I should be excited. The Dallas Cowboys just started training camp. Optimism should abound, right? Well, last week, a day before the dog and pony show that was the state of the team press conference, all I could feel was this blue-and-silver tinged malaise. For it was right then that I knew I was subject to fully six weeks of speculation and conjecture before a meaningful football is even snapped.
And then there was the presser itself: around eighty minutes of the usual platitudes and jokes we’re all used to hearing. But there were also a few occasions when team owner and general manager Jerry Jones became emotional. Look, I get it. He cares deeply about the Cowboys and his desire to win a championship.
The Dallas Cowboys set off on yet another uncertain voyage for a jaded fan base.
I don’t wish to reduce Jerry to a doddering old man, even though it’s tempting. That’s mean-spirited and only slightly unfair. But in the course of those proceedings, all I could think of was to spare me the waterworks. I’ve been a conscious follower of the Cowboys for four decades now (I’m 47), and my anticipation for the past several seasons is met more with resignation than excitement.
Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up a bit? Perhaps it’s because I’ve become cynical over the fact that it’s been over a quarter century since this bunch has even sniffed a conference title game, much less a conference championship. Even when they luck into a random 12-4 or 13-3 record (there have three such occasions since the last title), they still find a way to fail spectacularly, usually on national TV.
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If I’m being honest with myself, there has to be a certain amount of embarrassment as well. For every train wreck, there is the requisite amount of reaction across television, radio, and social media. I mean, it doesn’t sting that bad. Growing up a Cowboys’ fan, I’ve heard it all. But the weight of every colossal bed wetting grows heavier and more cumbersome each year, and frankly, I’m sick of it. A former coach once said, “Don’t tell me about the pain. Show me the baby.” That’s exactly where I am with this franchise. It’s never solely about football like it is with the other elite teams. For once, I’d like to see more steak than sizzle, but that day will likely never come.
The invasive cameras and microphones of HBO’s Hard Knocks are in house, and the front office is getting the attention they so profoundly crave. The entire organization is back in Oxnard, California after last year’s Covid-related absence, so the pandering to the west coast contingent is back in play. The eternal itch to be the center of attention will always override on-the-field excellence.
So it’s up to head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Demarcus Lawrence, etc. to navigate the circus and prove to all involved that this team is worthy of our attention. Don’t worry, I’ll still watch so you don’t have to, but I know everyone will be there with me for all seventeen of these suckers. We’re football insane at this point, and us tuning in and expecting a different result is par for the Cowboys’ course.
- Published on 07/26/2021 at 12:30 PM
- Last updated at 07/26/2021 at 12:30 PM