- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2002

Their rookie quarterback was under pressure all afternoon. Their Hall of Fame running back was stopped dead in his tracks in what may have been his last game. Their lame-duck coach, who could be fired as soon as today, watched in horror from the sideline as his team turned the ball over four times and committed a gaggle of mental mistakes.
And when it was all over, their owner really put things in perspective by calling this "the most disappointing season that I've been involved in."
It was a fitting end to a frustrating season for the Dallas Cowboys.
Rarely has a football team entered a season finale in such disarray. And by the time the Cowboys had wrapped up a 20-14 loss to the Washington Redskins yesterday, it seemed as though the franchise was on the verge of crumbling to even lower depths.
"That," said embattled coach Dave Campo, "was a tough way to finish the season."
Dallas' season-ending loss to the Redskins snapping a 10-game winning streak against its NFC East rival represented the final humiliation in a season that has been ripe with embarrassment.
And nothing has been more embarrassing to "America's Team" than the revelation last week that owner Jerry Jones met for five hours with Bill Parcells about his team's coaching job despite the fact that Campo remains employed by the club.
Yesterday's loss didn't do much to aid Campo's cause. Now the owner of a career 15-33 record with Dallas, Campo took the high road, choosing not to answer specific questions about his future, other than to say he wants to continue to coach the Cowboys.
"I'm not real pleased to lose the last four games," said Campo, whose team totaled 186 yards of offense yesterday. "I'm disappointed that we had the season we had. I love playing against the Redskins, but I don't like to lose to them."
Like his embattled coach, Jones wouldn't discuss Campo's status, though he did say he is "in the process of making a decision right now."
Jones also faces a difficult decision with Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher who is expected to be cut loose as the Cowboys start a youth movement.
Smith, who was held to a scant 13 yards on 18 rushing attempts, spoke passionately about his desire to play next year, whether in a Cowboys uniform or not. And he took a few shots at those in the organization who feel that he, at 33, is too old to perform at a high level.
"I still want to play the game of football, because I still feel like I can," said Smith, who came up 25 yards short of a 1,000-yard rushing season. "Once the evaluation process goes on with the Cowboys, they're going to find out that I'm not the problem. We have a lot more problems than just a 33-year-old running back, and it probably showed out there today."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide