by an unbelievable onside kick from Greg Zuerlein that the Cowboys recovered and Greg the Leg then turned into a game-winning field goal.
Bayless proved to be over the moon as, seemingly against all odds, Dallas won to move to 1-1:
Oct. 5 — Where's the defense?
The defensive deficiencies and a 1-3 start were enough for Bayless to throw in the towel:
"I am about to blow the roof off the FOX Studios about my Dallas Cowboys ..."
Oct. 12 — Dak's injury derails Cowboys
The Cowboys earned their second win of a season with a 37-34 win against the New York Giants, but suffered a massive loss in the process.
Prescott, their franchise quarterback, suffered a catastrophic leg injury that ended a season that saw him averaging more than 370 passing yards per game and a passer rating of 99.6.
The day after Dak's injury, Bayless offered his heartfelt condolences to the Cowboys QB:
Oct. 20 — Paging Zeke
With Prescott sidelined, someone else would have to lead the offensive charge. With all due respect to backup QB Andy Dalton, most expected Ezekiel Elliott to be the one to pick up the mantle.
But in Zeke's first game with Dalton under center, Dallas fell 38-10 to the Arizona Cardinals. Elliott fumbled twice and mustered just 49 yards on 12 carries.
Elliott's apparent laissez-faire attitude rubbed Bayless the wrong way:
Nov. 2 — Still clinging to hope
Fast forward two weeks (and two losses) later, and Bayless was feeling curiously optimistic about his Cowboys.
Dallas had to start seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci after a concussion sidelined Dalton ahead of Dallas' Week 8 clash with the Philadelphia Eagles. They'd go on to lose 23-9, but Bayless considered the outcome a moral victory.
"Even though my team is now 2-6. Even though my offense has scored one touchdown in the last three games ... Despite all that, I think my team should actually be favored to win the East, because the more I think about the Philadelphia Eagles, the sorrier they get."
Nov. 9 — Robbed vs. Steelers?
As if the two-win Cowboys didn't already have enough on their plates against the then-unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers, the referees again played a major factor in Dallas' 24-19 loss, according to Bayless.
He perceived three instances where the refs doomed the Cowboys, all of which he details in the video below.
"My Cowboys outplayed the Pittsburgh Steelers in every way, shape and form yesterday. And they lost because they got absolutely robbed in the second half three times. It was blatant highway robbery!"
Nov. 27 — No thanks on Thanksgiving
The Cowboys came off of their Week 10 bye with a 31-28 win against the Minnesota Vikings, but the good times were short-lived on Thanksgiving week.
A quick turnaround pitted Dallas against the NFC East rival Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving Day, where the Cowboys got a 41-16 whooping and fell to 3-8 for the season.
It was enough to send Bayless into hiding on the next day's Undisputed.
Dec. 28 — How 'bout them Cowboys?
December proved to be much friendlier to the Cowboys — a loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 8 notwithstanding.
Following that, Dallas rattled off three consecutive wins to get right back into the NFC East race at 6-9.
After trouncing Philly 37-17, Bayless was back to pounding the table and shouting "How 'bout them Cowboys?!" as his team remained in the hunt for the NFC East title.
Jan. 4 — New Year, new letdown
As the calendar flipped to 2021, the NFC East still hung in the balance on Week 17, with the Giants and Cowboys fighting first for their playoff lives. Whichever team emerged from that contest would be rooting for the already-eliminated Eagles to dispatch Washington (but we know how that tale turned out).
Nevertheless, with their playoff hopes on the line, the Cowboys went to battle at MetLife Stadium, only to fall 23-19 after trailing by 11 entering the second half.
Despite the outcome, Bayless was impressed with the fight the Cowboys showed in the second half — but Bayless was unconvinced with McCarthy's decision-making.
Here's the Cowboys post-mortem from Monday's episode of Undisputed:
A year after questioning the hiring of McCarthy and wondering about Prescott's contract and future, Cowboys fans are ... questioning the hiring of McCarthy and wondering about Prescott's contract and future.
That's the thing with roller coasters: After all the ups and downs, you still end up back where you started.