The Family has done to me what it did to Al Pacino. It keeps pulling me back in.
In explaining, I will try to be less over-wrought than Michael Corleone, and will attempt not to over-act like One Note Al.
But the 'Boys keep pulling me back in. I had actually achieved a degree of resignation, detachment and even serene acceptance at 1-7. It was a train wreck, but as the athletes say, "It was what it was." It has been my experience that train wrecks are train wrecks. They're lamentable, but incurable.
And then Red grabbed the ring. And then The Family whacked their New Jersey rivals, and looked confident, professional and even stylish in doing so. Are the 'Boys dangerous again? (Realizing that right now I'd probably settle for "relevant again.")
We'll know more Sunday. Be honest, O Fellow Fanatics. Would there by anything more "2010 Dallas Cowboys" than losing to the Lions--at home--on Sunday? I don't want to think about it. But think about it. Losing to the Lions would be the greatest on-field humiliation, and historical blight, the Cowboys have faced since dropping the Houston Texans' inaugural game in 2002 at Reliant. Don't get me wrong. Losing to the Lions in Detroit will soon be nothing to be ashamed of. That's a good--and hungry--young team. But the Lions have dropped an NFL record 25 straight road games spanning three seasons. You don' want to be the streak-breaker. And last week notwithstanding, the 2010 'Boys have exhibited more than enough immaturity to make you worry. Or cringe.
We, myself absolutely included, are immature as fans. I'm already hearing folks looking past the Lions and focusing on the Thanksgiving Day joust with the Saints. "Our 'Boys couldn't lose--at home--to the 2-7 Lions! We got this one, at least." I've heard it all week.
Ahem. We're 2-7. And it was precisely that kind of arrogance, sense of entitlement and utter delusion--on the part of players, coaches and fans-- that dug that 1-7 hole in the first place. Don't eat the poison cheese.
Seems to me that this home matchup against the Lions is a perfect gauge for Dallas. If there's any lingering immaturity or nonchalance in this team, it will surface in this game. If the Cowboys methodically dispatch Detroit, we can begin to hope that a JG atmosphere of discipline and attention to detail is actually gaining traction.
I'm reminded of Hank Stram's fate with the New Orleans Saints. You didn't want to be the first coach to lose to the 0-26 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hank was. And he got whacked. JG is a smart guy. He knows what's at stake Sunday.
And I will be glued to every snap. I can't ever remember being this intrigued by a game between two 2-7 teams. They've pulled me back in, too, Al.