It's taken me a little while to express what has been lurking in the back of my mind so be patient. Events of the last couple of days have really crystallized my thinking.
Last year was magic - until the end. Honestly thought the Boys were a 11-5 team at best, and they almost were considering 2 improbable wins at BUF and DET. In both cases, they won games they 'shoudn't have' after playing themselves into deep, early holes.
They've bowed out of the playoffs, suddenly, unexpectedly the past 2 seasons - once by snatching defeat form the jaws of victory in SEA and last year by carrying over the funk they had been playing in the last 3 weeks.
Here's my concern - neither during the season last year or in any of the playoff losses did the team have to deal with adversity after the fact. New England was a juggernaut and beat everyone. PHIL was a fluke and we didn't care against the Redskins. After the 2 playoff losses, we didn't have to pick ourselves up and regroup - we were done.
So what happens to this team - of 'characters with character' when its faced with a tough start to the season ? With the rash of injuries depleting WR, LB depth. with poor ST play and now a hole in the OL it's quite possible we could open the season 2-2 or worse. Teams will Game Plan to exploit the OL situation if we don't demonstrate we have an effective alternative.
We've taken a number of chances with a number of malcontents, troubled people that so far have worked out well. What happens when some adversity creeps into the equation. Have we really been tested in this way before? Add to that a HC(who I do think is right for THIS team)who is playing under a SB or done sword.
Don't get me wrong - I love this team - they are as talented as any we've had in a while and the majority are solid citizens. Almost all the other contenders would love to have our problems. I've written earlier that our locker-room leaders should be the ones pulling the under performers up. But if things start poorly and the media scrutiny, fan pressure heats up - how will these guys respond ?
I 've been thinking this year's Cowboys were almost where the Colts of 2-3 years ago were. Talented, well-coached, regular season terror - and post-season underachievers. Teams do learn to win. We'll see about this one.