Looking back on the past four months of the 2015 NFL season I cannot recall a season full of more frustration. As a fan I have suffered through heartbreak many times before and I hope to live long enough to suffer through many more heartbreaking moments. That is the nature of sports, and to be honest it is one of the things that keeps us enthralled with the game. I wouldn't bother tuning in if I knew the Cowboys were going to win all the time. It is the thrill of the contest and the hope of eventual victory that draws me to the TV every weekend.
As a young girl I suffered through the travesty that became known as The Catch. An older generation had the Ice Bowl when the Cowboys came oh so close but did not prevail.Those are the moments that make the eventual breakthroughs all the more memorable to us. Heck, even the 1-15 Dallas team of 1989 served to make what shortly followed even sweeter.
That 1-15 season was a bitter pill to swallow, but in many ways it was much easier than the current season to take because deep down we all know that the Dallas Cowboys of that period were seriously talent-deprived. The current edition of the team is not lacking in ability. This squad is loaded. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, a quartet of young gifted linemen on offense paired with players of the caliber of Greg Hardy, Sean Lee, and Byron Jones on the other side of the ball make up a roster that should be competitive in any league. Sadly that was not the case.
Were the Cowboys unlucky? Yes and no. The luck of the draw dealt the team more injuries than it could recover from. That can never be an excuse.The roster was depleted by things beyond the team's control but that should have not taken them out of contention in a division as weak as the NFC East. Injuries be damned, the Dallas Cowboys of 2015 were under-achievers in many ways. Opportunities were there. I think back to Atlanta, New Orleans, and the second meetings with New York and Philadelphia.
Though it can never be proven, I cannot help but believe that last year's squad would have found a way to step up and win those games. The 2015 Cowboys did not or could not find that extra something that would allow them to prevail. It was not for lack of effort; I have never seen a Jason Garrett team quit and I doubt that I ever will. The Cowboys regressed to the team of 2013 in this regard. They played hard but never found the edge that made them a winner. That is what left me in dismay more than anything.
For a team to learn to win is a difficult process and the 2014 edition found that. Such success usually continues to breed success. Somehow that was lost this season. The current season will linger in my memory for many seasons to come as the group that lost its ability to win. They had the talent to overcome, but for some reason they did not have the ability.
With one game left to play I have one wish. I want to see 53 men take the field determined to show us that the preceding 15 games mean absolutely nothing and that they are going to fight just as hard to send the Redskins into the post-season with defeat as they would if they were playing for a title. There is nothing left to play for but pride, and maybe a shot to find that special something that takes a team from being a collection of men and transforms them into winners.