First of all, let me be clear *Obama voice*, this year was by far the most disappointing end to a Cowboys season in my lifetime. More wasteful than 2016 when we lost to the packers on a field goal, more disheartening than when Dez caught it in 2014, and honestly more hilarious than when Romo muffed the hold on the go-ahead field goal in 2006.

By Aaron Arguello

At this point, the Cowboys have lost so many big games in so many amazing ways, that they should just stop playing in the NFL entirely, and go on the road as an entertainment act where they lose to high school teams in super realistic ways. Kind of like the Anti-Harlem Globetrotters, they could even change their name to the Dallas Cowbozos to better suit people’s expectations. No, but really.

I think it’s really simple where this team went wrong this season. They started to believe their own BS! After beating the Giants by twenty plus points, the Patriots in OT, and then the Vikings with a QB2, Cowboys nation was arguably POSITIVE that their team would be in the Super Bowl. Hell, I did myself. I wasn’t sure we would win, but by week 8, about to play the Broncos, I was sure we were going to win the NFC championship. Not just because of our record, but because of how the rest of the league was unfolding. We were all guilty of this to some degree (whether die-hards will admit it or not). But those fantasies became a problem when the players and coaches started to believe it with blind confidence. Blind confidence manifesting itself in the Cowboys inability to stick with the run game, as well as the inability to defend against it. 

With Mike McCarthy and all his playoff experience, I expected that he would be aware of this heightened spotlight and have an effective way of dealing with it in a way that kept his team loosened up and out of their own heads. I expected wrong though for sure. I think back to a question McCarthy was asked during his last press conference before the 49ers game, where was asked how he’s dealing with players who might be nervous. He had virtually no answer, except the same line he gave all year, something along the lines of keeping in step with how they’ve prepared all season, and how it’s just another game. Lo and behold, we looked nervous and even more scared to make a mistake than normal. Dak especially.

And now, as the offseason begins for Cowboys nation, the remaining players on the playoff teams all look that much better. And we’re all left to wonder, “Will our QB1 ever be THAT good? And if not, will our O-line ever be THAT physical?”. Unless we get a new O-line coach then no, and unless Dak gets more accurate, no, but rest assured, these are things that CAN be fixed. Along with Moore’s offensive struggles, and even Mike McCarthy’s struggle to develop a championship mentality in the locker room. There’s blame to go around for sure, but that also means, in the Cowboys current carnation, there’s lots of room for improvement. The draft is in three months. We need help on O-line and D-line and I would argue we need another CB. We’re the 24th overall pick, in a sleeper-dense draft class. We actually have a decent shot at filling some holes with first year starters all things considered. Quinn is coming back, despite what all DFW sports media said about how, “that’s just how this league is”. He believes his defense can win a super bowl. 


I admit that if we don’t make big changes fast, next season seems like it could already be a total loss. I also think though, that this team has enough latent talent to make a run if some weaknesses are just shored up. As a thirty-year-old Cowboys fan who blissfully can’t remember much of the 90’s success, I’m not as cynical as some fans. Probably because in my lifetime, it’s just not a surprise when they get embarrassed. And as someone who has watched football his whole life it’s always been so plain to see, that Dallas always loses because they expect the other team to just lay down. So, instead of getting better players, or better coaches, why don’t we just play better?

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