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What Would You Consider A Successful 2014 Season For The Cowboys?

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Making the playoffs is probably a minimum requirement to consider 2014 a success for the Cowboys, but is there more?

US PRESSWIRE

I know that there are some eager beavers out there who read nothing more than the title of this post and are now itching to tell the world that "In Dallas, success is measured in Super Bowls," and that anything less is unacceptable. Dear Mr. Eager Beaver, please spare us that entitled nonsense.

For most NFL teams coming off four consecutive years without a winning record, simply finishing with a winning record would be considered a success. And if that winning record translated into making the playoffs, the season would probably be considered not just a success, but a triumph.

But that is not necessarily the case in Dallas. What endears us Cowboys fans so much to the rest of the NFL fanbase is our collective ability to hold on to successes from 20 years ago and derive some sort of expectation and relevance from it for today. Yet here we are, with one playoff win to show for the last 17 years. With that in mind, and as we prepare for the 2014 season, what do you think would need to happen for this season to be considered a success?

How about a season like 2006? The Cowboys end the season with a winning record and make the playoffs as a wildcard team. Unfortunately, they lose the wildcard game on a bobbled hold. Would you consider a loss in the wildcard game a success?

How about a season like 2007? The Cowboys storm out to a 13-3 regular season record, easily win the NFC East and enter the playoffs as the number one seed. They then lose to the eventual Super Bowl winning Giants in the divisional round. Would you consider a loss in the divisional round a success?

How about a season like 2009? The Cowboys pitch two successive shutouts against division rivals to win the NFC East with an 11-5 record and embarrass the Eagles in the wildcard round. However, the fun and games in Dallas are quickly brought to an end when the Cowboys get dismantled by the Vikings 34-3 in the divisional round. Would you consider a second playoff win a success?

What the three scenarios above have in common is that they all ended with a defeat. The fact is that unless the Cowboys win the Super Bowl this year their season will inevitably end in a defeat.

I don't think that a season without a winning record could be considered a success in any shape or form, regardless the circumstances. I also think that making the playoffs is a prerequisite to consider the season a success. But what happens after that? Do the Cowboys have to make the divisional round, do they have to play for the Conference Championship? Or is the manner in which they play the final game (in whatever playoff round it happens to be) more important?

What needs to happen for you to consider the 2014 season a success for the Cowboys?