Year in and year out, the Dallas Cowboys have high expectations. Each August and September, at least one NFL writer has them doing big things, whether it’s winning the NFC East or getting all the way to the Super Bowl and perhaps winning it. Recently, however, the Cowboys have failed to meet and exceed their expectations. But could this year be different?
Former Cowboys’ great Drew Pearson thinks so.
Speaking on ESPNDallas radio Tuesday, the wide receiving stalwart on Dallas’ Super Bowl teams of the 1970s predicted that the Cowboys and Houston Texans will play for the right to be crowned Super Bowl champion next February.
Could it happen? It most certainly could. The Cowboys are one of the more talented teams in the league, bound to break out of their 17 year big game slump sooner rather than later. And the Texans, already one of the league’s best teams bolstered by the acquisition of safety Ed Reed, could very well be there.
But at this point, it’s more of a dream that the two teams playing in the NFL’s first ever cold weather Super Bowl next February in New Jersey will be the Cowboys and Texans. It’s certainly more of a dream than an actual likelihood for the Cowboys.
In recent years, really since the 1990s when the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers were the class of the NFC, the AFC has been long regarded as the tougher of the two conferences. But lately, even with the Baltimore Ravens winning Super Bowl 47 earlier this year, the NFC has emerged as the tougher conference.
The Cowboys’ division, the NFC East, has always been one of the league’s toughest, and especially lately, with the New York Giants winning two Super Bowls since 2007. The NFC West, with a budding rivalry between the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks that is built on hatred and disdain for the other team that reminds one of the classic league rivalries, has become one of the game’s top divisions.
And then you have the NFC South, where the Atlanta Falcons have reigned two out of the last three seasons, and where the New Orleans Saints intend to get back to prominence with Sean Payton back in the fold as coach following his one-year suspension.
The NFC North has the Green Bay Packers – winners of Super Bowl 45 and perennial contenders – who, with Aaron Rodgers as one of the top quarterbacks in the game, figure to be in the playoff mix for a long time. The Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears also have the potential to be contenders.
In relation to their conference counterparts, the Cowboys are an enigma. They are one of the most talented teams, with many Pro Bowlers and potential All Pros, but they always seem to disappoint their fan base with perplexing, lackluster seasons that fail to reach their expectations. Whereas most teams get the most of their talent, the Cowboys seem to never achieve what their talent would suggest.
They have a top level quarterback who has struggled at times to perform on the game’s big stages, a patchwork offensive line for the most part, and questions along the back line of the defense. Suffice to say, they aren’t at this time in prime position to make a run at a Super Bowl.
But, on the other hand, it’s only July. Training camp is right around the corner, and there’s a long way to go before the start of the season. As we’ve seen recently as well in the league, parity has seemed to rule – a team that is a bottom feeder one year, is a contender the next. And especially with the Cowboys, with a roster like they have, the potential is there to be great.
It’s putting the pieces together that is the key. If they can do that, they could very well end up in Jersey in February playing for football’s ultimate prize.
As for now, though, the idea of a Lone Star state Super Bowl seems more of a far off dream than likelihood.