Ancient Greek literary maestro Homer must take comfort in knowing that the universal these of his epic poems still carry plenty of truth today, and none of them come up more often than good old fashioned hubris. The latest example? It looks like there are strong indications that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones handpicked the Ravens for the Texas Stadium finale, all because he figured that Baltimore looked like one of the team’s most beatable opponents before the season started.
(You’d feel haunted if you fated a season-crushing loss on your team, too.)
ESPN’s NFC East blogger Matt Moseley broke the story, leaning on his past as a virtual “Cowboys beat writer emeritus” at the DALLAS MORNING NEWS for background into a seedy agreement that Jones may have cooked up with the rest of the league. Here’s exactly what he said about Jones lining up the Ravens as his team’s final home opponent:
It’s too bad the Cowboys couldn’t figure things out in the final game at Texas Stadium — especially since Jones apparently petitioned the league for the Cowboys to play the Ravens because it once looked like a winnable game. Jones sort of confirmed that theory to me after the game, but I couldn’t tell whether he was joking. It didn’t matter to the Ravens.
That would be enough to condemn Jones further into the fourth circle of hell for most crazed Cowboys fans, but wait, like a Billy Mays infomercial, there’s even more! … After the jump!
Despite watching Baltimore surge through a strong regular season and push toward the playoffs, and despite realizing that last night’s matchup was shaping up as a must-win for Baltimore as much as it was for Dallas (ergo, insinuating that both teams would scrap for their lives), Jones refused to move his previously scheduled postgame ceremony honoring Cowboys legends at Texas Stadium.
As FANHOUSE points out in this post, the Cowboys welcomed a veritable parade of patsies to Texas Stadium this year, but all of them appeared more dangerous before the season started. Cincinnati could have been scary if Carson Palmer was ever healthy and they kept more than three players at a time out of prison. Seattle has been a perennial playoff contender (until this year). San Francisco may have been a stretch as a threat, but they were a chic pick to make the playoffs before the season started.
The result was a first-time Texas Stadium visitor … and a loss in a stadium finale for the Cowboys. It serves Jones and his team right for trying to add grandeur to a game that already had more than it needed. That the loss will likely cost the Cowboys a playoff spot only underscores what Homer has been trying to teach since the Iliad: As soon as one believes that he/she is mightier than others, they are doomed to fall.