What the cowboys have to be thankful for.

While we are all disappointed at an 8-8 season perhaps we can bring some perspective to this. First off this team was 6-10 last year and didn’t even sniff the playoffs. The head coach was fired mid-season and everything seemed to have come undone. Add to that equation a shortened offseason, with a brand new defensive coordinator and more often than not you are not going to have a winning season. Also add to that a plethora of cuts to very seasoned veterans and 8-8 starts sounding like an improvement. If this were any other franchise but the Cowboys 8-8 would be considered a pretty big improvement to last season. With that being said, let's get more to the point.

Reason 1

Tyron Smith- The youngest player in the NFL grew up very quickly in a division filled with competent pass rushers. He has received compliments from coaches and players alike. He was the first tackle taken in this year’s draft and he certainly played like it. It is only a matter of time before he supplants himself as the LT and cornerstone of the offensive line/franchise.

Demarco Murray- I am not sure I even need to talk this kid up, we all know what he is capable of and his loss to this team was detrimental. This kid has all the tools to be that mythical “every-down” back. If he can manage to stay healthy Demarco is the future rock carrier of the franchise.

Sean Lee- This kid can play and he certainly showed everyone his toughness this year playing through a wrist injury. He has captain written all over him. He works hard, he’s a gym rat, a film room rat and he genuinely loves the game. In his third year I look for him to take a more vocal role in this defense and eventually be our long-time captain.

Dez Bryant- Say what you want about his off-field incidents, which have been way overblown. (Does anyone still care he didn’t carry William’s pads?) This guy is a phenomenal talent and his one question mark, character, in my opinion has been answered. Dez has stared adversity in the face this season and last and has been nothing but a solid, supportive teammate. It’s hard to project his ceiling, but Garret and Romo both believe in him and he’s still incredibly young.

Witten/Ware- Consistent, dominant players at their position. You can argue all day long about who the best in the league at their respective positions is, I’ll take Witten and Ware. These guys are the only locks for Canton and their names will be in Ring of Honor someday.

Tony Romo- A top-echelon QB who could barely breathe most of the year turned in a great individual season. Unless Brees, Brady, or Rodgers is becoming a FA soon I really don’t see how you could ask for more. Tony just needs to keep on doing what he is doing and keep on top of his young WR’s.

Dallas’s Approach in FA- I know it is easy to bash on Jerry as a GM, I have done my share as well. However, their approach has been pretty rock solid. They have not overpaid for anyone (In FA I mean, he definitely overpaid for Scandrick and Sensabaugh) and have not dug themselves a deep hole. *You can call me Nostradamus if this comes to fruition* All of those salaries the cowboys ridded themselves of this season will finally clear the cap in 2013, Darrell Revis is a FA in 2013, if the jets continue to fall apart and miss out on the playoffs again, Revis may want out. Dallas will definitely have the cash to procure landing rights to Revis Island

This entire offseason may be devoted to defense- We have a proud coordinator who is capable of getting the job done. He has been very humbled this season and if he still wants to be considered a candidate for a head coaching gig, he is going to need to come out firing. He didn’t have really anytime to modify the personnel on his defense at all, everything was so rushed this offseason, it certainly hamstrung him. With a full offseason to evaluate and full pre-season to install, look for big changes on this defense, much the way there were big changes on offense this season.

The NFC east is weak- It doesn’t look the redskins are getting their Franchise QB in this draft either. Only Luck and RGIII are coming out and they will be long gone by pick 7. Another year of Rex Grossman would be ideal. The Eagles sold their soul to the devil and gave 100 million to the wrong dude. Mike Vick pre-100 mill contract 22TDs – 6 Picks. Mike Vick post 100-mill contract 18 TDS – 14 Picks. Look for the regression to continue. The Giants have been wildly inconsistent all year and I think their true colors will show on wild card weekend. I am not saying the Cowboys are any better. It’s just nice not to have the Packers, Saints, or 49ers in our division or Patriots, Steelers, or Ravens for that matter.

So in summation, despite our record we have a good core of very young players who have yet to hit their prime. Yes, I am just as disappointed as you are, I would love to be talking about how to beat the Falcons right now, but let’s put this in perspective. Given the circumstances it could have been much worse. I am just as annoyed as anyone with Garrett, but I am ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. He improved this year’s team by two wins here’s to hoping he matches that success next year.

Goodbye Cowboys fans I will see you in April.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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