Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Dallas Cowboys are who they are: An average organization

You are who you are.  That is something that I have always believed in.  Everyone at some point in their lives aspires to be something they are not.  That is not the way you want to go about life.  If you aspire to be something, at least be good at it.  What you hope to be in life should be something that is within your range and not beyond your ken.  You know, they tell you when you are younger that you can be anything you want to be when you grow up.  I've grown up and have learned that that is a bunch of baloney.  You can't be anything you want to be.  You can try, but you will likely fail at most things.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be one of the best professional basketball players the game has ever seen, but by the time I graduated from high school, I stood at 5'11 with no athleticism to speak of.  Yeah, so much for that.  No, I'm not saying that children shouldn't be told when they are young that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up; I'm saying that it's a big crock and when you get older, you'll realize just how full of crap that castle-in-the-sky thinking was.  They tell you a lot of things when you are younger that you find out are full of it when you get older.  That's the facts of life for ya.

Whatever it is you decide to be, it's usually something that you are talented in or good maybe even great at.  At the end of the day, you are who you are.  If you have the talent, athleticism, and size to be an NBA, MLB, or NFL player, then that's what you shoot for.  If you have the skills to be a doctor, then that is what you should be.  If your soul is on the market and you'll do whatever to sell it, maybe you should become a lawyer.  If you are great at being a drug dealer, then that's probably what you should do.  You know, a lot of people in this world are good at being bad; just the way it is.  You are who you are but it just sometimes takes you a while before you figure it out.  Which oddly brings me to these Dallas Cowboys.  They haven't figured it out yet.

There are many criticisms or perceptions about the Dallas Cowboys.  They can't finish games.  They are an accident waiting to happen.  The head coach can't coach.  The QB is a choker.  Those perceptions may be true, but I say it's time for people to accept the Cowboys for who they are:  An average NFL organization who gets press only because they have an owner who is a marketing guru.  We are many years removed from the glory days.  The days of living up to the America's Team pseudonym.  The days of making the playoffs seemingly every year.  The days of winning Super Bowls and building dynasties.  Those days are long over.

This organization began a rapid decline after Troy Aikman was forced into retirement.  A decline that originally began to come into fruition after a bitter feud between He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named and Jimmy Johnson.  A short-lived marriage ended and would be the beginning of the end for a once-great organization.  After years and years of success and jubilation, the Cowboy faithful is now subjected to a laughable, abominable product on the field.  One playoff win in the last 16 seasons says all.  No need to delve into the poor regular season record since 1996, the December woes in the last decade, or the constant shortcomings in big games.  Winning big games was a problem before Tony Romo came into the fray.  The Cowboys just frankly don't know how to win anymore.  It's almost hard to comprehend when they made it look so easy in the 90s.  Times have definitely changed and have taken a turn for the worse.

Yet it's almost as if the Cowboys are still a great organization when you consider they are the subject of much gossip in the media year after year.  But that can be largely attributed to a delusional, braggadocio owner.  An owner who believes this current team is capable of winning a Super Bowl.  A team that doesn't have a single player on it that has won a Super Bowl.  Heck, this team doesn't have a player that has won more than one playoff game on the roster.

That's a lot of talk for an owner who has seen his product produce just one playoff win in the last decade and a half.  One measly playoff win, yet you think the team you have now is capable of coming out of nowhere and winning the three or four playoff wins required to win a Super Bowl?  And here I thought my aspirations of being a professional basketball player was delusional.

The Cowboys will be this way for the foreseeable future as long as this owner is running ship.  Drafts will continue to be porous year after year.  They will never be able to get anything right no matter how hard they try.  Even when they hit on guys like Sean Lee or DeMarco Murray, it's guys who can't stay on the field or had proved to be injury-prone in the past.  The Dez Bryant pick is looking worse by the day.  The negatives greatly outweigh the positive.  They have yet to recover from the forgettable 2009 draft that saw 12 valuable picks go to absolute waste.  Not a single player from that draft is on the current 53-man roster.  I'll never let go of the 2008 draft where they took Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins in the first round when there were better backs such as Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, and Ray Rice who would go later.  I could go a step further with guys like Jordy Nelson, Brandon Flowers, DeSean Jackson, and Jamaal Charles in that same draft.  In a draft that was loaded with talent, the Cowboys could only manage Felix Jones, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, and Martellus Bennett out of it.  Hindsight is always 20/20, but missing way more often than they hit has been a common trend for the Cowboys for a decade running.  But this is what I've come to expect from this organization these days.

This will be a team that always comes up short when it matters most.  They will usually collapse late in the season or will find it hard to overcome significant injuries because of the lack of depth due to poor drafts.  They'll tease you and make you think they have what it takes, just as they did in Week 1 against the Giants, but when it's all said and done, they'll show you that they have no guts, no honor, or no heart.  They'll fold like a lawn chair at the first sign of adversity.  This is a mediocre organization who could be on the verge of becoming the new Detroit Lions.  The only thing that the Cowboys do have at this point is entitlement and that's not a good thing.

This may be a little harsh but I believe in my heart of hearts that it's the truth even as a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan for over 20 years.  Cowboy fans will just have to accept the mediocrity.  No matter how much the media shoves them down our throat.  No matter how delusional their owner perceives them to be.  Enough Super Bowl talk.  We should only hope for a playoff berth and playoff advancement.  We can talk Super Bowl when or if we ever become a Super Bowl contender again.  But for now, the fact of the matter is the Cowboys are yesterday's news, not relevant, and will soon become obsolete as long as this owner is running this organization.  Maybe at some point this owner will realize what he isn't, but he is who he ain't so till death do us part.  We as Cowboy fans just need to accept it.  I don't see the culture in Valley Ranch changing any time soon.  This is a country club, not a football organization.  This team has become a laughingstock.  The Cowboys are who they are.

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