"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
Around this time last year, many of us were wondering what to make of the '09 Cowboys. On defense they had replaced Chris Canty, Zach Thomas, and Roy Williams with free agents Igor Olshansky, Keith Brooking, and Gerald Sensabaugh. After trading Anthony Henry to the Lions for Jon Kitna, Coach Phillips declared an open competition between 2008 rookies, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick, for the starting cornerback spot opposite Terence Newman.
Then, after drafting two more DE/OLBs in Victor Butler and Brandon Williams, Greg Ellis grumbled his way into his being released. Anthony Spencer took over for Ellis...and voilà, five new starters on defense!
On offense, someone in-house was expected to step up to help replace the surprisingly released, yet apparently divisive Terrell Owens. The trade for Roy Williams consumed the team's first-round pick, so his contributions were expected to be leaned on heavily by Tony Romo. As for Romo, the ugly memories of 44-6 needed erasing. To do so, he had to progress as a leader; he had to take better care of the football.
2009 saw the Cowboys make their fair share of blunders. But Dallas learned from its mistakes--enough to trim down its total regular season losses to just five. While the team learned to rebound from adversity, each loss had its own particular sting.
Week 2: Giants @ Cowboys
Ouch! A loss to open up new Cowboys Stadium in front of a record crowd certainly deflated the Cowboys' hopes. Just as they ended '08, the defense couldn't hold a team down and Romo kept coughing up the ball.
Week 4: Cowboys @ Broncos
Brandon Marshall made Dallas defenders look silly on his 51-yard go-ahead score. Tony Romo was hoping for a little magic from one of his own wideouts, but his heroic efforts would remain unanswered when Champ Bailey knocked away a potential game-tying TD catch by Sam Hurd. Cowboys lose 10-17.
Week 10: Cowboys @ Packers
Dallas running backs carry the ball a combined total of 11 times, while the Green Bay defense harasses Tony Romo to the tune of five sacks, a lost fumble, and an interception at the goalline. Dallas' only score comes in garbage time. Cowboys lose 7-17.
Week 13: Cowboys @ Giants
Romo completes 41 of his 55 pass attempts for 392 yards and three touchdowns. Eli Manning completes only 11 of his 25 passes, but things just go the Giants' way. Brandon Jacobs' 74-yard catch and run was simply disheartening. And then, the Dallas kickoff coverage unit failed to contain late in the fourth quarter. Cowboys lose 24-31.
Week 14: Chargers @ Cowboys
Even with Marion Barber, Dallas can't punch it in on 4th-and-goal. Vincent Jackson makes enough clutch catches and Nick Folk is anything but clutch. The DeMarcus Ware injury has the entire Cowboys fanbase holding its collective breath. Cowboys lose 17-20.
Isn't it fun reminiscing? Now that you've relived some of the worst Cowboys moments of 2009, which game boiled your blood the most?