Cowboys' goal: 'Play for 60 minutes'

The 1-6 Cowboys have talented players, Wade Phillips keeps telling us, knowing that reflects really poorly on the coaching staff.

Do the Cowboys have motivated players?

“I think they’ll be ready to play the next game,” Phillips said. “But I thought they would be ready last game, so I’ve got to do a better job there and they’ve got to do a better job.”

Players adamantly deny that they’ve quit on the season despite terrible performances the last two games. Linebacker Keith Brooking said there are “some plays that it seems like guys are trying too hard,” ignoring their responsibility in the scheme in an effort to make extraordinary plays.

But linebacker Bradie James admits that it’s a challenge to be motivated under the circumstances.

“No matter what's going on, you just can't feel deflated,” James said. “You've just got to go out there and play, play to the end and not really look at the scoreboard and hopefully you'll be on top at the end. I mean, that's it. It's like you're going back to Pop Warner, when your coaches just say, ‘Play for 60 minutes.’ We've gotten to that point.”

Jaguars quarterback David Garrard told SI.com’s Peter King that the Cowboys weren’t as into the game as an NFL team should be. Garrard saw a “woe-is-me” attitude from the Cowboys.

“Nah, you can’t have that,” tight end Jason Witten said. “I mean, it’s hard. Nobody thought this was going to be the situation, but you can’t have that. Nobody is feeling sorry for you.”

Opponents actually take great pleasure in kicking the overhyped Cowboys while they’re down. Without motivation, the Cowboys make it easy.