If you’re wondering just how much can change in a preseason game, the last two years serve as a great example.
These days we’re still debating over how much time starters should get in the third preseason game of the year and what happened two years ago today is part of the reason why. Two years ago today the Dallas Cowboys traveled to take on the Seattle Seahawks for the annual “dress rehearsal” exhibition game. You know the one.
This is the only handoff that Tony Romo ever made to Ezekiel Elliott. It’s a collector’s item in the world of Dallas Cowboys history. You are looking at a window to another timeline where Romo spins, Houdini magic, and perhaps the world of a different roster is the reality.
Many Cowboys fans have gathered over the last two years to discuss the state of the team and wondered about the possibilities of what would be had things continued along this particular timeline. What would have been of the 2016 Cowboys ultimately? Do they win 11 games in a row? Do they win 13 in totality? Do they fall down early to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs? Do they get to the Super Bowl and not squander a 28-3 lead like someone else?
What about 2017? How do the Romo-led Cowboys respond in the wake of all the Ezekiel Elliott discussion last year? Does the “Burning of Atlanta” still happen? Is Dez Bryant serviceable? Does the team still release him this past offseason? Does Jason Witten retire? Does Phil Simms still have a job as a lead color analyst?!
The thought of “what if” is a fascinating yellow brick road to go down in terms of thought, but it’s ultimately an exercise in pain and heartbreak. The reality is that Dak Prescott is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant is a free agent, and Jason Witten is a lead color analyst along with Tony Romo. This is a fine reality to live in and one that’s also been prosperous for the Cowboys.
August 25th will always remind us of that fateful day in Seattle, though. It’s a city that is eerily tied to Romo in that his infamous playoff bobble happened there, he got perhaps the greatest regular season win of his career there, and his time as the quarterback of the Cowboys all but came to an end there as well. Sleepless in Seattle, indeed.