At times, we forget the simple fact that players may seem bigger than life but they are still human just like anyone of us sitting here writing about them. You see, the Dallas Cowboys understand that they have a huge microscope on them that has dated back to the 1970's. As someone that is from that area, I can tell you that there are other sports' teams in North Texas but none occupy the main-stage quite like the Dallas Cowboys. You could even argue that they occupy the main-stage in the National Football League and they haven't won a championship since 1996. With that said, the media hangs on their every move. They are the big show in town, so what can you expect?
This brings us to inevitable talk that has followed the incident in the Cowboys' locker room yesterday that involved All Pro receiver Dez Bryant. This is not the first time that something like this has happened, everyone still remembers Jay Ratliff's showdown with Calvin Watkins a few year's back. That was a team that was going through some similar adversity and when you are losing each week, it certainly takes a toll on you both mentally and physically. In a sport where these gladiators are on top of the world, they can feel untouchable at times. When you think about the competitive spirit that drives them in their everyday lives, it's not hard to understand what they feel when losses start piling up.
As fans we see six straight losses and it's totally agonizing but think about the players for a moment. As Nick Eatman said yesterday, this is not just a six game losing streak:
But let me say this: Six is inaccurate, especially if you work here every day. Because unlike the fans, who know this team has lost six straight games, it’s not just a six-game losing streak around here. Even saying they haven’t won in seven weeks isn’t doing it justice.
Plain and simple, this is a 53-day losing streak. That’s really the only way to describe it if you’re inside these walls.
Much like the rest of us, the players probably envisioned themselves being able to tread water until the return of their quarterback Tony Romo. The truth is that this team has been in every contest but one and have probably lost these games by less than a handful of plays. Taking away their thrashing from the defending world champions, Dallas has come up short by an average deficit of 5.4 points per game.
When it comes to Dez Bryant and the incident of yesterday, I prefer to take the human approach. Could it have been handled better? Of course. Does it make him a distraction or detriment? Absolutely not. Dez Bryant is not the first super passionate player to let his emotions take over. There are plenty of other players who have had similar situations in the past that have faced far less criticism. Just last week, B.J. Raji got into it with Packers' safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. I remember another incident a few years back involving Tom Brady and then offensive coach Bill O'Brien. This happens in football and sometimes a media member or two bite off a bit more than they perhaps wanted to chew.
Dez is a very passionate individual and he didn't take kindly to a reporter writing about his performance having never played the game at that level, then not show up to the locker room and face Bryant. It didn't help that another reporter, with virtually no experience with the Cowboys' beat decided he would report it as a "tirade". Without even understanding the matter, the said reporter turned it into an even more heated exchange. These are the kinds of nonsense that players deal with on the daily. They never know when someone is going to walk in with their own agendas and turn right around to destroy the player in their columns. As long as they can continue their narratives and generate clicks, it doesn't matter how the player is perceived.
Think about if we all had jobs where everyday we were susceptible to criticism by someone who had no experience performing in our field yet printed their opinions of our performances as fact. Dez is right in a way, the media is not part of the team as much as they sometimes feel to be and they sure as heck don't understand all aspects of the game. Though most of the reports suggest a misunderstanding, there are always two parts to every story. Regardless of what happened, it wasn't handled in the ideal way on either side, but emotions boil over and that's part of life.
This is a very distraught and 'pissed off' team that have their backs against the wall. They are on the ropes and whatever other cliche that describes a desperate team needing a victory in the worst way possible. This is now a team with such little room for error that livelihoods will change because of the results of this season. That is the truth with every year but again these are the ultimate competitors, nothing matters more to them than winning in every facet of their lives.
The Cowboys are fortunate to have some good news on the horizon in the return of Tony Romo but what they really need more than anything is a win. Something that can calm their nerves a bit and allow them to start believing in their ability to turn it all around. This losing has certainly done a number on the Cowboys in the past few weeks but they somehow still have a chance to end 2015 on a high note. It truly is them against the world and tensions are at an all-time high right now. There is only one thing that will block out the noise and that is to walk out of Tampa Bay with their third win of the season. A win is the the only anecdote to what ails this salty group of Dallas Cowboys.