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Dallas vs. Carolina, trying to hang in there with ‘The Boyz

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By Shawn Williams – Dallas South News Editor

I’ve been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys for as long as I can remember.  Images of Roger Staubach and the gang taking on the Pittsburg Steelers in the 1970′s are a blur.  But I fully recall Danny White’s Cowboys losing three straight NFC Championship games, and crying after Dwight Clark made “The Catch” at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park in 1982.

There were some lean years after the Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-26, January 16, 1983.  Dallas had one playoff appearance between 1983-1991 and that was a 1986 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.  Those 8 years seemed like an eternity.  It seemed like the Cowboys had been bad forever by the time Jimmy Johnson produced a 17-13 victory in a 1991 Wild Card game against the Chicago Bears.  But that’s nothing compared to now.

Thirteen years…it’s been almost thirteen years since the Cowboys last won a playoff game.  I can hardly recall the circumstances around the December 28, 1996 win against the Vikings.  I’m sure that I figured The Boys would win the Super Bowl that year and at worst remain contenders for the next 4-5 years.  Why wouldn’t that be the case?  The Cowboys had it all figured out and were the premier franchise in sports.

I still hear people make jokes about how the Cowboys and their fans think like champions and won’t settle for anything less that a Super Bowl, in contrast to organizations the Seahawks, Cardinals, or Rams.  Yet all those teams have been to a Super Bowl since the Cowboys have tasted victory in the post season.  Face it Cowboys fans…we are the Cardinals.  Only the Browns, Lions, and Texans have been as annually bad. We’ve been settling for less for quite some time now.

The worst part is that we as Cowboys fans think every year is our Super Bowl year.  I have to admit the previous two years I really thought the Super Bowl was finally at hand.  I’m usually able to keep a level head and realize that it’s smoke and mirrors.  But around Week 11 last year, my dad and I were talking about heading out to Phoenix. Not so much.  Just because we’re better than 5-11, 5-11, 5-11, doesn’t mean that we’ve arrived.

This year I’m finding it harder and harder to get behind for my favorite team 100%.  The defensive flaws are almost more than I can handle.  Who can you REALLY trust besides Ware and MAYBE James, Ratliff, and Newmann?  Everyone always talks about how talented the Cowboys are, but other NFL teams really don’t value Cowboy players that much.

In the season opener the Cowboys ran all over one of the least prepared football teams I’ve ever seen in Tampa Bay.  And last week, the defense looked a lot like the squad who gave up two long touchdown runs to Baltimore and was run over by Philly last season.  The Cowboys struggle against good teams.  That’s not breaking news, most teams struggle against good teams.  But if your team ever hopes to be good, you eventually have to beat a few good teams (they’re all good come playoff time).

So I can’t root as hard as I would like tonight against Carolina, because they’re not a good team, and the Cowboys should throttle them like they did Tampa Bay.  I’m much more interested in seeing how the Boys fair against Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and their rematch against the Giants.  I’m far from a Cowboys hater (most haters are disgruntled Cowboys fans) but I’m having a hard time getting pumped for the Boys these days. Cowboys Stadium is amazing, and Mr. Jones and the City of Arlington deserve all the credit due to they most incredible sporting facility the world has ever seen.  But what does it really matter if the team is..well…average?

I’m down to see some good football and maybe (dare I say) even a playoff win.  Wake me up in December.

Shawn Williams has never played football above the high school level.  His opinion is based on hours of watching football on Sundays from the couch in his home.

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