It is hard to talk about the Dallas Cowboys at the moment.
One of my favorite things about BTB is the community that we have, the memories we create together, and the family-like environment that we have all over the magical place that is the internet. At the core of all of that is obviously a shared rooting interest in America’s Team.
Being a fan of anything is an exhilarating experience when things go your way. I am a huge fan of golf and it was a legitimate emotional thing to watch Tiger Woods win The Masters last year, a sentiment that many shared.
It is our job here to talk about the Cowboys objectively but obviously there are players, things, and causes that we feel drawn to. Dak Prescott is, for most, one of those people.
The Cowboys won and are in first place in the NFC East and all of that is great, but sitting down to talk about winners and losers from the contest proves to be rather difficult in the aftermath of the team’s most important player, who bet on himself to get what he believed he deserves for two years in a row, is lost for the season due to a right ankle compound fracture and dislocation. The Cowboys won but we all lost. Them included.
We are fortunate to know Cowboys fans that grew up and fell in love with the team at different times throughout the franchise’s storied history, the one in which they are celebrating the 60th anniversary of this season. Different people experienced glory, agony, and everything in between with different players under center, in the backfield, or roaming throughout the defense.
Dak Prescott is that player for so many. Dak Prescott is beloved in that way by the team themselves. It is rare to find someone who possesses the natural energy and charisma to serve at the center of the most valuable sports team in the world. It is an even more impressive element of greatness when people are able to extend that skill to the actual football field.
While Dak was on the ground he was simultaneously having concern shared for him by his current coach Mike McCarthy, his former coach and only one he has known until this season in Jason Garrett, and the quarterback whom he replaced in Tony Romo on the broadcast. It was one of the more surreal moments that has encircled the lightning rod that the Dallas Cowboys are in some time.
This is one of the strangest feelings that we have had as Cowboys fans in a long time
If you follow me on Twitter then you know how I like to point out interesting coincidences with things. Sometimes history tends to repeat itself and I find it fascinating at times.
There are many who feel like we have seen history repeat itself season after season in terms of the Dallas Cowboys falling short. Sometimes games end similar to ways that they have before, players have stat lines that come close to others they’ve put forward, you get the idea.
As Cowboys fans we are unfortunately all too familiar with the sinking sensation of a franchise quarterback on the ground with a season-ending injury staring them in the face and reality staring back at ours. This isn’t meant to say or imply that any one quarterback struggled to stay healthy, this football after all. Injuries happen. It sucks.
Many people have referenced the last time that this nightmare plagued the Cowboys, when Tony Romo got hurt in Week 2 of the 2015 season in Philadelphia (and later again on Thanksgiving Day with his future broadcast partner Jim Nantz on the call). Five years before that was when our cores were drastically shaken for the first time when Romo got hurt during a disappointing season, one that featured a first-round rookie wide receiver who was given the famed number 88. Romo was also lost for the year against the New York Giants.
This is obviously just a coincidence and like I said those are things I normally point our for fun, but it’s hard to have fun right now. It’s hard to be optimistic. It is hard to know that there are 11 remaining games (at least) for this Dallas Cowboys team that was already significantly injured before any toe met a ball on Sunday.
Perhaps you believe that Andy Dalton is capable of leading the Cowboys to the top of the smallest mountain in the NFL in the NFC East. It is possible (arguable, debatable, however you’d like to term it) that he is the best quarterback in the division at the moment. Reality is that we do not know a lot about who Andy Dalton is in 2020 although he had some nice moments in Sunday’s comeback.
It’s hard to be excited about a team that’s only two wins are largely in courtesy of some special teams gaffes by their opponent. It is incredibly easy to be excited about the prospect of CeeDee Lamb both in the here and now as well as the future.
We had already been floating in between promise and purgatory with regards to this iteration of America’s Team and that was amid the aforementioned sea of injuries. Dak Prescott’s is obviously a tidal wave that has rocked the boat beyond recognition and we all might feel differently when the waters stabilize.
Jaylon Smith played really well for the first time this season, but the Cowboys allowed the Giants to match the number of touchdowns they scored this season (three, and they didn’t score a single one in the last two weeks) in a single game against them. Special teams somehow got worse than they were a year ago, but the team showed a lot of fight for their fallen comrade.
We are in between a lot of emotions right now, in between winning and losing, and that’s fine to say out loud. We all want to see this team do well, but we are all collectively heartbroken for Dak Prescott.
The sun will rise tomorrow and we’ll all try to figure out where to go next. For now it is okay to say that we simply do not know.