Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Magical Players Only Meeting Fuels Cowboys Run

BY Drew Magary

Wondering just what’s gotten into your Cowboys this December? Wondering how they were able to shake off the demons of seasons past and get their act together for once? Is it the emergence of Miles Austin? The uncommonly consistent play of Tony Romo? DeMarcus Ware’s rally from what appeared to be a devastating neck injury?

Well, you are WRONG. The Houston Chronicle reports that the key to the team’s resurgence was the tried and true players only meeting:

The Dallas Cowboys desperately needed a lift after they opened December with two straight defeats.

They got it when linebacker Keith Brooking called a players-only meeting the day after the loss to the San Diego Chargers.

“Everybody had a chance to say what was on their minds and in their hearts,” cornerback Mike Jenkins said Monday. “It helped a lot, showing that a lot of guys really have respect for each other. That Wednesday when we came back, that practice was magnificent.”

Energized by their closed-door session and the fact that so many pundits gave them no chance, the Cowboys upset the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

You read about this all the time. Teams that are stuck in a rut decide to hold a meeting, scribble a quick NO COACHEZZ ALLOWD! sign in crayon, and air their grievances. And then, PRESTO! Instant results.

I’m tired of reading about players only meetings turning everything around. For once, I’d like to read about a players only meeting that ends up in acrimony and brawling, with accusations of cuckolding bandied about. Also, if players-only meetings always turn things around, then why not just hold one after EVERY loss? Why did the Cowboys wait until December to hold one of these things? Heck, every time the team huddles, it’s a players only meeting. They should score a 60-yard TD after every one of them.

Here’s my guess: the players only meeting is an easy way to explain why a team turned things around. But here’s a much better explanation: they stayed healthy, played to their talent level and stopped playing like morons.