The Dallas Cowboys went into the 2007 NFL season with a new head coach, a quarterback beginning the season for the first time as the full-time starter and the hope that this team could get over the hump that Bill Parcells could never get over. He had brought the Cowboys to the playoffs twice but failed to get a playoff win and fans were starting to get restless.
The Cowboys were on their way up with a solid core of players like DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, Marion Barber, Terrell Owens, and Tony Romo, to take them to the next level after a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs the previous year. For a long time in 2007, it seemed like it was the Cowboys year; a 13-3 record, the number one seed in the NFC and just two games away from the Super Bowl.
We all know what happened and whether you blame a trip to Mexico, the bum ankle of Owens or Patrick Crayton, that 2007 team is responsible for the expectations of the past six failed seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. Ever since that season, the Cowboys have been expected to compete for the Super Bowl and they have fallen short of that goal every year.
The reasoning is simple too, every Cowboys team has had the same core of players who fans beleive can get them back to that 2007 level. Even though there has been plenty of roster turnover, Romo, Ware, Witten and Jay Ratliff all still remain as the core of Cowboys who still give the fans hope that Dallas is still close to a championship.
Other players may have changed but the Cowboys have replaced them adequately in those areas. If you remove Barber, TO, Bradie James, Flozell Adams, Terence Newman and add DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith and Brandon Carr, well then the teams reamin extremely similar don’t they? So it’s seems pretty easy to see why Cowboys fans, and the owner, feel so much disappoinment when the team doesn’t reach their expectation levels.
It’s hard to win in the NFL and going 13-3, with the number one seed one year and missing the playoffs with basically the same team the year after, is not that uncommon. The New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers recently have won the Super Bowl and failed to make the playoffs the next year, so it isn’t that strange to be good one year and not so good the next. Yet Cowboys fans are still hoping to get back to that same level as they were in 2007.
Every year there are great expectations for the Cowboys and for the past six seasons they have disappointed; they have 2007 to thank for that. If Dallas went 10-6, made the playoffs as a Wild Card team in 2007 and lost in the playoffs to any opponent, would anyone still have these hopes for the Cowboys? Probably not, and even though Cowboys fans always have high expectations, sometimes unrealistically high, I’m guessing there wouldn’t be this much disappointment if that 2007 team was mearly above average, instead of being really good.
Yet every year fans are reminded of what couold have been because of the ’core four,’ to steal something from the New York Yankees. Ratliff, Romo, Ware and Witten still remain to keep expectations high for the Cowboys. And along with all the other similar parts, there is still belief that next season could be the one for the Cowboys.
All thanks to 2007, which seems like a million years ago.
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