Yes, I know, I’ve heard it on TV. It’s grim. I get where most people are coming from. There was a lot not to like about our game against Tennessee. But I am not ready to go to THAT PLACE which many people have gone to so quickly. I’m not prepared to write off 2010 as the Farewell Tour for this iteration of the Dallas Cowboys. I’m not going to give in to the pundits and naysayers who say we are dead while there is still a mathematical chance that this team can emerge as one of the truly great success stories in Cowboys history.
Yes, we’re 1-3. That’s bad. We’ve lost three games during a spate of games that were thought to have comprised the soft part of our schedule. We’ve found ways to lose that vary from game to game in such a way that it is hard even for the most avid fan to conduct a root cause analysis that would allow them to point the finger at any one place. I bet you’re wondering when (or if) I am ever going to get to the good part.
Well, here it is;
Mediocrity. The first place team(s) in our division only have one less loss than we do. Yeah, one. Nobody is 5-0 and running away with this thing. Let me say it again. The best team in our division (whoever you think that is) has ONE less loss than we do after only 25% of our games have been played. The simple math says a big revenge factor win against Minnehaha next week coupled with some losses by our division foes (is picking the Colts over the Skins or the Falcons over the Eagles that big a stretch? I don’t think so) and we are right back in this thing.
Windshield, not rear view mirror. Suddenly, GB, New Orleans and Indy don’t look nearly as frightening as they did before the season started. Maybe the soft part of the schedule isn’t what we thought it would be? I saw nothing from New Orleans yesterday that makes me think we can’t throttle them. Philly’s defense is ripe for any team that can throw the football against a blitz. Indy struggled against KC, who is clearly all about their return game and not much else.
An apple a day…and all that. Four games in and this team is extremely healthy. If losing John Phillips is the worst thing that happens to Dallas in 2010, I’ll take it. Just ask GB or Minnesota or New Orleans or Chicago about team health. Who is going to take the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers by running the ball as the season wears on? We can only hope they stick with who they have.
You want talent? We’ve got talent. We’ve seen some surprises by players on this roster. Is there a more pleasant surprise than Roy Williams? This looks like the makings of a 3-headed monster at the WR spot (let the name submissions begin here) to go with Bash, Flash and Tash. Doug Free has been everything you could have asked for as the Hotel’s replacement. Barber looks quicker than he has in years and Felix ran with more power than he has in…well, ever. As if that wasn’t enough, even Telly B has contributed this year. On defense, Ware is still Ware and Spencer is showing some positive signs. Newman is having one of his best starts ever and then there's my favorite newcomer, Gronk.
The Final Four. The last four games are made up of 2 games versus Philly, a payback game with the Skins and one with the Cards. That’s three divisional games that could define the season for us. The encouraging part about that is that Romo and the cowboys no longer have the December monkey on their back after last year and if they can build some momentum between now and then, they can bury the hopes of those two teams and, by extension, potentially elevate themselves into contention.
The Jerry Factor. I hate him as a GM. Always have, always will. But remember, this is the Season of Jerry and he is not about to let this important year go into some death spiral because his coaches can’t get their acts together and prepare their team better than they have. Jerry is like Rambo. He is worthless during peacetime. He has no idea how to spend his days. But where Jerry is at his best is during periods of crisis. Dallas’ coaching staff and players need Jerry’s leadership more now than at any point in his reign here. He will step in, rescue the POW’s, take out a bunch of bad guys and save the day, and his season.
You’ve never known me to be the guy who views things through rose-colored glasses. Well, I’m not about to start. You can paint the piece of cow dung that is our first quarter of the season green and call it an emerald, but everyone knows it is still cow dung. Still, there is so much football left ahead of us and it would be a shame for anyone on this blog to give up hope so soon. I wrote a post about remembering what connects us and now, in times of trouble, is the time when we show our true character, not when everything goes our way. We’re not fair-weather. We’re not Band-Wagoner’s. We know that a season is not won or lost in the intitial 4 games. The Cowboys need our support. So, I bought myself a new hoodie today at the online store as my show of defiance to the pundits and in support of my team. If I must stand alone against this torrent of discontent, then so be it. I think they underestimate our truly emotional connection to our team and the potential for greatness that still remains for the Dallas Cowboys of 2010. So I ask you to join me. Revel in what could be one of our greatest seasons ever.