As I mulled over the upcoming schedule for the Dallas Cowboy’s 2012 season, I noticed an alarming thing. The Cowboys opener is against the New York Giants. Not only is it an away game, but it also is the season opener that is played in prime time. You can only imagine my horror when I saw this. More than anything else, the Cowboys need to have a strong start to the season to help put some of the ghosts in their collective closets to rest. If Dallas is going to have such a start I don’t think playing the defending Super Bowl champions in prime time is the way to go. Here’s why I think the way I do.
Think back in time, specifically the last two seasons. I know some of you have blocked out these painful days, but just humor me. Think of all the prime-time games the Cowboys have played. Now how many of those have they won? How many of those did they have in the bag and then let slip away? It’s frightening isn’t it? In the last two seasons the Cowboys record in prime-time is 2-9. That boggles my mind. Only one of those wins was a sound one where they performed how they were suppose to and that was last season against Tampa Bay. The team that has been assembled the last two years was far more talented than that, and that is the agony that Cowboys fans like myself live with on a daily basis.
Along the same lines, how many times have the Cowboys been able to beat the Giants in prime time in the last two seasons? Unfortunately they haven’t been able to get a win against them in the last two seasons on the big stage.
As you look farther down the schedule you will notice that Dallas is playing two tough divisions, not including the NFC east. Games from the teams in the NFC south and AFC north are going to be very competitive. The official dates, times, and stations the games are being played on has not been released yet, but realistically at least three, and possibly as many as five, of the games from those divisions could be featured in prime time. Having already stated Dallas’ disturbing record in prime time, I could see a lot of game slipping away before they are even played.
So how do the Cowboys keep these games and seasons from slipping away every year? Is there some kind of formula that the coaches and front office brass keeps over looking? I believe I poised an answer to these questions in one of my previous posts. Dallas is in need of some serious fire in their collective belly. By getting such a player/state of mind when time get tough there is someone/something to rally behind. I truly believe that the majority of the games Dallas has lost, especially those in prime time, in the last two seasons has been due to the lack of enough players that have that “swagger” for a lack of a better word. When the going gets tough it seems like the team finds an excuse to pack it in, as if they are saying, “why try, we’ll never come back from this.” I think a new culture is starting to be implemented, but things like that take time and truthfully we’re not even close yet.
Like a lot of you, I’m not getting any younger. I would love to see the Cowboys put a consistently competitive product on the field every season. The free agent signings filled a lot of holes that needed to be addressed, but they’re just not there yet. Ask me again how the team is after the draft and then I’ll have a better idea if the team is turning a corner or if they are just repeating history. Until then my fingers are crossed, and I hope you all are doing the same. Here’s to being cautiously optimistic.