Cowboys Prove They’re NFL’s Best
Every year the NFL has at least one surprise team that seems to come out of nowhere and shocks the league. Who would have thought it would be the Cowboys this season? The only reason this Cowboys team isn’t as shocking as recent “surprise” teams is that…well, they’re the Cowboys. The Cowboys can’t really sneak up on anyone. Everyone knows the Cowboys, loves them or hates them, because Jerry Jones makes it his business to keep the Cowboys in front of the nation 12 months a year. But aside from the bright lights that always shine on the silver and blue, this team is a major surprise. And here’s the irony – Jerry has spent much of the previous 6 seasons telling anyone and everyone, locally and nationally, that the Cowboys were Super Bowl contenders, that they had the talent to win it all. And then each season they would fall apart either in the beginning, the middle or most recently, at the very end. This year Jerry kept quiet about how his team would fare. He purposely stayed away from his bold preseason predictions and said the team should be better than last year, but we’d all have to wait and see if that were true.
And here they are, 5-1 and in first place, owners of the best record in the league and coming off a marvelous win against the defending Super Bowl champions on the road, in a stadium that many say is impossible to win in. If Jerry every wanted to stand on the roof of AT&T Stadium and scream to the world “we’re gonna win us a Super Bowl,” this would be the perfect time. This team is not just good – they’re extremely good–and with many of the same players from last year’s squad, a just okay 8-8 team. It almost seems impossible. Sure, rookie Zack Martin is the new offensive guard, Scott Linehan was brought in to call the plays and Rod Marinelli switched titles with Monte Kiffin, but that’s about it. The personnel changes on defense weren’t done to improve the team as much as they were about filling holes left by players who either left town or got injured. In essence this is last year’s team that plays nothing like last year’s team.
To that end, coach Jason Garrett has to be given a lot of credit. His boring, staccato phrases about all phases of the game and working hard each and every day seemed to have seeped into the players heads. Maybe that’s what he learned in a psych class at Princeton, say something often enough and with the same tone and eventually the animals in the circus will start to learn how to jump through hoops. Tony Romo is playing his best football ever – not his most productive – but his most proficient. Yesterday’s third down pass to Terrance Williams on the winning drive was a thing of beauty. That’s the play that Cowboys fans have been waiting for for 10 years. The perfect pass at the perfect time. It separates the elite from the very good. The defense has become scary good, to the point where you expect them to force another punt on each third down. Just last year you expected them to give up 15 yards on every third and 2.
These guys are for real and they’re not sneaking up on anyone. They’re the Cowboys and now – finally – they’re playing like that means something.