Seven Things I Said About The Cowboys Last Year That I Now Wish I Hadn't

Captain Hindsight and his powerful sidekicks Shoulda, Coulda and Woulda are a fearsome team. They pop up unannounced on message boards and blogs like BTB and tell us that if they had been Janet Jackson they'd have gone for buttons over velcro at the Super Bowl, or whatever the appropriate football metaphor of this misappropriated image is.

Nobody is immune from the amazing powers of extraordinary hindsight and it is hard to refrain from taking an obscure comment from a long ago thread and holding it up years later as proof that you are the football equivalent of Nostradamus. I have done it, you have done it, everybody else has done it too.

So today we turn the thing around. Instead of patting myself on the back for the things I occasionally did get right, I come to you in humility and offer seven things that I got utterly, horribly wrong last year.

In one Seinfeld episode, the recurring character Puddy offers this explanation for why he paints his face on gameday: "Gotta support the team." So let this post be a reminder about the pitfalls of fandom: just because your team is doing something, it doesn't automatically make it the right thing to do.

June 16, 2010: Why the Dallas Cowboys Front Seven Will Make the O-Line Better

Ware apparently wants to do more than just get sacks. It appears that he has his eyes set on getting a few interceptions this year as well. And Anthony Spencer is pushing hard to garner All Pro honors as well. [...]

The best medicine for a struggling O-line? An elite front seven.

Ware did not get a single interception, Spencer was nowhere close to any type of honors last season, and that elite front seven turned in one of the worst performances of the last few years.

July 1, 2010: Cowboys Set To Reap Benefits Of Continuity

What makes this situation exciting for Cowboys fans is that every single starter on offense (barring Dez Bryant who may potentially become a starter later in the season) will be entering at least his third season with the Cowboys in the same offensive system with the same coaches.

And the same basically holds true for the defense, if you are generously willing to overlook Brian Stewart's two-year tenure as the defensive coordinator in Dallas.

The season turned out to be exciting all right. So I got that part right at least. That's got to count for something, right?

July 26, 2010: Cowboys No-Tackling Policy in Training Camp: Much Ado About Nothing?

What the Cowboys may lack in tackle training intensity they apparently make up for in practice intensity. [...]

There is no reason to suspect that the lack of tackling in training camp has had any influence on the tackling performance of the team during regular season games. Wade Phillips' policy of having players tag up instead of tackling seems to be working just fine.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Boy, did I change my tune once Garrett brought back the pads to practice. This is what I wrote three days after Wade Phillips was fired: "By now, the fact that the Cowboys practiced in full pads yesterday has made the rounds among Cowboys fans, and many fans were nodding vigorously and pumping their fists in the air when they heard/read this news." Myself included.

July 29, 2010: Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell Talks with Blogging The Boys

My chronology of failures continues. By this time I must have been drunk on the Kool-Aid, because I asked Bill Barnwell the following question (with a straight face):

I’d argue that the Cowboys depth on the offensive skill positions, WR, RB and TE and even backup QB is some of the best in the NFL, and our secondary and LB depth is not far behind either.

LB depth! Where we ended up starting a couple of cripples for half the season? Secondary depth? Oh man, the horror, the horror!

Sept 27, 2010: Seven Cowboys Stat Nuggets To Feel Good About

With the win over the Texans, the [Pythagorean] formula now projects 8.2 wins for the season. And if I were to take away the last 7 points the Texans scored in junk time, the projection would be for 9.5 wins. I guess all is not lost then.

Darn it, this one is not my fault. The Formula did it! Wait till I get my hands on that mathematically challenged little piece of code!

October 5, 2010: Dallas Cowboys Headlines: Why 1-2 Isn't So Bad

The Cowboys are feeling pretty good about themselves and maintain a positive outlook despite a 1-2 start and a worse record than 24 other NFL teams. But despite that, they are only half a game out of first in the NFC East.

Do you get the insidious logic employed here? We are not that bad, because - wait for it - the other teams in the division also stink!

Remember the 80s British pop band Go West? They wrote a song about me. It's called "The King of Wishful Thinking."

October 16-19, 2010: This time, have a look at five posts I penned over a couple of days, the first three before the loss to the Vikings, the last two ones on the Monday and Tuesday after the game. The titles speak for themselves:

  • Sat, Oct. 16: The 2010 NFL Winning Stats: The Good Stuff
  • Sat, Oct. 16: NFL Week Six Picks: Cowboys' Time Has Come To Shine
  • Sun, Oct. 17: Cowboys Sunday Stat Nuggets: B-Ware of D-Ware, Miles And More
  • Mon, Oct. 18: The Dallas Cowboys Are 1-4. Sooo ... What Now?
  • Tue, Oct. 19: Cowboys Meltdown: So You Think You've Got It Bad?

A big part of the fun in blogging is the diversity of ideas and voices that are inherent in blogging. And while blogs like ours are increasingly breaking the news, scooping the mainstream press and getting out commentary and analysis before anyone else, we are still mainly about providing - and giving a forum for - commentary and opinions.

And as such, we're bound to get a lot of things wrong over time, especially because first and foremost, we are all fans. "By the fans, for the fans" is the motto of SBNation, but instead of saying we have a positive bias for everything the Cowboys do, I'll use a little Garrett-speak to make my point:

"We are excited by the challenges the Cowboys face this year. We're excited about getting to work.

The Cowboys did some positive things over the last few months so that'll hopefully get us writing in the right direction this year. We like our coaching staff, we like our football players. We believe we have the Right Kind Of Guys on our writing team. What we're going to focus on is writing good posts each and every day and hopefully putting together a string of good posts.

We like competition throughout our team for the best opinions and best commentary. Sometimes we'll make mistakes, but we'll move on from them. One of the things we've talked to our front page writers about each and every day is to simply "Be Great Today". We believe that's an important part of the process. We like to refer to this process as the BTB way."

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