Five games into the 2021season, the Dallas Cowboys have a 4-1 record, lead the NFC East by two games, has the number two offense, are ranked 14th in defense, and are one of the league leaders in takeaways with 12. The offense is averaging over 30 points a game- scoring 41, 36, and 44 points in their last three victories.
Oh, and the Dallas Cowboys are doing this without some of their key starters and contributors. For example, the Cowboys are missing wide receiver Michael Gallup, offensive lineman La’el Collins, defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong, Bradlee Anae, rookie corner Kelvin Joseph, and safety Donovan Wilson among others. Just imagine how much better the Cowboys will be once all of those players return. My Gawd!
Considering the Dallas Cowboys will be favored in the majority of their upcoming games, you can understand the excitement of Cowboys fans from predicting everything from how many games the Cowboys will win and who they might face in the NFC Championship game.
Dear Dallas Cowboys fans, hold your horses and just enjoy this ride one game at a time.
With a 4-1 record, winning four games in a row, and leading the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys fans are already predicting how far this team will go into the playoffs instead of focusing on one game at a time.
Since the Cowboys Week One loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this fan base has gone complete bonkers about the final destination of this team and everything leading up to it. I’ve heard fans discuss how many games Dallas will win, who they will face in the playoffs, how will Dallas stop the “Grinch from Green Bay” (Aaron Rodgers) if they square off, what will Dallas do differently against Tom Brady, and lastly, how this team resembles the Super Bowl winning teams of the 1990’s!
Yes, Dallas fans truly believe this team is as talented as the ones from the dynasty years, and they might be on to something. Ironically, Jimmy Johnson, Dallas’ Super Bowl-winning coach during those 1992 and 1993 seasons, said on Fox NFL Sunday that this is the most talented Dallas team his seen since his Super Bowl-winning years!
Talk about speaking a winning season into existence. Well, if Jimmy says it then at the very least there’s a muster seed of truth to it. Since Jimmy’s been at Fox, I’ve never heard him say anything remotely close to that about any Dallas team, and there have been a few that were pretty darn talented over the years.
As a Cowboys Nation super fan myself, I truly understand and share the fervor, the excitement, and overall desire to predict how far this talented team can go, too. I’ll even admit this team feels inherently different than previous ones that have teased us with their greatness.
However, I must reign in my own fandom and concentrate on the truth of this team and be as objective as possible. Yes, this Dallas team is ultra-talented on offense and can beat any defense that gets in their way, but this team still has some holes to fix on defense that makes them vulnerable to other high-powered offenses.
That is why I say that the fan base needs to take it one game at a time and enjoy every game to the fullest extent because nobody can realistically predict how far this team can or will go until this Dallas team is at full strength.
Let’s have a brief moment of nostalgia, boys and girls…
Dallas Cowboys: Underdogs to Super Bowl Champs in 1992
In Jimmy Johnson’s fourth season, he had just taken a 1-15 team to the playoffs in year three with a surprising victory over the dominant Chicago Bears in Soldier Field in 1991. His fourth year team was viewed as an up and coming team behind the powerful San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Washington Football Team, Philadelphia Eagles, and Minnesota Vikings.
Dallas jumped out to an 8-1 record and slowly quieted the critics as they cruised their way to an unbelievable 13-3 record. But as a fan back in 1992, I enjoyed the journey of each game because I witnessed how Dallas beat teams in different ways with its dynamic running game behind Emmitt Smith, the passing of Troy Aikman to Michael Irving, Alvin Harper, Jay Novacek, and how the defense destroyed opponents with ease because Charles Haley, Leon Lett, Russell Maryland, Tony Tolbert, Ken Norton Jr, Darren Woodson, and James Washington.
The beauty of that journey was that despite how great Dallas played in each game, they were still viewed as the underdogs and there were no expectations to win the Super Bowl because the 49ers and Bills were the clear favorites. Remember, this is the 1990’s, before free agency, so the balance didn’t shift so quickly each season. Teams like the 49ers and Bills were loaded with perennial Pro Bowlers and that didn’t change.
So imagine how other fans and I felt when Dallas beat the Eagles in the playoffs, upset the 49ers in the NFC Championship game, and then absolutely destroyed the Bills 52-17 in the Super Bowl as the underdogs. None of the Dallas Cowboys fans saw us winning the first of three Super Bowls because the expectations weren’t there and as a result, every game was more enjoyable to watch because a ceiling was placed on how far that team would go that season.
Dallas Cowboys: 2007, 2014, and 2016
Dallas had talented teams in 2007 (won 13 games), 2014 (won 12 games, 2016 (won 13 games) and all of those teams lost in dramatic fashion in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 07 team had the best chance to make it to the Super Bowl, but not even that team compares to the excitement this one brings to fans with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Dalton Schultz, Trevon Diggs, Micah Parsons, Randy Gregory, Leighton Vander Esch, Jourdan Lewis, and even Anthony Brown.
Although the 1992 Super Bowl team had way more talent on both sides of the ball, Johnson is right in that this Dallas roster is as close as it gets to the one he coached that season. But just like that season, fans should capture the essence of each game because sometimes the journey will surprisingly take you to an unexpected destination like Super Bowl Champions.
And that’s why you enjoy one game at a time. BOOM!