…Could be the best thing to happen to our Cowboys this season. It all depends on how you choose to look at it.
Perusing over my last several contributions, it could be said that I did so under the influence of the infamous kool-aid many fans partake of in the months leading up to the football season. But just because I may have had one too many, doesn't mean I don't recognize the potential for disaster the Cowboys have across the board.
Romo's back and the potential of re-injury, the defense once again setting records in the wrong direction, and Garrett's struggles with in-game management could yield mediocre if not atrocious returns for the Cowboys 2014 season. That is an undeniable, irrevocable truth that should not be ignored by any fan; to do so could lead to unfair and unwarranted expectations.
But even if everything that can go wrong does go wrong, there still could be positives that arise from the ashes of yet another season better suited for the incinerator.
Clearly there is nothing that could happen more catastrophic than Romo's back injury rearing its ugly head. If Romo goes down, the opinion is unanimous amongst fans and analysts alike – the Cowboys' season will be over.
The silver lining to that very dark cloud, however, is two-fold:
- The Cowboys can no longer ignore the fact that Romo's best years are behind him and will likely have to address the QB position in the following draft.
- Given the lack of Romo, the Cowboys will likely be drafting high which could put them in line for a QB worthy of carrying Romo's jockstrap, if not better.
Believe it or not, I'm more realist than optimistic, so I won't even mention Jameis Winston…or will I? No, I won't.
The other prevalent argument being thrown against the Cowboys' chances this year is the lack of star-power on the defensive side of the ball. There is literally not one person on that side of the ball opposing offensive coordinators are game-planning against.
However, once again, there are a few positive takeaways:
- No names means no sense of entitlement for anyone; even if their best does not turn out to be good enough, we at least won't be left with the sour taste of quit and/or half-effort in our mouths following games. These men are not just playing to win; they are playing for their future career in the NFL and quality of life. They do not have a resume that assures them another job next year.
- If the defense does in fact prove to be worse than last year with the loss of DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lee, and whoever else falls prey to the injury bug, once again, we are likely looking at another hard-to-watch season that, at least, leads to a high draft pick.
Jerry Jones was recently quoted as saying the record is not specifically what he will be looking at in terms of whether or not Jason Garrett receives an extension at the end of this season. That doesn't mean Garrett keeps his job, come what may. If that were the case, he would have already been handed an extension. On the contrary, Jason is still on a short leash; Jones realizes that much can happen within a season that can impact the win/loss ratio, regardless of Garrett's contribution and, therefore, has his sights set on a different measuring stick.
If Garrett once again can be pointed to as part of the problem and not the solution; if the Cowboys lose in late-game situations as a result of poor in-game management, he will not receive an extension. The good news is the Cowboys will finally get that shiny new head coach many disillusioned fans have been hoping for. Personally, I'm not completely sold on that being the best thing for the Cowboys, but it will at least shut up the Garrett detractors for a little bit, which would be music (of the silence variety) to my ears.
In life, every situation presents a set of hurdles. A set of pitfalls and potential success that can be realized immediately or eventually, only made possible through the experience earned by a certain degree of failure. It is how the individual or team responds to defeat that distinguishes true winners, even when the scoreboard disagrees.
Far too often lately, I am hearing on the radio, reading in articles, and following discussions on blogs that seem to harp on everything that could potentially go wrong this year for the Cowboys. It's as though listeners/readers/fellow bloggers have been living in a bubble up until this season, and just so happened to decide on a whim to start being a fan of the Cowboys.
As a Cowboys fan you are well-versed in all of the impending doom and gloom; and this is not a condition specific to the Cowboys, or even the sport of football. It is a very simple study in probability. The Cowboys have a 1 in 32 chance of going to the Championship every year. While those odds easily trump our chances of winning the lottery, they still are not very good – 3.125 percent to be exact.
So it really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the Cowboys have not made it to the Super Bowl since the mid-90's. It's not like the odds improve the further a team gets away from their last brush with greatness. Unless you subscribe to the ignorance that Dallas is special and holds sports teams to a higher standard, this should not be a difficult concept to digest.
Circling back to the point (and kicking away the soapbox in a fit of disgust), a lot could go wrong this year for the Cowboys – already discussed, as well as a new variety of tragedy. But truth be told, 31 other teams face similar challenges.
Every team's quarterback is one grisly hit away from being out for the season and sinking the team's hopes for the year. Every team's defense starts at ground-zero proving they are a force to contend with when the regular season begins; no one concedes victory until the final second ticks off of the clock in each and every game. And every head coach is second-guessed for the decisions they make, regardless of the winning and the losing of it all.
But if you don't learn to appreciate the small victories, that don't involve the Cowboys winning, your chance of not enjoying the football season is 96.875 percent.