Sept 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ALMOST: Horseshoes, Hand Grenades And The Dallas Cowboys

Almost.  That’s the only word Dallas Cowboy’s fans have to hold on to, at least for the last 17 years.  Oh, there are other words that you and I can think of, but none that we can use without censorship.  Suffice it to say,  almost is all we got.  As in…

The Cowboys almost beat the the Seattle Seahawks back in 2006 in Cowboys QB, Tony Romo’s first playoff game as starter.  Or, in the same game, Romo almost made up for the botched hold by almost getting a touchdown – coming up one yard short.  Quick thinking, for sure, but didn’t quite make it.  Imagine if Romo hadn’t botched the hold?  Or if he’d crossed the goal line?  Would his legend have headed in a different direction, had he won a playoff game his first year starting?

August 11, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers receiver Patrick Crayton (12) prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

What about the playoffs in 2007?  Cowboys WR Patrick Crayton almost caught that pass from Romo that would have been a first down – and very possibly more – when Dallas was driving for the go ahead score against the New York Giants, the eventual SuperBowl winners that year.  Crayton also almost caught the winning touchdown, if he’d have stayed in stride, on the Cowboys final series in that game, but decided to inexplicably pull up just a little, before realizing the ball was coming his way.  The result was the ball looked slightly overthrown by Romo, who would get the blame for the loss by way of the Cabo vacation conspiracy.  Almost.

Forget 2008.

In 2009, the Cowboys, and Tony Romo, almost got the monkey off their backs by beating the Philadelphia Eagles twice in 2 weeks – to get into the playoffs, and then to win their first playoff game in forever (it seemed).  I would think that winning that playoff game really should have ended any debate that the Cowboys (or Tony Romo) can’t win big games, but it didn’t.  It didn’t because the next week they got there butts handed to them by the Minnesota Vikings.  You remember,  the game where the Vikings played pinata with Romo as the offensive line crumbled,  and Cowboys LT, Flozell Adams,  made a ‘business decision’ not to play hurt.  Yep, the Cowboys almost got rid of the monkey, but found it in Minneapolis.

Really forget 2010.  My therapist thinks it’s best.

Did I mention that our Dallas Cowboys almost won their division, almost making the playoffs the last 2 years in a row?

It seems the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo are becoming the NFL’s version of the old TV spy, Maxwell Smart.  “Missed it by that much!”

But, inspite of their recent history, the almosts are not just reserved for the Romo/Garrett era.  Back in the beginning,  the QB Don Meredith/Landry era Cowboys almost beat the Green Bay Packers in 1966 for the NFL Championship.  Then they almost beat the Packers again for the Championship in 1967 in the infamous ‘Ice Bowl’.  That last one hurt, because Dallas, not Green Bay, would have played the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in the very first SuperBowl.

In the Roger Staubach/Landry era, while experiencing the most success, also had some almosts.  The Cowboys lost 3 SuperBowls by a combined 11 points – 3 in SB V- 4 in SB X and 4 in SB XIII.  That last one, SuperBowl XIII, Staubach threw a sure touchdown to TE Jackie Smith, who proceeded to bobble the pass, then drop it, in the endzone.  That gut wrenching mistake prompted the broadcast commentator to call Jackie ‘the sickest man in America’.  He almost caught it.

The Danny White/Landry era brought the ’80’s Cowboys to 3 straight NFC Championship games, only to lose each one.  The Cowboys almost won the 1982 NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, but for ‘The Catch’.  The improbable pass thrown by QB, Joe Montana that Dwight Clark caught with his fingertips over an outstretched Dallas CB, Everson Walls.  (That ‘almost‘ – The Catch – is described in Wikipedia as: ‘widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history’ and ‘represented the end of Dallas’ domination in the NFC since the conference’s inception in 1970′) … Ouch!

When you’re a fan of America’s Team, a card carrying member of CowboysNation, you can claim more success, more winning, more championships, than the fans of most of the other NFL teams (and more trips to the SuperBowl than any team).  That success can make you forget about those ‘almosts’.  We can take the bad, or almost, with the good when it’s mostly good.

The problem comes when the good comes less often than the almost.  When almost is all you have, well then we’ve gone from football to horseshoes.

It’s got to be getting harder for Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, to sell CowboysNation a game of horseshoes

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones Roger Staubach Tony Romo

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