Was last year's Thanksgiving a complete wreck for America? Probably not, unless you're a fan of America's Team. Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears, they weren't watching.
The Thanksgiving game between the Cowboys and Saints, marked by a game changing/losing fumble by Roy Williams, put a dagger in the hearts of Dallas fans.
The Green Bay game brings back similar nightmares. In a way, these games are the epitome of the Cowboys' 2010-2011 season: Williams' lack of hands or intelligence, Marion Barber's lack of speed, Leonard Davis' lack of dominance, Sam Hurd's lack of production and of course Alan Ball's lack of ability to play football (just a cruel, joking reminder that Dallas actually silenced the Bears' wishes to sign Ball the Bum by...re-signing him).
The Bears may have willingly adopted a Pandora's Box of ex-Cowboys, including Williams, Barber and Hurd, and a rotten season as a bonus. Why is it that the Bears, nearly NFC Champions last year, are signing the Dallas duds? What about butterfingers, slow feet and nonproductive sounds impressive?
As a Dallas fan living in Chicago, I understand what has been said on both sides. Chicago believes Mike Martz can get the most out of the Dallas scrubs and reach the playoffs. Addition by subtraction is what Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett thought when they cut these guys. Frankly (although biased), I strongly agree with the latter.
Chicago trusts its playoff hopes in the hands of Mr. Roy E. Williams: Mistake No. 1. Terrell Owens may have been a pain in the rear in his time with the Boys, but he could catch better than Williams with broken fingers.
Williams may be the worst trade acquisition in Dallas Cowboys history. He takes plays off and never truly understood Garrett's offense. He is afraid to go down the middle of the field. He fumbles away the balls he actually catches.
Chicago believes it signed a tall, red-zone, starting receiver. The reality? Unless Williams rides the pine, he will only hurt the Bears with his overvalued drops.
Barber, Mistake No. 2, cannot be the goal-line back that the Bears want him to be. On occasions last year, the Cowboys failed to convert on third-and-1 with Barber carrying the ball.
Although not on Williams' level of waste, Barber has suffered foot and leg injuries in the past few years, making him much slower than when he assumed the starter role with the Cowboys.
He seems to have worn himself out with his vicious running style. The effects are obvious when watching the game tapes. He cannot run outside. He runs strictly through the A or B gap. Even then, he cannot run over opponents, because by the time he gets to the line, the holes have disappeared; opponents run over him.
You can blame the Dallas offensive line, but Barber has only become slower and more disappointing. Barber is a decent blocker and hard worker; however, these qualities cannot fulfill the Bears' expectations. Barber is not fast enough to find pay-dirt.
Among the Bears' collection of ex-Cowboys, Sam Hurd may be the safest signing. Hurd is a question mark because he received a few opportunities in Dallas and never impressed.
He was not an eyesore and did make plays here and there, but he never made himself standout as a "gotta get him" free agent.
However, Hurd does have some potential on his side. Hurd can be a respectable possession receiver but lacks speed and starting experience. Thus, the Bears should be cautious if Hurd finds himself in the starter role.
Subtraction by addition: this is what Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith are about to find out with these guys. When you pick up someone's trash in the NFL, it is rare to strike it rich.
In the end, the Bears better be ready for some bad news. On the other hand, the Cowboys might have some real hope for a change. As Jim Mora would say to the Bears, "Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! PLAYOFFS?"
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!