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I have a curse.  It hit me last night like a bolt of lightning as I was watching the Dallas Cowboys come completely undone in front of a national TV audience at the hands of the Chicago Bears.  I really wanted to turn off the TV and walk away.  Not out of the room, but away from the Cowboys forever.  The pain and anger and embarrassment has become more than I can bear (pun intended).  But, I can’t.  Like being banished to hell, I am forever doomed to sit myself down in front of the TV and relive the horror week after week after week.  Thank God for the bye this week.  Not only can we not lose but we’re spared the humiliation of how the losses transpire.

The once proud Cowboys franchise has devolved into the NFL’s version of the keystone cops.  You could fill an NFL bloopers film with just the Cowboys low-lights.   They not only lose but they lose in truly unique and embarrassing ways and usually in front of a large audience.  I realized fully just how powerful and real this curse is when at one point in last night’s game, Danny McCray seemed poised to intercept an under thrown Jay Cutler pass as he stepped in front of the receiver.  Instead of pulling in the turnover, the ball bounced from between his hands and floated harmlessly into the waiting lap of the Bear’s TE already laying on the turf.  The stat sheet will show that as just another completion but for those who saw it live, it was voodoo magic at its best.  Romo’s second interception also floated right to Lance Briggs.  Other teams might have fumbled the ball but only the Cowboys have it go right to another player like it was on an invisible string.  It reminded me of a play several years ago against the Giants (another loss at Cowboys Stadium) where a pass actually ricocheted off Jason Witten’s heel and into the waiting arms of Kenny Phillips for a pick 6.  I watch a lot of NFL football.  I just don’t see this kind of stuff happen to other teams.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and anguish.  But, I can’t do it.  Like King Sisyphus, I am compelled each morning to push that boulder of shame heaped upon me by another Cowboys loss up that hill.  Sadly, I’ve passed this curse on to my daughter Allison as well and she is now trapped.  I pray she has the courage to break the cycle.

It doesn’t help that I’m surrounded on all sides by intense Cowboy haters at work.  When the Cowboys occasionally win and cruelly raise my hopes, the haters are strangely silent.  At dark times like these, they circle like demented hyenas.  Craig, the village idiot Giants fan stands at my desk with his toothless grin tapping his grotesquely over sized foot barely able to contain himself as he slurps, “Homo thucks man.  Homo thucks.”.  It takes every ounce of self control I have not to stab him in the eye right there with his own pen.  It doesn’t really matter that the Giants have the same record as the Cowboys right now.  It’s not the 2 losses that matter, it’s how bad both the Seattle and Chicago losses were for the Cowboys.  Awful.  Embarrassing.  There is plenty there to celebrate for the irrational and dim witted.

Then, there is having to endure the endless blather from Jerry Jones and his group of obedient sycophants after another bitter, embarrassing loss.  We get to hear how disappointed Jerry is and how they’ve got to work harder.  Meanwhile he and his boy Stephen are counting their money and busily cooking up another horrible personnel decision like bad mad scientists in an even worse B movie.  We get to hear Jason Garrett calmly – ever calmly – talk about “stacking one good day on another”.  Well, Jason, you should sit in our seats every once in a while and see how bad what you’re “stacking” looks like from this end!  Or, maybe you could try and arrange to have one of those “good days” actually be on the field during a game.

It doesn’t get any easier from here forward this season Cowboy fans.  After the bye we likely get our under performing center Phil Costa back and our very talented nose tackle Jay Ratliff, but that is like trying to plug 20 major holes in the dike with a single finger.  It’s helps probably, but it isn’t really going to do the trick.  So, off we go to Baltimore in week 6.  At least it is a noon CST game so the whole world won’t be watching that probable beat down.  Then, its Carolina on the road (no sure thing) and a home game against the Giants (who have never lost at Cowboys Stadium and aren’t likely to start this time around).  Then its currently undefeated Atlanta on the road and our first match-up with the Eagles in Philly.  A brutal stretch if this team were running on all cylinders instead of leaking oil from every rivet.  It would not be a stretch to say we could be looking at a 2-7 record 6 weeks from now – maybe 3-6 if we upset one of those teams. Bandwagon fans, this would be a good time to jump off (as if there were any left).  Us poor unfortunate loyal fans will hunker down and do our best to hold off the hyenas.  Going to be a hard winter.

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  • Kevin from N Y

    God, dude this is my life exactly!!!! I to passed this heartache down to my 2 daughters. I live in N Y and have to endure the same pain from all the Giant trolls at work! My fear is this, my father was a huge Giants fan, he passed away 10 years ago, I foolishly stuck my Cowboys beaded star necklace in his coffin. Iam thinking the jokes on me and he is cursing my Team! Might have to fish it out because I’m losing it! I can’t give up I won’t give up!!!!!!!! Kevin

    • Todd Toombs

      Thanks Kevin. Sorry for the loss of your father. Sure feels like something supernatural is going on with this team, but I doubt it has anything to do with the necklace you buried with him. Probably more like something really bad JJ did in his life, except we get to share in the pain and suffering while he laughs all the way to the bank. I wish I could say “hang in there. It will get better”, but those are hollow words. I’m not convinced it will ever really get better with Jerry, his son, and the misfits he has around him.

