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Focusing on the 2008 Dallas Cowboys

The time has finally come. A long and eventful offseason is coming to an end and training camp will begin on Friday. Maybe I'm crazy but it seems as if the past months have flown by and I can't believe the season is just around the corner. It seems like yesterday we were all wondering if Jerry Jones would be able to sign Flozell Adams before free agency began. We are lucky as Cowboys fans; not every team has an offseason that is almost as exciting as the season itself. Sure some teams have been in the spotlight lately but for all the wrong reasons. While other organizations have been trying to figure out what to do with multiple players being arrested, the Cowboys have been busy putting together the best offseason this franchise has seen in years.

I put together the best moments of 2007 for one main reason. I wanted us to take one last look back at what was a very memorable season for the Dallas Cowboys. It ended in extreme disappointment but too often fans and the media alike focus on the negative and forget all of the positive that was there as well. Before last season started did anyone here have even an inkling of a notion that the Cowboys would go 13-3, win the division and secure the top seed in the conference? No one did. We knew that the team had the makings of doing something special but there were just too many variables headed into the season to think we would enjoy such success. Unfortunately while a lot of questions were answered, ultimately more important and nagging questions came up following the playoff letdown against the Giants.

One thing needs to be pointed out here. I have watched that game against New York a couple of times now trying to dissect just what exactly went wrong. It was painfully obvious that injuries affected the gameplan of the Cowboys and it them too long to try and get aggressive against a defense they outright destroyed in the regular season. But besides the disappointing play of the Cowboys, one must give credit to the Giants defense as well. The Cowboys scored 17 points against the Giants in the 2008 playoffs; the New England Patriots scored 14. The circumstances were slightly different but the fact remains that the Giants did something right in the playoffs that stymied the three most powerful offenses in the NFL.

I am not trying to deflect blame away from the Cowboys, though. The playoff game, as well as the last month of the season, allowed Dallas to see all of its little flaws. All of the little things that don't seem like much but in the end are what holds the team back from taking that next step. You have to remember that this was the first full offseason Wade Phillips and his coaching staff have had with the Cowboys. They now have had the oppurtunity to get a full season's worth of game film on the team and have molded the team to their standards. Players that just weren't cutting it are gone and the Cowboys have done all they could to fill the holes that were so painfully obvious last season.

There is a great thing about making mistakes; you can learn from them. Last season was great but it wasn't good enough in the end. Jerry Jones has done all he can to improve upon a team that was one of the most talented in the league in 2007. But can the Cowboys overcome the monkey that has been on it's back since 1996? Who can say for sure? All we can do is the same thing we do every year, and that is approach the new season with a clean slate and a heart full of optimism. Enjoy the ride folks, because I can gaurantee it is going to get interesting.


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