The Cowboys are 1-5. Their starting quarterback for most likely the rest of the season is Jon Kitna. They have one of the most challenging schedules in the NFL. So, Monday night, as I used my throwback Romo jersey to wipe tears of anger from my eyes and cursed the angry Dallas-sports-hating god for finally perfecting the violent nut-shot he inflicts upon me at least twice every year, I wondered….could we suck so bad for the rest of the season that the Cowboys could finish with the worst record in the NFL? Let’s find out together. (I’m so excited!!)
Step One: Dallas’ Projected Final Record
Below is the Cowboys’ remaining schedule and my predicted result for each game based on what I’ve seen from my favorite team so far this season, and the knowledge that Jon Kitna is so bad that it’s only a matter of time before the even worse (but younger!!) Stephen McGee becomes the starter in Dallas.
10/31 vs. Jacksonville (L)
11/7 at Green Bay (L)
11/14 at New York Giants (L)
11/21 vs. Detroit
11/25 vs. New Orleans (L)
12/5…note, we are in December now with 2 wins….at Indianapolis (L)
12/12 vs. Philadelphia (L)
12/19 vs. Washington (L)
12/25 at Arizona
1/2 at Philadelphia (L)
As you can see, it is absolutely, depressingly possible for the 2010 Dallas Cowboys to finish the season with a 3-13 record (but at least we beat the Lions!!). Now, sure, they could win a game or two more than that. However, the important thing for this exercise is that the Kitna/McGee led Cowboys COULD certainly finish with this 3-13 record that I speak of. Sweet mother of mercy help us all.
Step Two: Who Else Could Possibly Suck as Bad as the Cowboys?
I know what you’re thinking. There’s always some team that finishes 3-13, or 2-14…the Lions went 0-16 two years ago!! Well that’s true, but parity is at an all-time high this year in the NFL. The Browns just beat the Saints. Oakland scored 59 on a team that took the Jets to the wire the week before. That said, here is – in my mind – the only competition standing in the way of Dallas’ new ultimate goal, and the overtly winnable games left on their schedule (listed in order of most likely to somehow actually be worse than Dallas):
1. Buffalo (0-6)
vs. Chicago, vs. Detroit, @ Cincinnati, vs. Cleveland
2. Detroit (1-5)
vs. Washington, @ Buffalo, @ Dallas, vs Chicago, vs. Green Bay, @ Tampa Bay
3. Cleveland (2-5)
@ Jacksonville, vs. Carolina, @ Buffalo, vs. Cincinnati
4. Carolina (1-5)
@ St. Louis, vs. New Orleans (always play them close), @ Tampa Bay, @ Cleveland, @ Seattle, vs. Arizona
5. San Francisco (1-6)
vs. Denver, vs. St. Louis, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Arizona, vs. Seattle, @ San Diego, @St, Louis, vs. Arizona
So let’s review. Based on the current records of these contenders, if we assume that each team wins just half of their winnable remaining games only one team finishes with an equal or worse record than the Cowboys. Thank you, Buffalo!
But in all honesty, after the Bills gave the Ravens all they could handle this past week, with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns, isn’t it reasonably plausible that the Bills win 3 of those 4 winnable games? I mean it’s not like that means they’ll win 75% of the rest of their games. It just means that they’ll win 3 of those 4, and 3 of 10 overall. It could happen, and you know it.
Step Three: Who Would the Cowboys Draft?
Regardless of whether the above does or doesn’t shake out to give Dallas the #1 overall pick, I really don’t see how they aren’t picking in the Top 5 next April. So, who would Jerry jump on with a pick that high? I’m actually not sure. But be sure to check back with Illegalshift.com for a breakdown on the draft-eligible guys that the Cowboys’ would be most likely snag with their first Top 10 pick in the draft since they drafted Terrence Newman in 2003.
– Warzecha –