The Dallas Cowboys have asked the NFL to not schedule them any games for the entire month of December, team sources confirmed today.
"I don't know if any team has asked for a bye month before, but the league works around team requests and stadium schedules all the time," said Jerry Jones. "So I hope the NFL respects our wishes and lets us wrap up our regular season by November 31st."
While slightly above average in September, October and November, the talented Cowboys historically collapse in December and plummet down the NFC East standings. The request to take December off is a transparent attempt to avoid yet another December swoon.
Although the Cowboys deny they are paralyzed by another season-ending string of losses.
"What? No. Not at all," said quarterback Tony Romo. "What would give you that impression? We're all very confident in December and aren't in any way consumed by impending feelings of doom during every waking moment. It's just that in December we have plans to … you know, well it's a busy time. Christmas shopping and stuff. Relatives visiting. The team holiday party. You know, it's just not a good month for us as far as carving out time to play football. I hope the NFL can respect that. But, no, we definitely don't fear December and I don't by any means have a psychiatrist who I talk to about that exact issue three times a week. No, sir."
The Cowboys say they are willing to double up on games some weeks — playing Thursday and Sunday, for example — in order to get all 16 of their games in before Week 13, which is on Sunday, December 2nd. But Roger Goodell says that is impossible.
"In order to get the Cowboys enough games by then, other teams would have to play more games before Week 13, too," said Goodell. "It would throw off our whole schedule. Plus, I think I can speak for the vast majority of NFL fans in saying that we want the Cowboys to play in December. Fans love seeing them fall apart every year. It's one of the greatest, and definitely the most hilarious, traditions in our sport."