When the Cowboys held their annual kickoff luncheon in 2014, the season of doom and gloom had been widely talked about. Owner Jerry Jones spoke about having their backs against the wall. Coach Jason Garrett referred to how the 2014 team would fight. The team finished the year with a 12-4 record and finished one play away from the NFC Championship.
Fast forward a year later to the 2015 luncheon. Coach Garrett and Owner Jerry Jones had the usual, predictable message: the pursuit of excellence, striving to be your best and we can only control what we do. But the rest of the talk was different.
Michael Irvin made constant references to the number 50, and the ‘golden team’ bringing home the golden Super Bowl 50 trophy. The great Lee Roy Jordan spoke of bringing home number 6, and Roger Staubach praised Tony Romo. Orlando Scandrick–the man known as Sandpaper–actually showed emotion. It was just different from the luncheon talk we usually hear.
At this time last year, the fans were concerned, the coaching staff was searching the waiver wire looking for players to bring in that would improve the team. This year, when the Cowboys trim their roster down to 53 players on September 5th, they will be releasing players that will improve other teams.
How about the talk of the 2014 Dallas defense when it was all about where the pass rush would come from, and how they were going to be record-setting bad. But, this year, it’s about the excitement of Randy Gregory, Greg Hardy, Tyrone Crawford and Demarcus Lawrence killing opposing quarterbacks; not to mention the return of Sean Lee.
When 2104 began, everyone wondered if Tony Romo would be able to make it through a whole season. And now, Romo looks great. This has been the most pre-season work he has seen in a long time.
The one somewhat constant question that has been the same from 2014 to 2015 is about the running back position. Say what you want, but there was concern about DeMarco Murray making it through the season injury-free. This year some have questioned if Randle and McFadden can carry the load. Yes, I think they can.
The aura surrounding this team in 2015 has finally changed. The talk of a top ten draft pick or another 8-8 season has been replaced with comparisons to Cowboys teams of the past, and talk of Super Bowl 50. Have the stars aligned for the Cowboys this year? Only time will tell. But, it sure seems everything is falling into place.
You may agree or think I have s**t for brains. Let me know. Just make sure you come back and check out the season-long series of the 1995 Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl season.