If you're tired of all the crying, whining, and general trolling going on around the Cowboys universe, here is a nice reality break to soothe the blue star deep down in your heart : ) This is the first year since Covid that I've really done a deep dive into the offseason and draft, and I thought I might share some of the shiny, true optimism that bubbles eternal in my soul.
Firstly, it's just football. I think my favorite thing about being a sports fan is how subjective sports are. They truly are everything we choose for them to be: nothing more, nothing less. So when Dallas is winning (which they usually are, as shown here https://www.statista.com/statistics/784512/nfl-team-ranking-by-all-time-regular-season-winning-percentage/), we can be as happy as we want to be, and when they lose, you can just laugh about it and carry on. Yes, I know football is a big deal in this country, but at the end of the day, it's just football. To quote the great Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to one of his sons when they were in high school, "I am delighted to have you play football. I believe in rough, manly sports. But I do not believe in them if they degenerate into the sole end of any one's existence. I don't want you to sacrifice standing well in your studies to any over-athleticism; and I need not tell you that character counts for a great deal more than either intellect or body in winning success in life."
Secondly, we have a really fun team. We have personalities, drama, and plenty of football talent to fill the screen on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. We have Dan Quinn. We have Micah Parsons. We have Dak and Zeke and C.D. and Trevon doing fun football things, at least most of the time : ) Yeah, we took a tough loss in the playoffs last season, but SF was a tough team. I'll take a playoff shot over a losing season any and every year.
Thirdly, we got some nice young bucks in this draft class, regardless of the various opinions and circumstances. We got a good group of young, hungry, athletic football players to bring juice to the team. Tyler Smith will be better than Connor Williams. I was a big fan of the Williams pick originally, but his athletic limitations turned out to be very real, and Tyler Smith will be better. He's a rolling dump truck. He will run you over. If you grew up watching Larry Allen and Nate Newton run blocking for Emmitt, you know what I mean. Now, if you think our second-round pick was wrong, you might be right. There were some other guys out there that might have been better. But De Williams is a QB hunter, and Will McClay is really good at drafting QB hunters in the second round (Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence). Trust Will McClay. From a third-round pick, Jalen Tolbert is everything you want him to be. He's a smart, savvy, athletic football player who will flourish in our offense because he will be a flexible, creative piece in Kellen Moore's system, unlike Amari Cooper, who was really good at what he did, but he only did certain things, which limited the offense. And hey, I love Amari Cooper, ok? He was a good soldier for this team, but he was no longer the best fit for the offense, and he was too expensive. To paraphrase the coach during the tryout scene of the movie "Miracle," we're not looking for the best players, we're looking for the right ones. Football is the ultimate team sport, and in my opinion, the system is more important than any individual player.
Lastly, I'm just a high school and college English teacher who played 6-man football in high school and plays the smartypants NFL nerd role in my friend group, so my opinion is worth exactly as much as any other non-professional football fan. But I like to have fun, and football is fun : ) Enjoy daydreaming about a healthy Zeke running free behind a dumptrucking oline, Dak throwing darts all over the field to receivers who seemingly can't be covered, and Micah Parsons making the fans of other teams very, very unhappy. I'll leave you with another great T.R. quote, from his famous "Man in the Arena" speech: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred be dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming."
Happy offseason, everyone!