I know we are still sweltering in the throes of summer, but I got a nice reminder that this too shall pass recently in, of all places, the home furnishings section of a major retail chain store. While puttering through the aisles, past all the splashy patio pillows with their wicker frames, I saw it shining like an oasis amid the bright summer hues…a green kitchen towel emblazoned with tiny brown footballs. My heart leapt! I took it as a sign from above that although the off-season seems endless at times, if we can just suffer through this final month of Sunday silence, our beloved sport of football will make its triumphant return. Hallelujah and pass the blue cupcakes!
For Cowboys Nation it has been a somewhat uneventful break from action. No one got in serious trouble or said anything exceptionally stupid to the media…which is a very good thing. Indeed, the Cowboys have added to their fans’ desire for training camp and beyond by staying out of the spotlight in pretty much very possible way.
Free agency went by with barely a whimper coming out of The Ranch, except the sound of all-pro DeMarcus Ware and his rushing partner Jason Hatcher slamming their Cowboys’ lockers shut for the very last time. When the college draft rolled around Dallas seemed to be in safe mode with their first round pick as they added to an increasing stable of offensive linemen who will hopefully help protect the many-million-dollar-man Tony Romo and give a lift to their ground attack.
Of course any fan worth his/or her salt can see the reasons for the lack of many off-season moves from Big D…the dreaded salary cap situation. On the bright side, though, it would appear that Jerry and Company have learned from their mistakes a bit and are being more prudent in passing out huge contracts, just ask the Cowboys numero uno wide receiver Dez Bryant.
One of the biggest question marks that have insiders and outsiders alike scratching their heads about the Cowboys is the lack of many coaching moves that followed a third straight 8-8 season. We don’t have much longer to wait to find out how the game of musical chairs that saw Rod Marinelli promoted to defensive coordinator and Monte Kiffin moved to assistant head coach/defense pans out. It will also be interesting to see how the adding of Scott Linehan to call the offensive plays affects the Cowboys in 2014.
All that aside, though, with the passing of every humidity filled day, excitement builds and doubts about gains and losses over the long break in action seem less important. It’s almost time for football again and hopes abound that maybe…just maybe…this will be the year the Cowboys return to some semblance of their past Super Bowl winning selves.
Could this be the season when the Cowboys ground game finally finds its footing in the consistency department and gives Dallas the push it needs to make believers out of all the naysayers who are already writing off the ‘Boys?
Will the Cowboys beleaguered defense somehow rise to the huge challenge set before them and bring the ghosts of Doomsday back to Dallas?
Most importantly, will a leader emerge from the locker room or the coaching staff to give the Cowboys the needed kick in the rear they have been lacking as the fourth quarter wains and leads become tested?
There are a lot more questions than answers as we head into training camp and beyond. One thing is for sure though, football is almost here again and hope springs eternal in the heart of Dallas and its fans.