Once Again, Just About Every Dallas Cowboy. Yes, they won, and they were much better this week, and that's really wonderful. And maybe it's true that Jason Garrett is a great head coach and Wade Phillips was a really bad one. None of that is what I want to talk about.
Here's my question: Did the Dallas Cowboys really just need someone to tell them to play harder? Did they really just need someone to tell them to be more disciplined, show some pride and behave like professionals? Because that was the only real difference between last week's Cowboys and this week's Cowboys (that, and the fact that the Giants thought they'd win by just showing up). They were running the same plays and the same defenses they had all year. This week, they just decided they should do it well.
Again, that's great for this week, but the fact that they've been capable of this all along ... doesn't that just make the previous nine weeks even more shameful? It's been written in Sharpie and highlighted now: The Cowboys were awful for reasons having nothing to do with talent or ability. Those have been there all along, at least in some capacity. They were repeatedly beaten and humiliated because their attitude and work ethic were pathetic.
How do you do that to your fans? How do you do that to your owner? How do you even do that to yourselves? I hope for Jason Garrett's sake that these guys don't eventually tune him out, too. They quit once, they can quit again.
Carson Palmer(notes), QB, Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals, it feels like, are sometimes close to being a really good, really dangerous team. They could've just beaten the Colts in Indy, but they can't stop stepping on their own toes. Palmer routinely missed open receivers Sunday, made some ridiculous decisions with the football and honestly, some of his post-mistake body language shouldn't be tolerated. A lot of times, he's out there acting like he's carrying this team on his back while everyone else is dragging him down, and that's nowhere near the truth.
Glover Quin(notes), CB, Houston Texans. Oh, Glover. You did this. And that wasn't good, and I know you'll probably take a lot of abuse for it and I'm sure you feel terrible about it. I feel bad for you, man, because let's be real about this. You aren't a receiver, it's hard to judge a ball like that, it's a nerve-wracking situation, and mistake or not, it's a freak play for that ball to end up in a Jaguar's hands. I'd love to be using this space to defend you, and I would, it's just that ... well, you also whiffed on this tackle. Mike Thomas(notes) beat you here. You were beaten all day long as David Garrard(notes) piled up 342 passing yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Dust yourself off and have a strong week of practice, sir.
Kerry Collins(notes) and Vince Young(notes), QBs, Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins lost two quarterbacks Sunday (potentially for the rest of the season), and by the end of the game were down to their third-stringer. Still, their quarterback play was far, far superior to that of the Titans. Kerry Collins was 9-of-20 for 51 yards before hurting himself by just standing there. Vince Young was better, but still not great: 9-of-18 for 92 yards, one TD and one pick. Looks like the Dolphins will be going with Tyler Thigpen(notes) now, and we'll see him on Thursday night against the Bears.
Brett Favre(notes), QB, Minnesota Vikings. Of all the quarterbacks in the league who have thrown at least 14 passes per game, there are three with a worse passer rating than Brett Favre. Their names are Derek Anderson(notes), Matt Moore(notes) and Jimmy Clausen(notes). Ahead of Favre on that list are Alex Smith, Shaun Hill(notes), Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) and Jason Campbell(notes). If anyone wants to take a crack at convincing me that Tarvaris Jackson(notes) doesn't give the Vikings a better chance to win, I'm all ears.