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A year in the making: It’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to ‘seize everything’

Every Cowboys decision made following the San Francisco loss last January, was made with now in mind.

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

It’s been just shy of one year since the Dallas Cowboys season ended at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Another Cowboys season ending with heartbreak and more questions than answers - an all too familiar feeling for the team and their fans.

But what’s pain without growth? If you’re going to suffer a loss, you might as well learn a lesson from it. You might as well use it as fuel to burn the fire deep inside of you and take that pain and turn it into motivation as you wait for your next opportunity. For the 2023 Dallas Cowboys, that’s exactly what they did.

Lessons Learned Through Pain

What a feeling it is to come to a point where playoff appearances are no longer a hope - but an expectation. As we are in the midst of a third consecutive 12-win season, and a third consecutive playoff appearance, not too far in the distant past lies dormant memories of fighting for a playoff spot every year, merely being successful only about half the time.

Now the standard has been set, the bar has been raised. If you believe it shouldn’t have been this low to begin with - you’re right. But now it’s time to capitalize. With a talented team falling short for the second straight year to the same organization, and walking off the field with their heads hanging low and thoughts of “how” racing in the mind, it was clear a change was needed. And those in power recognized that and made it happen.

Mike McCarthy relieved Kellen Moore of his duties following statistically successful seasons, put himself in the crosshairs, demanded the play sheet and essentially said if he was going to go out, he was going to go out on his own accord. As a result, the Cowboys offense led by Dak Prescott has never been more efficient and Dak has had the best season of his career propelling him into the MVP conversation.

They added Brandin Cooks, while giving guys like Jalen Tolbert and KaVontae Turpin a chance. They let go of a beloved locker room leader in Ezekiel Elliott in favor of more opportunities for Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle. They let Dalton Schultz walk to make Jake Ferguson the guy, while giving new and young talent a chance to show their worth. All these moves were made with this year, and this moment, in mind.

On defense, they added Stephon Gilmore, retained Jonathan Hankins, and got creative with their personnel groups as Dan Quinn and Co. worked to put the best pure football players on the field all at once.

If it hasn’t become evident yet, all these decisions were made with the idea of doing something they haven’t been able to do in over a quarter century. They are tired of suffering the same fate year in and year out, and while regular-season success is fun, only the playoffs matter and the time for the payoff is now.

Carpe Omnia

The standard was set from day one - seize everything. The Cowboys made it clear they were no longer satisfied with being in the moment, they wanted to capture it. Now that a Wild Card Round matchup against the Green Bay Packers is upon us, it’s time to see if it was merely just words or something they actually took to heart. A chance to right all their wrongs, a time to shut down the naysayers, a moment to prove they are who they think they are and show it to the world.

Players like Micah Parsons will tell you that these are the moments they live for. DeMarcus Lawrence will set the tone, and Prescott will tell you he has no interest in wearing an NFC East champion hat because of bigger fish to fry, and while all that sounds good - It’s time to show it. They have the talent, they have the path, the only thing left to do now is prove it. Their legacy of tomorrow is built by the bricks laid today. With no tomorrow to speak for unless they secure it themselves, the Cowboys have to ‘Carpe Omnia’ now - and they’ve been waiting almost an entire year to do so.

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