Garrett's 'Dallas in Wonderland' Cowboys Are Living in a 'Jerry Poppins' World

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - What I heard from outside the closed doors of the losing Cowboys locker room on Thanksgiving night was angry wailing, mostly from newcomer/veteran Michael Bennett. But what did Bennett say inside of AT&T Stadium following the crushing 26-15 loss to Buffalo? Turns out, it was worthy of Demosthenes, Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.!

I am not in any way denigrating Bennett's passionate yelping. For the benefit of Cowboys Nation, I hope his high-pitched screaming inspires Dallas to the Super Bowl of which owner Jerry Jones - i.e., "Jerry Poppins'' - continues to dream.

Keyword ... Dream.

This is The Cowboys Way, and The Cowboys Way something completely different than over-matched coach Jason Garrett thinks it is. "FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT''? Yeah, sure, it's that.

But it's something else, too. I can scatter-shoot examples at you. Here goes:

*Garrett is Landry 2.0. Well, no.

*Leighton Vander Esch "only has a neck stinger.'' But that's not true; it's worse than that.

*Assistant Ben Bloom was "away from the team due to the flu.'' But that's maybe not quite true; I believe a coaches/player(s)-related conflict was also involved.

*Randall Cobb is better than Cole Beasley and Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are better than Frank Gore and Devin Singletary and Amari Cooper is better than John Brown and Jason Garrett is better than Sean McDermott ...

But who says so? The imperial hype-machined Dallas Cowboys say so, that's who. In terms of this season, Maliek Collins is going to be Warren Sapp and Xavier Woods is going to be Earl Thomas and Jason Witten "hasn't lost a step'' and Dallas "has two Pro Bowl corners'' and "has the best O-line'' and "the coolest this'' and "the finest that'' ... But the reality is, Buffalo is superior to Dallas.

Don't see it? To paraphrase Jerry's late-night answer to my question about Jason Garrett's job security: You must be smokin' somthin'.

And in three of Dallas' last four games, three teams have been superior to Dallas. And in six of Dallas' last nine games, six teams have been superior to Dallas. These are facts. No fantasy allowed.

Ah, but this is Dallas in Wonderland. Fantasy Time. Fairy-Tales with "Jerry Poppins.'' Jerry-Tales.

“Adversity,'' Jerry Poppins said outside the AT&T Stadium locker room after this debacle, "gives you an opportunity to really write a hell of a story about how to come back. The way I’m going to handle this is to encourage everybody to basically look to the possibility of winning out and end up doing something that people will write about 30 years from now.''

"A hell of a story''? Or a silly fairy tale?

“It was a fairy tale when I got to buy the Dallas Cowboys,” a teary-eyed Jones told reporters. “It’s been a fairy-tale life to me, so I have always dreamed out there on the edge. ... I’ve been confused many times between my dreams and reality. But I've surprised my own ass by finding out there was some real reality in what a lot of people thought I was dreaming about.”

I listen to that and you read that and by God, you inch toward believing that. Jerry is, after all, the world's most gifted salesman and a Pep-Talk King. The "Jerry Poppins'' positivity is a powerful thing. But then you take a step back, and realize that the Bills are among the six teams on Dallas' so-far schedule alone that have earned the right to dream bigger ... And you realize that beyond the Cowboys' queer perch atop the NFC East, the only category this team leads the NFL in is ... dreamy speech-giving.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.