Much of the sporting world reacted gleefully when the Dallas Cowboys melted down late in the season, capped by an embarrassing 44-6 loss to the Eagles. However, you wouldn’t have expected that the Cowboys themselves would also be celebrating the fact that they won’t be going to the playoffs. But, at least one source is saying they did just that.
(”Finally, this B.S. is over. Let’s go to Cabo.” )
According to 1310 THE TICKET’s Mark Friedman, the Cowboys’ charter flight back to Dallas was a festive affair, like “the last day of school.” Players were laughing, playing games, and generally acting as if life was just dandy. So much for the illusion of athletes really caring about their jobs. Despondent Cowboy fans are not amused.
DALLAS SPORTS FANS are one such group. They summarized Friedman’s observations of the charter flight (he was on the plane):
He described the scene as “like the last day of school”, with dominoes being played in the back and lots of laughing and carrying on. He said that he was reluctant to say anything, seeing as how the Cowboys are nice enough to allow media members on the charter, and that only leads me to believe that he may have muted the reality of what was actually going on. Friedo did not mention any specific names, nor did he say if alcohol was flowing, but he made it pretty clear that if you did not know who won the Cowboys-Eagles game, you just might assume it was the Cowboys from their conduct on the plane.
Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising, but one wonders if this the kind of behavior that goes on everywhere. Are all teams really all that upset when their season ends? DALLAS SPORTS FANS says the guys on 1310 had their theory about NFL players maybe not even wanting to be in the playoffs:
As they explained, many of the Cowboys players made over $100,000 just for the Eagles game. As I’m sure you know, NFL players get paid by the game. 16 game checks in total, each of which can be pretty exorbitant amounts when you are talking about contracts between $5-10 million per year. For a playoff game, each player would have received an additional $18,000 (I believe), which for many would be a huge step down in pay.
As hypothesized by Norm and Friedo, many NFL players view football as nothing more than a job. Why should they be expected to be excited about playing another game, and risking serious injury, for a mere fraction of their usual paycheck?
It’s a cynical take, but it’s probably closer to the truth than the idea that these guys would fly home in silence and then stare at a wall for a week while listening to “Bad Day” over and over again.
Most troubling in all of this for Dallas fans is the behavior of Tony Romo, who didn’t really look all that upset about not being in the playoffs. After all, now he has plenty of time to knock up Jessica Simpson and go to Mexico. But is that the guy who’s going to lead your team back to glory? DSF says it best:
Do you think Chad Pennington or Peyton Manning can walk away from a loss thinking “it’s just a game?” I don’t know either of them personally, but I would wager that they have never once thought that in the immediate aftermath of a loss. Tony Romo gets the pub and the big contract, but Chad Pennington has been a more successful quarterback in December and is playing this year into January for a team that was 1-15 last year. Honestly, who would you rather have as your quarterback for next year?
Dallas has all kinds of issues swirling around. What to do about T.O., Pacman, Wade Phillips, etc. One thing that seemed stable was Romo, but is he really the kind of guy who’s not going to accept failure and keep working tirelessly until he finally breaks through (like Manning)? Or is he going to just settle for making a lot of money and marrying a hot girl? Can you really say that the latter isn’t the truth?