New Cowboys Season Has A Different Feel; Reasons For Hope


This is the life of a Dallas Cowboys fan over the last few years.  I wrote an article about the team bashing them after their Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.  Now, after their Week 2 win over the Tennessee Titans, I have that eternal hope that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones always shoves down our throats.  Just another day in the life of a fan who roots for a team that is stuck in 8-8 mediocrity.

We have gotten accustom to this ‘win one, lose one’ mentality under head coach Jason Garrett.  Seemingly, the Cowboys have not been able to string a few wins in a row without losing a few in a row over the last three years.  Such is the way for a .500 team.

You may think the start to this season is par for the course and The Boys are destined for another 8-8 finish.  However, I think this year’s start has a different feel to it and that there actually is reason for hope.  My optimism for this year is two fold.

First, I believe the Cowboys actually are establishing an identity.  Over the first two weeks, Dallas reverted back to the old days of a team ramming the ball down a defense’s throat with their rushing attack.  Running back DeMarco Murray leads the league in rushing with 285 yards and the offensive line has been one of the NFL’s best thus far.  As lopsided as the 49ers loss was, the Cowboys’ offense still ran the ball effectively.

This is in contrast to how the team has played in recent years.  You never knew if the running game would play a prominent role in the offensive scheme from one week to the next.  We have continually heard Garrett talk about the importance of a strong running game only to follow the statement up with a 15 rushing attempt performance for the entire team.

In the last two games, Murray alone has had 22 and 29 attempts respectively.  When is the last time you can recall him having over 20 rush attempts in consecutive games?  You would have to go back to Weeks 13 and 14 of the 2012 season.

There is an old adage that all good football teams have an identity.  Teams with winning records know what they do well and stick to it.  The Cowboys have a chance to be one of the league’s best rushing teams this year.  That will undoubtedly help their defense play better by keeping them off the field and controlling the time of possession.

It will also help quarterback Tony Romo preserve his back and to limit the amount of times he has to make a crucial mistake.  Less pressure on Romo to carry this team will hopefully translate into a more efficient quarterback.

Another reason this start has a different feel to it is there are reinforcements on the way.  It has been a common occurrence over the last few years to see players go down with injuries.  Players who were crucial to the team’s success.  In contrast, this week we received encouraging news about players rejoining the team.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick was set to return and linebacker Anthony Spencer practiced and is beginning his comeback.  Scandrick is arguably the team’s best defensive player. And anyone who can pressure the opposing team’s quarterback like Spencer can is a welcome addition.  Also, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is scheduled to return in a little over a month, so the defense will have three prominent players returning to the unit.

I still have some doubt that Garrett could somehow mess this all up.  But if the team can stick to this rushing attack and Romo’s back stays healthy, I have to admit I am hopeful they can make a run at the playoffs.  This goes against all that I have believed and written on here leading up to this season. But I am entitled to changing my mind.  Let’s just hope Garrett and the team doesn’t change theirs regarding running the ball.