I find myself stuck in the same old loop. Year after year I study my 'Boys and I get excited about every FA signing they make/didn't make. I insist on telling myself that THIS is the way it should have been done last year. THIS year they are getting the right players in place. THIS year, they let the right players walk away.
Every draft I scour the interwebs and find every possible positive comment that could be made on our incoming class. I can't help but believe that our first round pick will be a star. I make arguments that our mid-round selections will contribute heavily. I do everything to convince myself that our 6th round pick out of Smalltown College, USA is the hidden gem.
And with all of these changes, I tell myself it's almost a guarantee that the Cowboys will win big this year. After all, they were this close last year. Just a play here and a play there off. I come here to BTB and go all in with Garrett and his RKG mentality. I honestly believe that these players will perform differently.
And then the season comes around. I try to temper my expectations and say that the Cowboys have a fair shot to win against the Giants, but that it shouldn't be too disappointing if they lose. Well, this year the Cowboys went up to New York and outperformed the Giants the entire game, including clutch plays in the 4th quarter which have left been so elusive in the past. This is it. This is the year. This is a different team.
Since then, the Cowboys have gone an unimpressive 3-5. They have looked absolutely horrid at times. Other times, they look outstanding, yet still manage to find a way to lose. After close games I say, "Yeah, they lost, but they played really well against a good team. They had a chance to win!" It wasn't until a week 9 loss to the then undefeated Atlanta Falcons that I realized how many times I've repeated that same statement to myself over the last couple of years. It's far too often.
It's incredible how much my expectations as a fan have changed. The excitement from the beginning of the season has started to wear off. I no longer have hope that this year and this team is different. I used to look forward all week to Sunday. Now I don't quite understand how I feel about game day. I don't get excited because I don't have faith anymore. I have only hope. But it's a reserved hope. Every game feels like David facing Goliath. I feel that if the other team doesn't make mistakes, the Cowboys will lose. Because mistakes for the Cowboys are inevitable. Throughout the game, the feeling lingers. I'm always thinking, "Okay, I hope they don't make a mistake on this play." If the game is close going into the 4th quarter, I am no longer confident. I almost expect them to make a mistake, and if they do well, it's a pleasant surprise.
I don't understand how things have not gotten better. Simply out of odds, you would think the Cowboys would be a little different. But the same mistakes plague this team, even with new players and new coaches. Penalties. Turnovers. Lack of turnovers on defense. Never making the play. The one the closes the door or wins the game. If the defense needs a stop, they will almost assuredly let the other team convert.
Going in to games, I've come to a realization. The Cowboys don't know how to take advantage of the other teams weaknesses. All week going into the Bears game I heard that Cutler throws interceptions and the offensive line isn't very strong. The Cowboys didn't get the memo. No pressure, no turnovers. The same could be said about the Eagles game.
I'm feeling disheartened. Yet I can't let this team go. I can't just give up. They're like the close family member that you love so much and you just want them to stop hurting themselves and everyone that cares about them. They're still so close. Today my mantra is, "The upcoming schedule is set up well. They can win these games. They can get on a roll. They can get hot and ride into the playoffs!" It may all be dreams. But dreams are all I have. The loop will start again. Likely because the Cowboys will break my heart, drop a few of these games that they should/are capable of winning, and I will start looking to the future. Looking at those FA's that will make the difference, looking at the rookies they could draft that could help turn this around...