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A strange thing happened to me on Sunday night as I watched the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants; I was calm.
Sure, it was an edge-of-seat-thriller that will hopefully solidify Tony Romo as a clutch player and a great leader for the ages. I get all that. But oddly, I was never too worried about it. Sure, I was jumping up and down in my game room during that last drive. But I wasn’t crossing my fingers, saying little prayers or holding my breath every time Romo threw a pass – I was smiling and happy. I just had a calm hope that they could get it done. And they did.
For as bad as it got for Dallas in that game, it never appeared to be out of their control. It never seemed out of their grasp. Maybe I have just fully bought into Garrett’s Zen mentality of coaching, but I am no longer a worried fan. I just believe they can get it done. I want the ball in Romo’s hands with time running out and the game on the line.
The Cowboys are no longer the wild gun slinging team who will either win big or fall apart while trying to make something out of nothing. Instead, they are a solid unit, remaining focused on the task in front of them at the moment. I know that’s probably boring, but I like boring. If I want drama, I’ll watch Game of Thrones.
To me, the bad moments of the game were when there was a lack of focus (like at the end of the first half). And as we all saw the other night, it only takes a small lack of focus, like not fully protecting the ball while trying to get extra yards or making a sloppy throw behind your tight end, to completely change a game. So they need to work harder at maintaining that intensity for the entire 60 minutes of play. But I believe they will.
And now the Cowboys head into to a week 2 matchup against the Eagles without Dez Bryant. How can they possibly compete without their star receiver? I think they will be all right, and frankly, I’m tired of the question in all its forms.
Last year, everyone was asking “how can the Cowboys possibly compete without Sean Lee and DeMarcus Ware? Well, they went 12-4 and won a playoff game that they hosted. This past offseason the big question was “how can the Cowboys possibly compete without DeMarco Murray? Well, the running back by committee approach was responsible for 212 of the Dallas’ 436 total yards on Sunday night. So I’d say they competed fine.
Now the big question is “How in the world can the Cowboys possibly compete without Dez Bryant?” Sure, it’s bad. Sure, they would love to have him healthy and playing. But if the past season is any indicator, the Cowboys will be fine. They will adapt and overcome. They will be focused on the task in front of them and calmly, methodically win. I think they will win without Dez, but I think they would win much easier with Dez. At least we can count on him to be on the sideline with the team. His presence, guidance, and energy will help the receiving corps.
With that said, get well soon Dez. We need you back.