So it’s come to this.
Folks who know me know that my regular job is to serve as sports editor for the News-Herald, but when I write my column, I don’t often crossover into that part of the world because often times it doesn’t jive with what’s going on in the world around me. However, when it comes to applying sports psychology and terminology to our everyday life, I’m ready to jump in with both feet.
With that being said, away I go!
This week I present to you why the Dallas Cowboys need to be imploded and burned to the ground. I apologize for not providing any graphics or charts, but you’ll get the gist as the column rolls on.
So this weekend the Cowboys lost. The way this season has gone that shouldn’t come as any surprise to football fans, but it was the team’s behavior during that loss that should anger, irritate and disappoint any and all sports fan, but especially Cowboys fans.
With usual starting quarterback Dak Prescott out due to a broken and dislocated ankle, it was on longtime NFL quarterback Andy Dalton to step up and try to lead the team past their bitter rivals in Washington. Unfortunately, Dalton wouldn’t make it to the end of the game as a vicious hit by Washington linebacker Jon Bostic left Dalton lying face down on the turf, conscious but in no way ready for the next play.
As Dalton was tended to be trainers, the referees were left to sort out the details. Washington was penalized for the hit and Bostic was ejected. While Dalton was helped to his feet and off the field to undergo what I assume was the NFL’s standard concussion protocol testing, Bostic was led off the field by a Washington staff, incredulous that his impression of a missile locked onto Dalton’s head could have resulted in his early departure from the game.
What happened in the aftermath is what caught my eye, and has since been echoed in countless columns and sports talk shows. Not a single Cowboys player, not one, stepped up and stood up for Dalton. Not the offensive line that features the biggest players on the team, not the wide receivers or tight ends who benefit from someone actually throwing them the ball, and definitely not Ezekiel Elliott, the $15 million man whose performance this year has hovered somewhere between terrible and God-awful.
None of those so-called “teammates” stood up for their injured teammate. When Prescott got hurt, Elliott scored a rushing touchdown and violently spiked the ball, then held up four fingers to show the score was for Prescott. After Dalton was hurt, none of the Cowboys could be bothered to confront the player who was responsible for the dirty hit.
In sports, presentation is as much a part of the game as execution. If the opposing pitcher throws a pitch that nearly hits a batter, that batter’s teammates will start chirping. Nothing may come out of it, but that batter knows if something does happen he won’t be alone. Same thing occurs in basketball. A rough foul on one end will almost guarantee a response on the other end.
Call it barbaric or stupid, but those things mean equality and unity on a team. The thought that these strangers are willing to fight alongside you or stand up for you because you wear the same uniform is something that is common from the superstars on the team to the rookies to the journeymen.
When your teammates no longer care, why should you and why should your fans?
Brian Argabright is the sports editor of the Del Rio News-Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.