Because it’s not.
Coach Bill Belichick will forever remain Darth Vader, but “your powers are weak, old man.” His team isn’t good, and his quarterback(s) can’t play.
The latest team to take advantage of, and exploit, these realities are the Dallas Cowboys.
In the same calendar year, the Cowboys ended Brady’s career, in the playoffs in Tampa, and handed Belichick the worst defeat since he became an NFL head coach. Not sure if it makes a banner, but it’s a feather.
The Cowboys beat up Little Bill’s Patriots, 38-3 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. This looked like a preseason game, only without all of the intrigue and excitement.
The return of Patriots running back Ezekiel Elliott to play his old team was a yawn. Good for Zeke to land another contract, but given the way he played on Sunday the Cowboys were more than justified in releasing him in the offseason.
“It was homecoming but it’s still our house,” Cowboys defensive end Tank Lawrence said.
The Patriots trailed by 25 points at the half, the largest halftime deficit in Belichick’s head coaching career, which feels like it began back in the late 1800s.
As horrible and criminally-bad the Cowboys played one week ago in their loss to the Arizona Cardinals, they nearly flipped all of it against New England.
— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) October 1, 2023
“We played great today,” Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore said.
He’s not lying.
How the Cowboys played against the Patriots was not perfect. The Cowboys were 1-of-4 inside the red zone on Sunday.
This offense still has major red zone issues, and that problem will eventually be a big one. It was more of a punchline on Sunday.
“Something we’ve got to get better at,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said, “but we won 38-3.”
The red zone wasn’t a problem because the Cowboys quarterback was efficient. Dak completed 28 of 34 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown. Plus, NO interceptions.
The red zone wasn’t a problem because the Cowboys kicker should go directly to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Brandon Aubrey has gone from the kicker they couldn’t trust to their most reliable offensive player.
Call this performance a result of “renewed focus.” Call it just playing the Patriots without Tom Brady. Call it life in the NFL.
“It’s a week to week league,” Gilmore said.
It’s a cliche. And it’s the truth.
Speaking of truth, let’s also just call Sunday what it is: The Dallas Cowboys doing what they do.
The question for anyone who watches this team, and courageous enough to care about the outcomes of their games, is do we trust it?
Do we trust their 3-1 record, and go full Ted Lasso? Do we Believe?
Do we think the Cowboys are as good as the team that now owns all of America’s northeast? The Cowboys have defeated the New York Giants, New York Jets and New England Patriots by the combined score 108-13.
Or are they the team that was embarrassed in Arizona, and ultimately will disappoint us by losing to a franchise that they should beat in January?
The answer to both questions is a bold, underlined, 98-point, all caps YES.
The Cowboys, and the rest of the NFL, will learn a lot next week when they go to California to play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. That will give us all a better idea of where exactly the Cowboys reside among the better teams in the NFL.
Because the Cowboys are one of the better teams in the NFL.
The Cowboys should be 4-0, but you’ll take 3-1.
Other than one horrible game in Arizona, they have played well and look like they can be an issue in January.
Ending Tom Brady’s career and handing Bill Belichick his worst defeat ever are nice feathers, but they aren’t a banner.