Look at this. Even the First Lady of the United States is disgusted with America’s Team.
A week following the NFL’s most controversial Monday Night Football finish ever, we knew something unique was bound to happen between the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. Either Chicago would use the platform to really stick it to Jay Cutler, allowing DeMarcus Ware to perform the first decapitation on live television. Or Dallas – much to the amusement of a great majority of the country – would lay an egg so collassoal the season as we know it would take on a different identity moving forward.
Well, the latter happened, and to refrain beating around the bush we got The Sports Fan Journal’s resident Cowboys fans – Kenny Masenda and Justin Tinsley – to put the bottle down momentarily and speak for an entire fan base not knowing whether they’re coming or going. Kenny offers insight on what the mood is in Dallas while Tinsley waxes poetics on how Cowboy Nation is taking the loss far beyond the not-so-friendly confines of Jerry World. From there, five simple yet powerful suggestions are offered for those following America’s Team. Use them how you see fit. Just realize it’s going to be a long two weeks for those pledging allegience to The Star.
The morning after a Dallas Cowboys game in the Metroplex can tell you many things. After a win, things are moderately peaceful around here. I say moderately, because the Cowboys beat Tampa Bay last weekend, but it was one of those sickening wins. Even though they won, it was so ugly, it was hard to fully digest the taste of victory. After a loss, though? Lord, after a loss, it is bad around here, and after a performance like the one the masses saw on Monday Night Football – a performance that summed up the first quarter of the Cowboys season so far – it was about as despicable a performance that mine eyes have seen in quite some time.
Tony Romo threw five picks. Granted, all of them weren’t his fault, but most of them were. Dez Bryant had his first 100-yard game of the season, but that was overshadowed by his porous miscues during his routes and some unforgivable drops. The defense finally folded and gave up the ghost, and the overall tenor in Cowboys Stadium had a funeralistic (I made that word up; sue me) feel to it, as Cow fans wallowed in pity and the Bears fans in attendance turned Jerry’s World into Soldier Field 2.0.
This is what I see being up close. It was disgusting. It was disgraceful. It was deplorable, demeaning, despondent and absolutely despicable. At the end of the first quarter of the Cowboys 2012 season, things are mixed – not entirely horrible, but far from a bastion of harmony either.
You know, in hindsight, we should have known this wasn’t going to end well thanks to the whole male cheerleader piece NFL Countdown did prior to kickoff. Not that there’s anything wrong with choosing to be one if that’s your cup of tea, but it’s almost comparable to wearing a Mitt Romney t-shirt in a black-owned barbershop these days. A loss on Monday night would have been fine. It’s not like it’s never happened before, and it’s not like Dallas’ new stadium is any sort of home-field advantage (while the building is huge, it may have the worst home crowd participation outside of first-half Miami Heat non-playoff games). Taking an L going down swinging is one thing. Taking a L with no sense of motivation, intensity or accountability is something totally different.
Cowboys fans can be annoying. I admit that. I’m one of them. But get any of us in a serious conversation, we’ll tell you we have no clue what to expect from this team from week to week. It’s cliche as all hell, but Dallas is as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as you’ll see with any American-born business. That’s where we’re at right now as a fan base. We’re embarrassed, frustrated, borderline depressed, but somehow still the most blindly optimistic fans in football. Maybe Tony needs to start drawing Dez’s routes on his hands playground-style in the huddle. Maybe we could actually commit to running the ball instead of throwing it 50+ times a game. Maybe we could begin sending care packages to Bill Cowher now in hopes that’ll change his mind when this season almost inevitably blows up in our face. Maybe this whole “Dallas-is-the-best-team-of-the-era” thing skips a generation and our kids will reap the benefits of our sorrow. Maybe we all look back on this thing in a few months from our local AA class and laugh when we mount a late-season run to the playoffs.
I don’t know. Hell, I stopped trying to figure this thing out a long time ago. Life in Dallas hasn’t been right since we iced our own kicker.