Some Dismal Good in Buffalo


BUFFALO – If you can’t find a good way to win? Then find a good way to lose. That is what happened to your Cowboys here yesterday in Buffalo, a dismal 16-6 loss on a dismal Buffalo day befitting a visiting team that has known nothing but “dismal” since a 2-0 start to the season was marred by physical and mental breakdowns.

To their credit, coach Jason Garrett’s team continues to give effort. Which is nice, because lack of effort is considered the worst sporting crime possible. And while “losing with valor” or what I call “organic tanking” can be beneficial for draft positioning — a lack of competence ain’t no treat.

Kellen Moore couldn’t put up points and better than Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden could.

The Cowboys aren’t laying down or giving in, or refusing the go into games because risking injury isn’t worth it. No, that’s a long-specialty of the “for who?  – for what?” Eagles.

Are the Cowboys a long and arduous rebuild? No, that’s just not the way the NFL usually works now. A 2016 Dallas team led by the healthy tandem of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, supplemented by another influx of help, seems imposing enough. But what if this edition of the now 4-11 Cowboys is more “real” than last year’s 13-win Super Bowl contender? Which team are they?

They are both.

Remember, last year’s team was shockingly good, picked before the year “for fifth place” in the four-team NFC East, as Romo has joked. Turnarounds happen. A friendly high-cotton draft position and a cushy last-place schedule help make that an annual reality.

But when does a turnaround not occur? It isn’t when a team lacks talent, but rather, when a team lacks character. And these Cowboys have almost infinitely more character than they have wins.

That’s small consolation right now, but in this dismal campaign, that’s all Cowboys Nation gets.

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Mike Fisher has over 30 years of covering professional sports and has done so based in Dallas since 1990. 'Fish' is an award-winning journalist, TV analyst and radio talk-show personality who serves as the Dallas Cowboys' 'insider' for 105.3 The Fan on the radio and as the Dallas Mavericks' insider for Fox Sports Southwest on TV. Fish is the publisher of , is also a national contributor to FOX Sports, has covered 21 Super Bowls, has authored two best-selling books on the Cowboys (with forewords by Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman) and can be followed at @FishSports on Twitter.