Sunday’s loss was bad. Worst of the season bad. After Sean Lee went out there was no chance the Dallas Cowboys’ defense was going to stop the Saints. Drew Brees was on.
Offensively, the Cowboys were off. No one could get open, Romo was overthrowing them when they were, and everyone looked frustrated on the sideline. Garrett had on the most worried look I’ve ever seen him wear. Romo looked despondent. Dez, while holding it back, was obviously frustrated. Sean Lee looked sad.
It was tough.
Stepping back and looking at the season as a whole didn’t make anything better. The Cowboys still haven’t beaten a good team and, despite a strong start, have allowed their rivals back into the fight for the division race. Philly is tied for first, while Washington and NY are well within range closing in on the end of the season. And if you don’t think either of them can win it you’re delusional.
Dallas, at the moment, looks like the same team it’s been the past two years. One that will find a way to lose a division it has every chance to win. Every indicator points to yet another year ending in frustration, heartbreak, and humiliation.
Sunday, despite being a bad game, was still a good night for me. My Dad came up from my hometown to watch the game. He happened to be going into surgery this week (everything went well and he is relaxing and recovering) and it was a great opportunity to spend some time beforehand hanging out and having a pizza and beer. The Cowboys were losing…but after years of watching with him that lent an aura of familiarity to the event. We had watched it happen before, and we knew it would happen again. There were bigger things to care about.
Yes, this season bothers me. I did not think it would be like this. I did not expect the same, tired mistakes (not closing out game, not capitalizing on opportunities, penalties) to be haunting the Cowboys again. And they are.
But, sometimes, I can’t help but be irrationally optimistic. Especially when other things in life are going well. The Cowboys are still in first place, and they still have a chance. That’s all you can really ask for in this life. Opportunity. And they’ve got it.
It’s a long shot. I know this. But there’s no fun in giving up with six games to go in the season. I believe. Why not?