N.Y. Giants 37, Dallas 34: Cowboys’ Pathetic Collapse Is All Too Familiar

The cowboy in the background sums it up for all of us.

The features of the 2011 Dallas Cowboys:

(1) We get to see shot after shot of Rob Ryan for no real reason.


(2) The Cowboys completely rip our guts out by finding yet another way to blow a game.

Dallas took a 34-22 lead over the Giants with 5:41 when Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Yes, that’s a 12-point lead with 5:41 to go.

Then the defense of the greatest defensive coordinator in the league needed to make just one stop. Maybe this defense could have just slowed down the Giants.

Nope. The Giants moved the ball 80 yards in two and a half minutes to cut the Dallas lead to 5.

Then Dallas just needed perhaps one first down to secure the win. On 3rd-and-5, Romo found Miles Austin streaking up the right sideline on a go route. It would have been a touchdown, or at least put the ball deep into Giant territory to secure the Dallas win.

At that moment, my television literally froze for a second, but it was clear enough that Romo missed Austin’s outstretched hands.

Dallas had to punt, and at just the moment that Mat McBriar needed to nail a 60- or 70-yarder, he hit one off the side of his foot for a 33-yard effort. New York just had to move the ball 58 yards.

How else could Dallas help the Giants stay in the playoff hunt?

How about a holding penalty on Frank Walker that gave the Giants a first down rather than having to face a 3rd-and-10 from the Dallas 24?

How about a large tight end named Jake Ballard catching two passes for 39 yards to put the Giants at the Dallas 1?

How about Dallas not having any answers at the goal line, allowing the Giants to score and then convert a two-point conversion?

Dallas moved the ball back into field goal range. Dan Bailey kicked what looked to be the game-tying field goal, but the Giants called time out. The Giants then blocked Bailey’s second attempt, ending the game.

This had become a season of magical performances by two key rookies. DeMarco Murray provided a rushing attack that the team had lacked, and Bailey was hitting field goal after field goal.

Well, that magic is gone. Murray fractured his ankle and is probably gone for the year. Bailey has missed game-winning or game-tying field goals in each of the last two weeks.

As for Ryan’s defense, the Cowboys should have won the game despite the secondary’s effort. Dallas had no answer for Hakeem Nicks, who caught 7 passes for 154 yards. Mario Manningham came from nowhere to catch a 47-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter thanks in large part to a completely blown coverage by the Dallas defense, which got caught trying to make last-second substitutions.

(Yes, some other teams get caught making substitutions, but are their defensive coordinators featured by the networks every 30 seconds?)

Dallas had some good performances, including those by Romo and Laurent Robinson. Romo put the team in position to tie it at the end, but the team would not have had to do so if he hadn’t missed Austin on the 3rd-and-5 play.

Anyway, many people, including me, thought the Cowboys were an 8-8 team. There is no reason to think they will be in any better than that. A win over Tampa Bay will give everyone a small glimmer of hope, but then Dallas will have to beat the Eagles and Giants in consecutive weeks to pull out the NFC East.

Logically, why would anyone believe that will happen?

  • Heartrippedout..


  • Rayschichtel

    You said it all.
    The only thing I can add is I don’t, have never liked the opposing team calling a timeout in that situation when a FG is about to be kicked! It’s bush league. Two weeks now Bailey has converted the kick as the timeout is being given. Granted, Garrett called the one last week in AZ, but there needs to be a rule that states only the offensive team can call a timeout there. I’ve never liked calling TO there and it’s essentially giving the opponent a ‘do over’.

  • Frustrated beyond belief

    40 yearCowboy  fan…I thought I had seen it all until this week…That defense just plain doesn’t get it done and has exposed Rob Ryan as a total fraud. Put up or shut up!!! What’s the diference between a dollar and a Rob Ryan defense?… A dollar has 4 quarters in it….

  • Anonymous

    Company’s  interviewing me confirm what is on my resume. Rob Ryan’s resume  includes defensive coordinator for two 5-11 teams at Cleveland. Cleveland’s defense finished 23 in overall defensive rankings Ryan’s last year there. Prior to that he was Oakland defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders .The Raiders 2007 defense  finished 22nd.  Did the Dallas Cowboys confirm Ryan’s resume before  hiring him as defensive coordinator? If so, why would they hire him for the role of defensive coordinator?

  • Anonymous

    Ryan has never coached as a coordinator on a team with a winning record. I’m having a hard time figuring out how he built his reputation, except that he’s the brother of Rex and son of Buddy.

  • Anonymous

     I don’t get it. I guess Rob was hired because of his name. Being defensive coordinator on teams with losing records does not seem to be the stuff of a good resume. His current Dallas Cowboys’ defense doesn’t measure up to his dad’s at Philadelphia:  “The 1991 Philadelphia Eagles defense, with a majority of players that Buddy Ryan selected, was one of the most statistically accomplished defenses in NFL history. Those 1991 Eagles led the league in fewest passing yards allowed and fewest rushing yards allowed.

  • Cowboysdude

    It’s funny Romo played his butt off… he missed one throw and the Defense couldn’t stop them not once but twice… and it’s all his fault.. typical.  Lets start where the blame really belongs on the GM.  The self appointed King Nothing.   Does NOTHING to shore up a weak D other than bringing back a couple of retreads and hiring a coach.  The Cowboys have 2 players on D… Ware/Lee.  That’s it.  The rest are either over the hill or don’t belong on an NFL field.  WHY?  Because Al Davis Jr overpays the wrong people.  Let’s talk about the disappearing twins Bryant/Austin.  In a Giant’s secondary playing basically 3rd string players these guys [like every game] just disappear in the 2nd half of games.   Back to the Defense… these guys couldn’t get there in blitzing situations when Wade was here BUT it’s Wades fault.. ok lets fire him… NOW Ryan is here and guess what?  WE still can’t get there… NOW it’s Ryans fault… NOOOOOO I’m thinking it’s back to the GM and lack of talent on the Defense.  While he was playing footsie with Nnamdi Asomugha [who later left Al Jr at the alter] he could have looked for some good quality D line players so that blitzing wouldn’t have to be an every other down thing.   The Defense makes horrible QB’s look like pro-bowlers and they do it on a weekly basis.  So look at the total picture rather than running around pointing your finger at one guy… or at least point it at the right guy.. the GM/Owner Al Davis Jr.