  • californy

    Great article Todd, I feel your pain. I have talk to many real Cowboy fans all over the US and they are in your situation. As a real Cowboy fan I can’t never really celebrate a team win, i will always find a area we can improve on. I dont want to enjoy the high moment so i dont have to live through these real down moments. The people around us act like they are Cowboy fans, they act like they are our friends but they are the one who turn on us. i was getting messages and phone call all through the game, and having to go to work like a dog with his tail between his legs. I am one who never braggs on the boys either, and they act If i did. I make it no secret, I dislike JJ. The man is not committed to winning at all. JJ only committed to feeding his ego and filling his pocket book with cash. Then at the end of the game having to see JJ face in those commersial, if the game was not enough of a slap in our faces you have to see him on the screen to remind us, how much he doesnt care.
    My only object here is to put enough pressure on JJ lack of GM skill to pressure him to make the right moves and make this franchise great again. I hold JJ and JG accountable for the personnel decision they made that gave us one of the worst NFL line, and one of the lowest scoring team in the NFL. If we were in the Dallas fort Worth area we wouldnt be surrounded by all of these haters. They dont understand what it is to be a Cowboy fan away from the team home base.

    • Todd Toombs

      Thanks Californy. I don’t understand how people get such delight over someone else’s pain even when it has absolutely nothing to do with the team they follow. I try not to gloat like that when their teams lose because I know all too well how bad it feels. But, I rarely see other teams lose in such spectacular and public ways.

  • bwall

    The other thing I noticed very odd about this team is, while all other defenses are getting turnover after turnover, this defense gets hardly any. And most of the tip passes, fumbles end up right in the hands of the opposing offenses hands. We play rookie quarterbacks that really struggle against other teams, but some how these same qb look like tom brady against this defense. I have seen the most bizzare plays with this team, and it almost seems like every 3rd down stop has a penalty on the defense and automatic first down. I not from Texas but I picked the cowboys as my team when I began watching football in 1989 and that was the year of 1-15. I guess I got spoiled because of the subsequent team success in the 90′s. I grew to love this team, and upset with loses and poor play. So I am not a bandwagon fan because I stuck with this team after the retirements of the “triplets” and eventual back to reality feeling, I stuck with them through the quarterback fiasco of Drew Henson, Chad Hutchinson, Quincy Carter, Vinny Testeverde, etc. But with this current make up of the team, it has come to unbareable to watch because this team dooesn’t lose because they got beat by a better team, they give the game away with stupid penalties, turnovers, and poor play execution. It has been 16 years since the cowboys have been relevant in the NFL, in that time team after team has rebuilt itself and now competes for a title every year. But this team is stuck in medicority because of lack of mental toughness, poor play execution, and endless mental breakdowns and turnovers. It absolutely sickens me that this team ends up 7-9 to 8-8 every year, when they have the ability to win 11-12 on any given year. They have the physical skills to be just about anyone in this league but don’t have the mental make to do it. I REALLY expected this team to go 11-5 this year because I thought they had a different mindset this year, but once again as this team has done countless time, I was dooped by their one good win to start the season. I just don’t under stand the poor play execution because when I played football in high school our coach would make us run the same play over and over, no matter if we got it right or wrong. If we ran it right, he would say “do it again”, and if we got it wrong, he would say “we will run it all day till we get it right” The plays were drilled into our heads, and any misktakes would count against us. I know the NFL and high school football are on comletely different planets of comparison, but knowing how to run plays based on what defense is ran is football basics, and this is coming from a offensive and deffensive lineman. This team has become too much to bear, and it has come to the point where I rather do something else with my time then watch their games. I will keep up on the score on my phone, but until this team play smart football and plays with more assertion and imposes their will on opponents, I will not watch any more games. I can’t even remember the last time this team play with with no turnovers, limited amount of penalties and just lost because theteam they played was just better, they always give the game away with stupid penalties and turnovers.

    • Todd Toombs

      I share your pain and have seriously considered walking away as well. But, it would have to be from the NFL not just the Cowboys. It would feel weird putting on a jersey of another color.

  • bridgwater

    Pure eloquence.You express what all thinking Cowboys fans feel; an
    unexplainable addiction for this heartbreaking franchise.JJ’s frantic bandaid solutions from Dim Dez and losing Robinson aren’t working. The O Line is just plain offensive and the Secondary has become Terminal…. too soon? JG is a block of ice but with less imagination and God bless Tony Romo, at least he’s trying, turnovers be damned.Gotta hit bottom before we get better but it’ll be sooner than later.