Through 6 weeks of the NFL season the Dallas Cowboys are sitting at 3-3. This record means nothing and absolutely everything at the same time. That also epitomizes the Cowboys for the past 17 years since they last won a Super Bowl. What they’ve accomplished also means nothing and absolutely everything at the same time. Let’s start with the small picture - their 3-3 record.
The saying goes “you are what your record says you are.” If you follow the Cowboys, then you know these are the truest words ever spoken in regards to this franchise. The record doesn’t mean much now because it’s only six games in a 16 game schedule. As long as they’re above water and not sinking to the bottom, they have a chance. Especially in the current state of the NFC Least, as it’s now being referred to, the Cowboys are right where they need to be. Herein lies the problem. They’re right where they need to be - not where they can or should be.
The 3-3 record means everything because it’s who the Cowboys are - just an average team with above average players at some very important positions. Above-average quarterback? Check. Above-average tight end and receiver? Check, check. All-pro defensive end, all-pro linebacker, and two very good corners? Check, check, check. Yet, somehow this team will only play up to its competition week to week as opposed to bringing its all every week. That’s the Cowboy way since the ’95 Super Bowl, and I don’t see that changing. This team, this quarter, matched Peyton Manning step for step offensively last week in an absolute shoot-out. So the capability is there. But look at the games against the Chiefs and the Chargers. These are games that if firing on all cylinders, the Cowboys probably would win. But it was not meant to be, because again, they play to their competition and show up only when they feel the time is right. With inconsistency and lack of constant drive to be great you end up with one playoff win in 16 years; in essence, you end up like yourself - like the Cowboys. Which brings us to the big picture: 17 years of ineptitude.
Since 1996 the Dallas Cowboys have had countless coaches and one play-off win. That means nothing at this point because Cowboys fans have come to expect it. We don’t respect it, nor do we like it - but we expect it. Every year I tell myself not to get too caught up because we aren’t there yet. Then every December I can see the division total and playoffs in touching distance, just to have the rug pulled out from under us fans. So it means nothing. But it also means everything.
It means everything because this is where we as Cowboys fans have gotten: listening to commentators talk about our Cowboys like they’re also-rans. The Cowboys are the old boxer living off his championships belts from a bygone era.
The Cowboys went from a dynasty in the ‘90s, to just hoping to make the playoffs ever since. It means everything because mediocrity is our new reality. Hell, mediocrity isn’t our new anything; it’s been our normal reality since 1995. So, Cowboys fans don’t get down on the team, but also don’t praise them - just watch, root for us to win, and accept that we are what we are. And since 1995 we’ve always been just 3-3, over and over again.