Can you feel it? There’s something in the air that’s new, yet somewhat familiar. A feeling of excitement and anticipation, something that has a common positive theme among water coolers, restaurants and bars throughout our fair burg.
Welcome back to the playoffs, Cowboys fans. Yes, this is what it is like to again have a dog in the hunt.
There’s simply nothing like it. I noticed it just before Christmas, about the time that the Cowboys took out the Eagles in Philadelphia, putting themselves in the drivers seat for the NFC East. That Monday morning, I noticed a few more Cowboys car flags out on the roads. I dropped by a local sporting goods store and spotted a lot (not just a few) people in line with Cowboys gear to place under the tree.
Even my kids got into the act. I haven’t had a new Cowboys hat in over 10 years. My rug rats knew it would be the perfect gift, also giving my wife a new T-shirt with the iconic star on it. They were right.
That’s what happens when the Cowboys are not just in the post-season, but have a decent chance to make some noise in January.
It’s somewhat of a shame that Dallas went 12-4 yet did not qualify for a bye this post-season. That’s how good the NFC is this year. The road to the Super Bowl begins at home this Sunday vs. Detroit but most likely heads to Lambeau Field and eventually Seattle, if the Cowboys are fortunate enough to win those games.
Dallas certainly knows how to win on the road, going 8-0 away from AT&T Stadium. Only five other teams have done that since 1978 when the 16-game schedule was implemented. Four of those teams made it to the Super Bowl; two of them won it.
First thing’s first though. Time to win a home playoff game. Detroit is beatable. Well, anyone is actually beatable for this Cowboys team, which is peaking at the right time. The Lions’ defense is salty and could prove to be a thorn in Tony Romo’s side (or calf, should Ndamukong Suh not get suspended for the game after “accidentally” stepping on Aaron Rodgers in yesterday’s game).
What’s scary is that several NFL analysts have picked the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl this year. It’s been 19 years since Dallas last won the big one, longer than the gap that separated the dynasties of the late 70s and early 90s. This city hasn’t forgotten though, that is for sure.
Yes, it’s Monday of game week once again. But this game week is much different because this week’s contest will be played in January. And this place is fired up.
I’d encourage all of you to go out and get a new Cowboys cap or shirt this week, but my kids may have grabbed the last one. OK, not really, but I like my new hat very much. Mainly because it’s from my son and daughter, who all of a sudden have a bigger interest in watching DeMarco Murray run and Tony Romo throw. And I realized that they’ve never seen the Cowboys when they were good.
Whether you remember those times or are experiencing Dallas Cowboys success for the first time, I have a question for you.
Can you feel it? By the increase in numbers of blue stars I have seen on cars, hats and shirts over the past two weeks, I’d say yes.