Dallas Cowboys: despite another playoff letdown, future looks bright

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during the Wild Card Round against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during the Wild Card Round against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Sure, the end result was much of the same, but if we’re taking the big picture into account, there’s plenty to be excited about for these Dallas Cowboys.

If you’re a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, it’s easy to walk away from Saturday night’s 30-22 playoff loss carrying more emotional baggage than ever before. The Super Bowl drought has officially reached twenty-three years. The ever-loyal fan base keeps coming back year after year, only to experience disappointment after bitter disappointment. Supporting this franchise comes with the understanding that you’re going to go home angry and jaded.

Saturday night was no exception, really. While the loss wasn’t necessarily unexpected, the nature of it certainly was. The Los Angeles Rams straight up emasculated a top-five Dallas run defense to the tune of 273 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, the vaunted Cowboys’ running game never materialized. As a result, Los Angeles amassed more than a twelve-minute advantage in time of possession. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that this is a recipe for disaster in an NFL playoff game.

I know no one’s keen to talk about moral victories or silver linings at this point, but amidst all that domination, one thing remained true: the Cowboys found a way to stay in that game. True to form, no matter the circumstance, they were down but never completely out. At least not until the Rams officially iced the game on their last possession. If there’s a positive to take away from all this, it’s Dallas’s general resilience on Saturday.

That never-say-die mentality was this team’s calling card all year long. It was on display after they stumbled to that 3-5 start. It was out there for everyone to see in their 7-1 run to close out the regular season. Say what you will about the lack of aesthetics, but the Dallas Cowboys learned how to grind this season. That should only help this young squad mature as they continue to figure things out.

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The other thing worth mentioning is the culture of winning that’s manifesting itself within the walls of The Star. Yeah, the playoffs have been a mixed bag at best, but if we’re taking the current era of Cowboys dating back to Dak Prescott’s and Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie seasons, the Cowboys are fourth in the entire NFL in regular season wins and tops in the NFC with thirty-two victories. The three teams ahead of them? New England, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. Immediately behind them? New Orleans, Seattle, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. That’s some pretty heady company. It’s almost as though they have a reasonably competent head coach at the helm, contrary to popular opinion.

To that end, get ready for another season–and probably more–of the Jason Garrett era. A vast majority of the Dallas fandom was ready to jettison him at 3-5, present company included, but he steadied the ship and helped guide this team out of the abyss. As I’ve said before, if we’re going to lambaste him when the Cowboys are failing, then it’s only fair to praise him when they’re playing well. A lesser coach couldn’t have taken such a young team and turned them into winners. It might irritate some of you to read this, but the Garrett haters can’t have it both ways. If he’s really as bad as some of us think, then there’s absolutely no way this team pulls themselves off the mat and makes the playoffs.

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So be proud of these guys for the moment. They played their tails off, but they ultimately fell short in the end. Yeah, there’s no Super Bowl dream–again–but this team is young and will continue to be hungry. If they continue to draft well, make quality trades, and acquire contributing free agents, then there’s no reason to think they’ll fall off. Jerry Jones’s Wild Ride continues, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, we have no intention of opting out.

  • Published on 01/14/2019 at 23:00 PM
  • Last updated at 01/14/2019 at 07:41 AM