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CBSSports.com Senior Writer

NFL Power Rankings: Jerry's got a big mess in Big D


The Dallas Cowboys were the first team I spent time with this summer during my training camp tour.

Jerry Jones and his sons have lots of work ahead of them. (Getty Images)  
Jerry Jones and his sons have lots of work ahead of them. (Getty Images)  
After studying their roster all offseason, then seeing them live for two days and talking with the players, I left San Antonio in July thinking how talented they were, how they just might be ready to become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

"We'll see you at the Super Bowl in Dallas," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo told a fan gathering.

What he forgot to say was that he'd be there as a spectator.

Anybody got tickets?

The Cowboys are done. They lost 41-35 to the New York Giants Monday night, but it was a game that wasn't nearly that close. What's worse is they lost Romo for probably 6-to-8 weeks with a broken clavicle he suffered on a hit in the second quarter.

The look on the face of owner Jerry Jones when the cameras hit him in his luxury box told the whole story.

It's over.

At 1-5, the Cowboys are in a huge hole, and with Jon Kitna at quarterback they have no chance of climbing out of it, not in a division with three other good teams in the Giants, Eagles and Redskins.

That's why preseason expectations mean nothing.

This is what I wrote in July:

Is there a more talented roster than the Cowboys, who return 20 of 22 starters from a team that won the first playoff game for the franchise in 13 years? "On talent, I don't think so," Cowboys corner Mike Jenkins said.

"On talent" are the key words there. It takes more than just talent. It takes coaching.

The one concern about the Cowboys was Wade Phillips. It's often said he's a nice man, but not tough enough.

Looks like that's right.

The Cowboys lack discipline. Entering Monday night's fiasco, the Cowboys had top 10 units in both offense and defense, yet they were 1-4. Mistakes and turnovers have killed them. Against the Giants, it was more than that. It was horrible tackling. It was poor protection. It was dropped passes. It was a Texas-sized load of disaster.

They used to say the roof was open in old Texas Stadium to let God watch his favorite team. If He watched Monday night's game, He knows even He can't save that team.

The Cowboys are ranked 25th in the CBSSports.com Power Rankings this week. That's with the dregs of the league, the teams that don't have nearly as much talent.

Twenty of 22 starters back from a playoff team shouldn't translate to 1-5. That's the worst start for the Cowboys since 1989. That team went 1-15.

NFL -- Week 7
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This one won't be that bad, but it certainly isn't what many expected.

Wade Phillips is done. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, the supposed successor, has to go as well.

Jones will think big with his next hire. You watch. Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden and, who knows, maybe Bob Stoops might want to tell their agents to get ready for a call.

During my visit in San Antonio, I asked Jones about how comforting it must be for an owner to have such a talented team.

He was quick to remind me that he was also the general manager, making the point that he built this team as well.

Well, Jerry. The owner and general manager have a lot of work to do to fix this mess:


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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