Is it too Early to Hope? (or is my team just stringing me along once again?)

… So I consider myself something of an NFL fan, and after seeing my team beat the St. Louis Rams by 24 points today, I feel a little bit safer admitting that I enjoy cheering for the Dallas Cowboys. I know, I know. I’m one of those fans. I’ve stuck with the Cowboys through thick and thin over the years (mostly thin… like… paper-thin…. like… a light breeze will tear the paper in two).

The stars have been dim in Dallas in recent years...

The stars have been dim in Dallas in recent years…

It has been tough. Over the last couple of decades it feels like we Cowboy’s fans might as well have been Cleveland Browns fans. We’ve sat and watched coach after coach, QB after QB come and go. We’ve watched year after year as the Cowboys seemed to let playoff dreams slip away in the most dramatic and depressing fashion. In fact, sometimes, I think maybe I’d be happier if I were a Browns fan. At least the Browns do their fans the service of letting them know by week 6 that there just isn’t any point worrying about it anymore.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, year after year string the fans along. Every year it’s like “Maybe we can get that push into the playoffs…” And then the Cowboys make that push! and they start getting some momentum! And then they always fall a few plays short.

This year, I’m (probably stupidly) beginning to hope that Dallas might make the playoffs this year. They are a decent 2-1 to start the season, and while that is not extremely impressive, I find myself believing that they just might go somewhere. It’s not because of the Cowboys play this year, however. In the first few weeks, it looks like the Cowboys are more of the same. Sometimes they play really well (like this week against the Rams), but most of the time they play just well enough to lose. They make bonehead mistakes that ruin every good opportunity to get ahead. Week 1 and 2 saw plenty of this. Yes the Cowboys have a winning record, but it seems little has changed.

We Cowboys fans are accustomed to seeing faces like this at the end of the game

We Cowboys fans are accustomed to seeing faces like this at the end of the game

In spite of all this, I find myself thinking, “hey, maybe big D CAN actually make the playoffs this year!” It’s not because of the Cowboys’ play this year, though. It’s because, Holy crap, does the rest of the NFC east suck this year! Seriously… if three weeks ago someone had told me that Dallas would be up one game on the rest of the division by week three, and that they would be two games ahead of 2/3’s of their division rivals, I’d have said that you are all kinds of dumb. But look at the competition!

Washington and New York are 0-3 apiece. SAY WHAT? RG3 still seems to be working his way back from last years injury, and apparently so is the rest of his team. And what happened to Eli manning? When did he suddenly forget how to play QB altogether (believe me, I know. Eli is my starting fantasy QB, and all I can say is “I really need to make a trade.”)

Philadelphia is only one game back, but they aren’t looking all that impressive either. after all, they got worked by the Chiefs (granted, KC is looking a lot better this year) and threw away a game against the Chargers. Their offense is doing fairly well, but the hurry up seems to be wearing out their own defense as fast as it is wearing out their opponents.

So here I am. It might be too early, but I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe, the Cowboys have a chance. Again, it’s not because the Cowboys look better or more reliable than usual. It’s just that the rest of their division looks so bad that they might just make it into the playoffs by being the least amount of suck (I can’t think of any better way to put it.)

You never know though. The Dallas Cowboys have proven time and time again how good they are at screwing up a good thing. If they manage that again this year it may be the biggest screw up of them all…

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