Parcells Frustrated After Listless Cowboys Fall To Bengals 26-3
Bill Parcells was hoping this game would be the start of a run to the playoffs. Sitting at 3-4, his Dallas Cowboys desperately needed to start stringing some victories together to keep pace in the NFC Wild Card race. A golden opportunity presented itself in Week 9 as the Cowboys traveled to Cincinnati to face the lowly Bengals.
But instead of evening their record, the Cowboys used this Sunday afternoon to verify the fact that they were nowhere near to being a playoff-caliber football team, falling to 3-5 with a lethargic 26-3 defeat.
The game started well for the Cowboys, who moved from their 22 to the Cincinnati 22 on their first possession. On fourth-down and inches, Bill Parcells called for a quarterback sneak. Vinnie Testaverde didn’t get it.
The Dallas offense was never the same after that, as they committed turnovers on three of their next four possessions, awarding the Bengals a 9-3 halftime advantage.
Early in the third quarter, the Bengals broke the game open when Carson Palmer connected with tight end Matt Schobel on third-down. Running free through the Dallas secondary, Schobel got past the last defender by stiff-arming Cowboys safety Roy Williams into the turf, before finishing the 76-yard scoring play.
Parcells then called for his offense to use a hurry-up attack – something the Cowboys had practiced each week since training camp – but could only fume on the sideline as Testaverde and Co. failed to execute it properly.
“We’re too stupid,” Parcells said. “I can’t put anything in their hands…I’m ashamed of myself and my team.”
Two more turnovers in the fourth quarter provided Cincinnati with ten more points, as the Cowboys limped to the finish line.
By game’s end, Dallas was responsible for five turnovers, three of which came from the right hand of Testaverde. During the postgame press conference a reporter noted that all three interceptions came on passes directed toward wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, a fact which failed to impress the Cowboys’ dissatisfied head coach.
“I put it on all of them,” Parcells snapped. “Were you watching the game? All of them. All of them……That’s about as bad as you can get…..We were poorly coached, we played poorly, we’re inefficient and we’re just awful. That’s the truth.”