Monday, December 22, 2008

The Cowboys...Then and Now


Somewhere between 1971 and 1973, I left my allegiance to my beloved Chiefs, with Len Dawson and Co. to become a disciple of Roger Staubach and the Dallas Cowboys. I was a diehard follower through the great days of the 1970s as the Cowboys were regular Super Bowl participants. I was always sorry for my friend Steve who was a fan of Bud Grant's Vikings with Sir Francis and the Purple People Eaters, who lost four Super Bowls. As a Cowboys fan, you have to fast forward through the ordinary 80's ruled by the 49ers (may they live in infamy). Actually, you really had to respect Bill Walsh, Joe Montana and Co....although, I have to say that I have taken some enjoyment out of their mediocrity over the past dozen years or so. :-)

So now, we move on to the 90s, the decade of the triplets (bless Troy, Emmitt and Michael). Jerry Jones' ownership, Jimmy Johnson's leadership and the benefit of the Herschel Walker trade brought the Cowboys back to the glory days and a triplicate of Super Bowl victories...making them the team of the 90s. The Bills happened to be the 90s version of the Vikings...the 2nd best team four years in a row. Another hallmark of the Jones' ownership, not unlike his counterpart for the Raiders, has been willing to take chances on misfit players...some of which have worked out while others have not.

Fast forward to the late aughts and we have a 11 year drought from the Super Bowl. It is not from lack of effort it seems, but just that everything has not come together for a Jones' team. He continues to bring misfits into the fold...but I think that the latest few additions have led to a subtraction of team unity, which is troubling. This year's version of the Cowboys have a chance to make the playoffs, but have fallen far short of expectations. Ahhh, expectations...what a funny thing (not funny "ha ha," but funny "strange"). Last year they were 13-3, which few expected and were successful I believe, in part, due to lack of expectation. This year, I don't think that anything less than a Patriots 18-1 season (actually 19-0 was expected) from last year was going to be acceptable. This year's team has won games this year that they shouldn't have, and lost games that they should have won. So...they have to beat the Eagles, who also have had an up-and-down year. It will be in Philly, which will be a great challenge.

This brings us to the leader of the pack. It is hard to figure if it will be the Jekyll or Hyde Tony Romo that will show up and lead the team. Don't get me wrong...I love Tony Romo the person, but he is going to have to learn to win the big games when everything is on the line. He has not been able to do this to this I have to declare that I am suspect of Romeo the fb winner. It takes me back to the glory days of my other fave team, the Seahawks -- they of the Dave Krieg era of the 80s. Like Dave was then, Tony is like the little girl with the curl on her forehead -- when he is good, he is very very good, but when he is bad...he is horrid. In relationship to player personnel...although he still a decent football player, it is time for T.O. to go. It is time to complete the RW2 transaction. His downside outweighs his upside anymore...actually, come to think of it, has his upside ever outweighed his downside? Witten, Williams, Crayton and Co. will be just fine.

I have to finish with stadium highlights, coaches and coming full circle with the "then 'boys." Even though the Cowboys blew a game they should have won Saturday against the Ravens, the closing ceremony for Texas Stadium was powerful, poignant. It was great to see Roger, Tony D., Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Lilly and Co. for a final round up at their old rodeo home those many years ago...almost brought a team to my eye. And I will say...nobody, I mean nobody, will replace the coach in the hat. Although, in relationship to this, (which some may not want to hear), coach Wade is doing fine. He is a genuinely nice guy who has been a winner everwhere he has been. I am glad that he has been given the go ahead to be back next year (although we'll see how the Eagles game goes)...two years is just not enough time to tell what he can do with the team. If Jerry is smart, he knows where his "D" comes from, despite the recent breakdown. As I have said, a little housecleaning and developing a team leader are essential -- hello...DeMarcus Ware, are you listening? Finale...the new digs are quite impressive from the outside. Even standing near the Ballpark in Arlington, Cowboys Stadium next door seems to engulf it. Jerry's humongous new stadium that will seat 100,000 people is nearly complete...I suspect that he will be making a few bucks in the new place. ;-) Blessings,


No comments: