With the 2009 season officially finished it is time for us at FJJ.com to review the highs and lows of the season.
As for highs, the Cowboys finally showed some resolve in December/January, going 4-3 in those two months. Tony Romo also proved himself to be a smarter quarterback in 2009 while committing the fewest turnovers of his career as a starter. Miles Austin emerged as the go-to guy for Romo, earning himself a Pro Bowl nod in the process. Jason Witten again proved himself as a top tight end, leading the team with 94 regular season receptions. Additionally, one of Jerry’s draft picks came to fruition in the form of Mike Jenkins as a solid cornerback, and Wade Phillips reminded all of us that he is one hell of a defensive coordinator. And finally…Owner Jerry introduced Cowboys Stadium in Arlington – one of the most spectacular edifaces ever built.
As for negatives…Jerry’s decision to trade the farm for WR Roy Williams turned out to be one of the largest disasters in recent Cowboys history – and that’s saying something. The team continued to play to its competition, needing overtime to defeat the lowly Chiefs and losing twice to division rival New York. Most importantly, the season ended on an embarrassing note with a loss to the Vikings by a sad score of 34-3 while supposed offensive genius Jason Garrett directed his squad into oblivian.
What concerns this writer the most is the complete lack of expectations around the team. Following the team’s victory in the wild card round of the playoffs (Jerry’s first in 13 seasons), one would have thought the Cowboys had won the Super Bowl. In the leadup to the Vikings game, interviews with the Cowboys players showed a team relieved by finally winning a postseason game. Clips were shown of Jerry himself declaring the previous week that the demons had been vanquished and the monkey was off the team’s collective back.
Is this what we Cowboys fans are left with? A team simply satisfied by a victory in the wild card round of the playoffs? Back in the day when the Cowboys were winning Super Bowls with regularity, the first round of the playoffs (in those days usually the divisional round) was seen as a mere formality to greater accomplishments. These days we fans are expected to be pacified by simply getting to this point. As a resident of Houston for the past 9 years this writer sees an eerie and sad similarity forming between Texans and Cowboys fans. Texans fans were satisfied by a winning season in 2009, and a playoff appearance would have only been seen as a bonus for the Houston faithful. For Cowboys fans it seems a mere playoff victory will do the trick. It is a sad day when Cowboys fans are trained to expect the minimal of achievements, and even sadder yet when it is only a small stretch to compare Cowboys fans with those of a lowly expansion team.
Clearly, GM Jerry Jones still lacks what it takes to bring his team to winning levels, and in the process has lowered the expectations of Cowboys fans worldwide. We must demand that Jerry fire himself as general manager of the Cowboys. In the weeks to come we’ll again examine general manager Jerry and what he has done (and not done) to the team in recent years. In the meantime…let us as fans not be seduced by the low hanging fruit that is mediocracy.