Should Dallas Cowboys be angry and pessimistic or happy and optimistic?

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

Cowboys Nation can be a complicated beast. At any given time we have Cowboys fans that love the team and Cowboys fans that hate the team. We have fans cheering for the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback and we have fans cheering against the starting quarterback.

We have Cowboys fans who like the direction of the club and those who despise the direction of the club. We have fans who insist on some personnel moves and others who insist on the complete opposite. For every Sunshine Sally there’s a Negative Nancy. That’s just how Dallas Cowboys fans are.

So it should be no surprise fans are again at odds in Cowboys Nation right now. After the 12-win Cowboys choked in Round 1, tensions are high, and a lot of fans are lecturing their counterparts on how they should be feeling about it.

It’s understandable and maybe even healthy to be angry and pessimistic about the Dallas Cowboys right now.

While positivity is usually the emotionally healthy avenue to take in life, it’s not always warranted. Deluding one’s self into thinking everything’s fine when all evidence points to the contrary congers up images of a cartoon dog drinking a cup of tea within the gates of hell.

Every offseason they hear the same lines. Every offseason they give the same sales job. And every season ends in underachievement.

The Dallas Cowboys rolled out one of, if not THE, most talented teams in the league last season. They had the No. 1 ranked offense, they had the most improved defense, they had a home playoff game, and a relatively healthy roster. They had their best chance at winning a Super Bowl in years – possibly decades given there was no clear alpha in the playoff field this year.

It was there for the taking and what did the Dallas Cowboys do? They lost at home, to team that barely squeaked into the playoffs, led my a QB who couldn’t QB (San Fran is already shopping Jimmy G in a trade).

The tragic events weren’t even all that surprising either. After starting the season red hot and seemingly unstoppable, the Dallas Cowboys sputtered. Their pick-your-poison offense hit a brick wall.

The offensive line could no longer open holes for the running game, leading to one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks after the bye. The offensive line couldn’t protect Dak Prescott from four rushers either, making the already one-dimensional offense vulnerable against max-coverage.

Even special teams was a mess, with their field goal kicker operating as consistently as a McDonalds ice cream machine.

The Dallas Cowboys weren’t figured out like some in the national media liked to say, they just pooed the bed (to put it eloquently). Grumblings that this may have been self-induced castration, a directive from the top to revert to the old way of winning (ground and pound with no “fancy stuff”), seemed to have merit. Why else would a team lean on their injured running back (Ezekiel Elliot had a torn PCL) when a healthier (and arguably better) option was waiting in the wings in Tony Pollard?

Why so many runs on early downs when it was clearly digging a hole for the offense? Why so many transparent personnel packages? Why so much shuffling of the O-line? Accurate or not, everything seemed to point back to the front office.

Stephen Jones and Jerry Jones are not your typical owners. They have a heavy hand in everything Dallas Cowboys, up to and including coaching decisions. Again, we can’t definitively prove that was the case this season but the track record of interference says the idea is far from unrealistic.

Now we hear tales of the Dallas Cowboys, once again, taking reserved approach to roster building this offseason. Instead of striking while the iron is hot, Stephen is looking to shed salaries this offseason. DeMarcus Lawrence and Amari Cooper are both potentially on the chopping block. Releasing them would save a ton of money – but it would also effectively punt on the 2022 season.

“Here we go again,” echoes in the heads of Cowboys Nation.

To add to the effect, the Dallas Cowboys are brining back their top-3 coaches from before. Mike McCarthy is inexplicably coming back as is Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn. After failing to overcome the issues on offense last season, the Cowboys decide to roll the same brain-trust out again? Here we go again…

You can see why there’s so much pessimism in Cowboys Nation. The Dallas Cowboys are responding horrifically to what transpired last season. The systemic stupidity at the top is disheartening and fans are emotionally spent. Every offseason they hear the same lines. Every offseason they get the same sales job. And every season ends in underachievement.

But sports are a rollercoaster and the Dallas Cowboys are certainly no exception.  This is the time for doom and gloom. The wounds are fresh. This is a logical response.

Many of those pessimistic and angry fans are just tired of being gullible. They are venting and airing their frustration and that’s not only OK, it’s the rational response. Once free agency begins we’ll inevitably experience more ups and downs depending on what Dallas does.

Will they let good players leave? Will they become obsessed with bargains and ignore the upgrades? Or will they swing big like the LA Rams just did? More potential peaks and valleys.

But when the new season comes around, things tend to change. Happiness and optimism are fun and Dallas Cowboys tend to swing in that direction every summer. We think about “what could be” and pray what was is just just a thing of the past (even though we know it’s indicative of the future).

I’m disgruntled. And I imagine most tenured Dallas Cowboys fans are the same. We’ve seen this dog and pony show every offseason for years. We’re not so easily sold that things will suddenly change.

Many other fans are the opposite. They think the problems will be corrected and issues at hand aren’t systemic. And that’s fine too. We all process this differently.

In the end, Dallas Cowboys fans all have the same common desire: to win the Super Bowl. We disagree in the process. We disagree in the narrative. We disagree with interpretation. But we have the same common goal.

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So let Cowboys fans process this how they must. Listen to each other because the optimistic folks may have a good reason to be happy. And the pessimistic folks may have a good reason to be mad. Who knows, we may all learn something from each other.

  • Published on 02/09/2022 at 13:56 PM
  • Last updated at 02/21/2022 at 13:14 PM