Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/2/12
The Cowboys' season ended Sunday night after a 31-14 loss to the New York Giants. Here are my thoughts on Dallas' eighth and final loss of the season. 1.) Let's be honest, the Cowboys didn't make the playoffs because they didn't deserve to make the playoffs. The defense couldn't stop anybody, the running game was only above average when DeMarco Murray was healthy and the offensive line was a patchwork group that was never better than average at any time this season. You are what your record says you are and the Cowboys are a .500 team. Heck, if it weren't for a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, arguably the worst team in the league by the time December rolled around, Dallas wouldn't have won a game after November. 2.) The only way the Cowboys were going to win on Sunday night is if they played nearly flawless. That obviously didn't happen, falling behind 21-0 by halftime. Tony Romo wasn't bad, throwing for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but the running game was non-existent, finishing with 49 yards. Like the defense has done most of the season, a lack of a pass rush allowed an opposing quarterback to pass for nearly 350 yards on ab ineffective group of defensive backs. It's pretty obvious, the talent-level on defense needs to be upgraded tremendously. Blaming defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is too easy. The man runs his mouth as much as any coach in sports but he deserves more than a shortened offseason and few additions to correct a troubled group. If things haven't changed by this time next year then blaming him is completely understandable. Also, spending every 2012 draft pick on a defensive player doesn't sound like too bad of an idea. 3.) The play of the game was easily a third-and-7, 44-yard toss from Manning with 9:22 remaining. The Giants franchise quarterback twirled and lofted up a beautiful pass that Victor Cruz caught despite the defense of Orlando Scandrick, who was in the area but falling back. The Giants were only ahead by seven at that point and the Cowboys had gained most of the momentum. The play was reminiscent of the one Manning made in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII. A stop there and maybe Romo and company complete the comeback and get host a game next weekend. Instead, they'll be cleaning out their lockers Monday morning. 4.) Don't blame Romo. The Cowboys quarterback is usually the first to be ridiculed when anything goes wrong, but he deserves credit for gutting it out and playing with a throwing hand that was swollen to twice the size of his normal hand. He didn't turn in his best game but he also didn't finish with anything near his worst. This game didn't come down to Romo. It came down to a defense that needs several upgrades. Unfortunately for Romo, they might not arrive in time for him to ever win the Super Bowl that he believes they can. 5.) Stop with all of the Jerry Jones hate, it's pointless. While doing the live game chat it was obvious that many are beyond frustrated with the Cowboys owner and general manager. Well, that does you no good. He's not going anywhere. If you dislike how he runs his organization then find another team to root for. And yes, I understand, it's not that simple. But it's reality. Oh, and wishing death on anyone is beyond sad, so stop with that, as well. -- Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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