As the Dallas Cowboys season comes to a bittersweet end, we reflect on how America’s Team failed to finish the fight, their core mantra for the year.
I was as disappointed as any loyal Dallas Cowboy fan could be after seeing this year’s team and magical season come to a sudden, abrupt and unanticipated end, as the Packers defeated America’s team by the score of 34-31 at AT&T Stadium.
To be candid, I did not see this coming. And I consequently have not watched the networks nor read the analysis of others as to what they thought went wrong simply because I wanted to process it objectively for myself, minus the noise from the outside.
The bottom line is that Aaron Rodgers, or the man known to Packer fans as A-Rod, is indeed as good as advertised. When healthy, there is no doubt that he is one of the most accurate and arguably the best quarterback in the National Football League.
But somehow I still feel that by time the Cowboy coaching staff realized that they were not playing against your typical quarterback, it was too late. That’s because by that time, Rodgers had already put up more points on the Dallas defense by halftime than they had allowed per game for the entire season.
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It did not help that on the Cowboys’ initial drive that they set the tone for the game based upon limiting themselves by opting for a field goal instead of going for a touchdown. In essence, when Dallas came up short after driving into Packer territory it was imperative that they take advantage of the opportunity to set a more aggressive tone for the game. Instead, they chose to be conservative and kicked a field goal.
Yeah, I know it’s easy to play armchair quarterback or head coach. However just imagine if they had gone for it. Even if they did not make it, I believe that at a minimum it would have sent a message to the Cowboy team that we are going to be the more aggressive team in this fight. And if they did and moved the chains, who knows what the final score would have been.
Not that I am knocking head coach Jason Garrett for his decision to not take a chance early in the game. But it seems to me that if you have a mantra which states “Finish the Fight” then what a great way to show the fans that you are congruent with said mantra, by exhibiting an action that supports and reflects your mantra.
Hence, that action in itself might have facilitated either a new level of momentum or at least sustain your team’s level of fight. Then-to, even if your attempt at getting a first down fails, your message of aggression would have already been sent.
With that said, maybe the disappointment of losing that game was supposed to happen to define an extraordinary successful season. But if only because a valuable lesson needed to be learned for not only the Cowboy players and coaches, but also their fans.
For sure this season shall go down in history as one of the Cowboys most entertaining seasons, climaxing with another NFL classic playoff game against the Packers. Minus what should have been a Dallas Cowboy victory, which makes the outstanding efforts and performances by this year’s entire team, somewhat bittersweet.