This week I am on vacation with my family at a lovely resort in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re having a good time enjoying the amenities, soaking up the sun, enjoying the pools and everything else this place has to offer. One of the things offered by the resort was a free Smore’s night.
As I am in line to acquire my ingredients to make this tasty treat, the guy behind me happens to notice I am wearing one of my many Dallas Cowboys T-shirts and the following exchange occurs:
Random Guy: “It’s a bad year to be a Cowboys fan”
Me: (Hoping to not engage and move on) “No, it’s not. It’s never a bad year to be a Cowboys fan.”
Random Guy: “What do you mean? We lost Lee for the year, Ware is gone and we looked horrible the other night”
Me: (Hoping again to say something that will end this…) “Well, guess we’ll see… maybe we will be fine, maybe we won’t but next year, I’ll still love the team the same as I do now and have always. That’s what being a real fan means.”
Random Guy: “Oh, I’m a real fan!… and then he continued to go on an on with the negativity and spout out random stats that made him feel better about his forecast.
This is when I decided this was never going to end well and walked away.
I am all for being a realist. I get it. Not all of my columns are puppy dogs and ice cream. There’s a reason for that. I don’t write my columns for the low-level football fan. I write my columns for those who know the game of football and care about the Dallas Cowboys. Sometimes, that means I have to write things that may appear negative because they are true. It’s my job to give it you as real as can be.
But in public, if you’re a stranger and you claim to be a Cowboys fan, I feel there is an obligation to maintain a decorum of unity and positivity. This is especially so considering those who aren’t Cowboys fans usually love to do enough trash talking.
Here’s what is real. The season is not over because Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware will never play a down this year for the Dallas Cowboys. The season is not over because we lost a preseason game or because our defense was just as bad in that preseason game as it was all season last year.
People need to realize that Dallas did not play 27 players in that game including defensive starters or key contributors such as George Selvie, Henry Melton, Terrell McClain, Rolando McClain, Barry Church, Orlando Scandrick, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. Yes, the Chargers met little opposition to what they were trying to do Thursday night, but it was a 10-7 game at halftime and 90% of the defensive guys who played the second half will probably not be on the team when the final 53 is set.
Jason Garrett is aware of it. He said as much after the game when he had the following to say:
“Let’s start from top to bottom: The discipline wasn’t very good, the gap control wasn’t very good, it wasn’t very physical, we didn’t tackle very well, we didn’t run to the ball well enough, we didn’t make enough plays,” Garrett said. “We made one play on the ball that was significant, but we didn’t make any plays that made a difference in the game. … For the most part, across the board, it wasn’t what it needed to be.”
So, my advice to that random guy and all the rest of the people out there who want to believe there is no hope for the season is simply to relax. Let’s wait on the evaluations until there is something legitimate to evaluate. There is almost a full month for the above mentioned guys to get healthy and for the coaches to coach up mistakes before things really matter.
I still think everything will be alright… and you should too.