FanPost

Most important game tonight since our SB XXX victory?

Cowboys Nation, yes I'm referring to tonight's game vs the Jets. But before you suggest checking myself into an insane asylum, please hear me out for a few moments.

Indeed, we've absolutely played some very important games since 2007 that could have catapulted us back to glory...17-21, 13-20, 6-44, 3-34 (so traumatic I can only refer to the scores). But since those games resulted in abject failure, were foregleams into the vortex flush of the entire 2010 season, and left us wondering whether or not the new Garrett regime of 2011 could reverse our fortunes, do you not agree that we're all extremely anxious to see 'what we got?'

True, the season opener is not necessarily an omen for the entire season (Well...in our Boys' case maybe Campo's embarrassing opening loss vs the Texans and the Pickle juice game vs the Eagles)--let alone a predictor for a team's success for a decade. And I'm not necessarily talking about winning the 1st game either--even though that would be immensely gratifying (and since 1990, teams that win the 1st game have a 75.7% chance of making the playoffs). But I am saying that how we play this game under adverse conditions and very historic 911 anniversary circumstances, could prove to be a predictor.

Think about how often throughout the history of the NFL we can look back and realize that certain games had a tremendous impact on the eventual fate of teams over a significant period of time. For instance, many have pointed to "The Catch" game as starting the demise of Tom Landry's Cowboys. Within our fan base, many of us instead talked about Phil Pozderac's disastrous play vs the Giants in 86 as being that catalyst. Either way, the common denominator in those games was that turnovers, mental mistakes, lack of execution, declining talent, and not overcoming adversity were all underpinnings to our slide. Conversely, by the time that Jimmy Johnson had truly put his stamp on the Boys in 1991, did we not look back on that 24-21 victory over the defending SB Champion Skins--at hostile RFK--and realize that it was THE key game to becoming consistently relevant again?

Granted, you can only make limited comparisons. But I've listened carefully to Jason Witten talk about how important it is for Dallas to get off to a good start or it can easily start going downhill. Troy Aikman also recently stated:

It’s a group that’s been together for a while, and I just don’t know that you can plan on keeping this core together, which they’ve been able to do. I just think this is an extremely important year. If they don’t do it this year, I think it’s going to be hard for them to move forward.

Therefore, I don't think I'm given to hyperbole when I suggest that perhaps this Jets game will be our "latest" (lol) most important game since our last SB victory. If we stink it up, it may be very hard for even Garrett to reverse the course. Sure, teams have stunk things up and reversed course. But I don't know if this core group of "talented" players--who have had their collective will, mental toughness, and leadership skills often questioned--could ever completely recover and win to the level that all of us are expecting. Thus, rather depressingly, it may take longer for Garrett to get it done.

So as I think about Jerry's commitment to Garrett for undoubtedly many years, I wonder by the end of the season if we can look back and plainly see if this game against the Jets proved to be a positive statement for 2011 and years to come. I'm thinking it will be. Again, not whether it's a win or not, but whether we served notice to the rest of the league that we are back and are a force to be reckoned with.

Now, let's go do this thing Boys!

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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