I put my favorite Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt away today. It’s part of a ritual I perform every year when the Cowboys have played their last down of the season. I always put my “Farewell to Texas Stadium” sweatshirt away for the off season and watch my “History of the Dallas Cowboys” DVD. This is usually done immediately after the ‘Boys last game; but this year I just found it hard to let go.
It’s not like I had any lofty expectations for the 2012 Dallas Cowboys. The most I had hoped for was a slight improvement to 9-7 and a possible wild card berth. There’s just something about finishing this season exactly like the one before it, with absolutely no improvement, that made 2012 go down harder than my Thanksgiving turkey after Robert Griffin III came to town. Being entrenched in mediocrity is never a good thing and that appears to be exactly where this batch of Cowboys find themselves as the off season begins.
Jerry Jones’ blustery speech about “uncomfortable” months ahead at The Ranch was meant to give the Dallas faithful some hope that significant change is on the horizon. His words seem a little hollow as coaches and GMs around the league have been given the ax while the status quo remains intact a full week after the Washington Redskins sent Dallas home for the winter. Rumors have surfaced that an offensive coordinator might be coming to Dallas in light of Jason Garrett’s suspect play calling and time management that has persisted over his two year tenure in Big D. Norv Turner, the man who many credit with making Troy Aikman into the hall of famer he is today, is available after being relieved of his head coaching duties by the San Diego Chargers. As of this writing no word has come out of Dallas that Turner has been contacted by Mr. Jones. Garrett was said to have commented after season’s end that he wasn’t in favor of an offensive coordinator coming to Big D, which would make a return to Dallas a bit awkward for Turner. Still, we hold out hope that our owner and GM will at least explore the possibility of bringing him back into the fold for 2013.
Another rumor that was gleaned from Jones’ post season rant was that a trade of one of Dallas’ more prominent players might be coming. This seems an unlikely scenario, given Jones’ professed loyalty to QB Tony Romo and the lack of many players on the Cowboys’ roster that would be worth the risk. The Herschel Walker trade that brought a bevy of draft picks and turned the Cowboys into a three-time Super Bowl champion back in the 1990s isn’t something that comes around often.
Jones’ comments did serve the purpose of keeping the Cowboys relevant on sports talk radio and television throughout the week following their early exit from post season consideration. That made it easy for Cowboys Nation to remain in denial for the week leading up to wild card weekend. When Saturday morning rolled around and the teams still vying for the Lombardi Trophy took center stage, their was a collective thud as Dallas fans flopped onto our couches and settled in to once again watch other folks’ favorite teams continue their season.
The four game stretch left a lot to be desired from the perspective of good football. Ray Lewis’ final home game at Baltimore was certainly a highlight, as he rewarded the Ravens fans with several performances of his signature dance moves and a victory lap around the stadium before turning his attention to a Saturday afternoon date with the Denver Broncos in the Mile High City. Lewis has turned into one of the class acts of the NFL and was once rumored to be interested in becoming a Dallas Cowboy…but that’s another story.
One bright spot of the weekend for Cowboys fans is that we will not have to endure another week of RGIII mania, as the Redskins ended their short post-season run with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. We bear no ill will to the Washington Redskins’ QB and look forward to fielding a healthy defense that can put him on his backside a few times in 2013.
I think I’m ready to sit down in one of the Texas Stadium seats I got for Christmas, watch that DVD, and finally put the season of 2012 to rest.