Today I sit around hitting refresh on the sports pages and my local cowboys newsgroup. I keep waiting for the news to come through that Jason Garrett is finally over and out and I *need* to see this as soon as possible.
I can’t honestly say it’s just Garrett that’s made me lose some excitement about football. Between politics coming in and living in a decade long “groundhogs” day of underwhelming mediocrity, it just wasn’t fun. The “escape” into something more was gone. All the PC crap in the world decided to take the NFL stage and well, watching the NFL is how I got away from all that.
But I can honestly say Garrett is one of the top reasons for my inspired lethargy. However, he’s far from alone in this as football in the end, well it is a team sport. I’m sure the coaches tell them incredible things like “catch the ball when it hits your hands” and “don’t run into your OL – run through the holes” or my favorite – “throw it TO the receiver, not OVER him!” but I’ll be damned, that still happens anyway. However, over a 9 year span, we redefined mediocrity in a manner we failed to do in the previous 16 years before that.
By my math that still gives us around 25 years since we won anything of value. However, over that 25 year span we at least had hope. Hope that THIS change would be THE change that would bring back our swagger and winning ways. We had a stadium built that for a while, it was the best in the NFL. We’ve had a lot of things in the last 25 years, but unfortunately not much of it something to call a winning season and feel good about the growth we’d just gone through continuing into the next year.
Overall numbers in our 59 year history give us a 55% playoff percentage. But in the last 10 years we sport an 89-71 record, 4 play appearances, and 3 wins. At times I still see Romo fumble the hold and we lose 21-20. As painful as that was to watch, we had hope. Romo’s 1st year while ending on such a note, was still full of promise and potential. We just never got the team around him and counted on his mobility vs. fixing our OL. The pieces changed over the years from coaching to players with only Jones being the unwavering x-factor guiding this ship of later desperation.
Along comes our homegrown Jason Garrett and he could talk the talk and was given the keys to our dreams, pushing out defensive genius and mediocre head coach Wade Phillips before the 2010 season even ended. Now here in 2019 I would have loved to see the same treatment given back to Garrett a month ago and us do ANYTHING to show ownership what the fans had known for years.
Garrett wasn’t “it”. At least not in the winning sense.
In the time with Garrett at the helm, we’ve seen anywhere from 4-12 to 13-3 with 3 playoff wins. Taking full ownership of 9 seasons, Garrett showed up 3 times in the playoffs with 2 glorious wins. We’ve had more 8-8 seasons than playoff appearances under Garrett. 9 years of such activity takes their toll. Add in PC politics to this sideshow and I lost my way. My fandom rivaled the Cowboys apathetic performances week after week. They didn’t seem to care all that often, I found myself caring even less than they seemed to.
However, I continued to watch and pay attention. I was there when Dorsett shut up Cosell with the longest TD run in NFL history. I was there for NO DANNY NO and I got to see Roger the Dodger in his final years. I moved to Dallas in Johnsons 1st year and was at the opening day game against San Diego where after previously going 1-15, 48k of us watched us beat the Chargers. Cries of WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL were all over the place as we left. Who knew we would soon do just that. Time and time again.
I was at the very game Emmett Smith broke the NFL rushing record.
There simply isn’t much to remember from this last season other than it’s over. Let it go. For the love of God please let me let this fade into an abyss of memories times hides from us all, over time. Over the last several seasons the outcry for a change has gotten loud enough for Jones to finally hear and while he didn’t get him the “Bum” rush out of here, hopefully, any minute now, we’ll see the headlines that Garretts term is over at the helm and Jones is going to throw another dart at the board and see if this happens to be “the one”.
While the end result of new coaching may not end any differently given our one constant in these last 25 years, at least it will return hope. For a little while. Til then each minute slowly passes and I keep hitting refresh in hopes the radio plays something different and this exile of groundhogs day is over.0