It’s been difficult getting excited about the Cowboys this year. Losing 7 straight without Tony Romo was bad enough, but we held out hope for his return and most assured run for the playoffs. The Miami game bolstered our optimism, but then Thanksgiving happened.
Even before Romo was injured again, the Panthers were outplaying us all over the field. His clavicle injury was just a bomb blast of reality for this season, a reality momentarily eluded in Washington before hitting home again at Lambeau Field.
So you’re asking what’s the point. Why should we continue watching the Cowboys lose this year? But if that’s your question then you’re on the wrong website.
The Jets are fighting for their lives this year. They aren’t going to just lay on the Division St. train tracks while in Arlington. But maybe they aren’t expecting the Dallas Cowboys awaiting them – the Cowboys full of all the vitriol that comes with a 4-9 season and nothing but 3 games left to lose.
Dallas has lost. Even if the rest of the division loses every remaining game, these Cowboys have already earned the one-and-done playoff performance awaiting them. And that’s okay. I had hopes as high as anyone for this season; here we come Super Bowl 50, right? But the writing on this wall wasn’t written in the last few weeks, it was etched in stone before the season took its first breath.
Young teams often falter under pressure. It’s why the Cowboys stuck with the likes of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel for so long – experience, more than luck, wins football games. Tony Romo was a missing piece all year long, the piece that found a way to win games when it mattered, but even with him, the Cowboys were far from dominant.
Take away his injuries and we’re still looking at a 7-6 team, at best, and youth can account for a lot of that. The lack of his leadership and ability made it worse, but the Cowboys being exposed was always going to happen, we just didn’t realize it until it happened.
My thought right now is that nothing builds character like getting your ass handed to you week in, week out in ridiculously close games that were really anything but close. Just close enough to keep everyone fighting but still out of reach.
So what are we left with? Simple. Fight or quit. And I don’t expect a lot of quit tonight.
As bad as this season has been for us, one positive that’s come out of the muck is the now ultra clear need to get ahead of Romo’s next injury. When one guy going down breaks the team you have a problem. Perhaps the least of which being the need for a better backup QB, possibly even the Cowboys QB of the future. But it’s a need nonetheless and one that is well defined and simple to address – draft someone young, someone high, someone full of potential, and let him sit back watching and learning from one of the best in the business.
And that brings me to my point in all of this.
It’s been hard to get excited about this team in 2015, but we’re close to a situation we haven’t seen in a while; we’re on the cusp of admitting it’s over.
When that happens, Kellen Moore will get out there. Cassel will hit the sidelines with the same timid velocity and accuracy he throws with. Moore will not save anything. He will not take this team beyond week 17. I don’t think anyone really expects him to, either.
The only thing Kellen offers is change, youth, and evaluation. Maybe a little bit of excitement. Certainly a couple picks and nervous sacks. But change nonetheless.
It’s time for preseason part II. It’s time for the front office to figure out what went wrong and start correcting it in 100% real drills. The opportunity is there and its value is unmistakable. And sometime in the next 7 hours, the Cowboys will see it and move on from the hope of 2015.
Enjoy the game everyone.
Dallas Cowboys vs New York Jets Quick Facts
Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX
Date and Time: Saturday, December 19th, 7:25 p.m. (CST)
Teams: Dallas Cowboys (4-9) vs New York Jets (8-5)
Series Record: Dallas leads the series 7-3
Last Meeting: Dallas 34 @ Jets 3, September 11, 2011
Series Streak: Dallas has won 2 of the 3 games
Television, Radio, and Live Stream
Video Stream: Game Pass
Television: NFL Network – KTVT CBS 11 in Dallas/Fort Worth
Radio: 105.3 The Fan – Cowboys Radio Network
** 105.3 the Fan will broadcast pregame and postgame coverage for every Cowboys game
Dallas Cowboys Postgame Show
KTVT CBS11 in Dallas/Fort Worth
TXA 21 in Dallas/ Fort Worth