Which brings us back to identity. The last time Dallas was blown out, they rebounded with a gutty road victory against a desperate division rival. Some like to disparage this team as “up-and-down.” Win one, lose one – the same old Cowboys. In truth, they’re just not very good. The roster doesn’t have enough talent to win consistently in the NFL.
But when they lose big like they did in Chicago, they tend to bounce back. They gut out a win. This team finds a way. Like they did against Washington, following the heart-breaker to Denver. Like they did against Minnesota, following the painful defeat in Detroit. Like they did against New York after the thrashing in New Orleans.
Resilient. Driven. Prideful. All part of an identity, carefully crafted and nurtured by their head coach. One is reminded of Garrett’s words following the preseason loss in Arizona:
I think what we always try to do as coaches, every opportunity you can, is to outline what the standard is for the Dallas Cowboys and the National Football League in all phases… It’s our job as coaches to provide that standard. You are constantly making an effort to establish your identity as a player and a team, and it’s our job to help them establish the right identity – the best version of themselves.
These Cowboys, often mocked as underachievers, are playing meaningful football in December. Again. And it aint because GM Jerry stacked the roster with talent that is handcuffed by a bad scheme. It’s because this coaching staff has a banged up group playing prideful, passionate football.
Look sharp, Green Bay. Talent limitations aside, these Cowboys seem to find a way to bounce back. That’s who they’ve become – an identity. And it’s no accident.