Admitting Depression Is The First Step To Recovery

  Well after what has seemed to be an eternity, I have decided to crawl out of my off-season hole and get back into the real world. I apologize to my co-writers and to our Lone Star Struck fans for not blogging about our Cowboys. Ever since that loss to the Vikings, I have been in, what I did not want to believe, a depressed state of mind. I have finally realized that loss affected me more than I thought it did. I said right after the loss, just like most of us did, its ok we got our first playoff win in 12 years. We had a great season and this season was a step forward. While all of that is true, that loss devastated me. Not because it was such a great season and I know we have the team to go all the way, but because the way we lost that game.

 We were the better team going into that game and EVERYONE knew it. The Cowboys were FINALLY getting the credit they deserved. A stout defense, an offensive line that protected and made holes for 3 GREAT running backs. A TRUE CONTENDER! I do not know what happened that dreadful day but I am now admitting it is eating me apart from the inside out. That is all I can think about and the only way to get back to myself is to write about it.

 As for the upcoming season. Free agency has just started and what an active season it is. The SECOND and maybe even third best defensive end in the league, Julius Peppers, has gone to Chicago. Of course the first being Demarcus Ware and second Anthony Spencer. Although I think we might all agree that Spencer needs a year or two more experience! With all the free agents out there and all the teams that need help in their areas, I have not heard much talk about the Cowboys needs. To me, that means we don’t have any real “needs”. We have what we need to take this team to the next level. We are a championship team.

When Are Legends Born?

 When Emmitt Smith was drafted in 1990, the first thing I said was “Who is this guy and what the hell is he wearing??”.  All reports said he was too small and too slow to be a feature back in the NFL. Then we all watched him evolve from this kid in the ugly jumpsuit into a Pro Bowler, then an All Pro, a Super Bowl MVP, NFL’s All Time Leading Rusher and in 2010, a Hall Of Famer.

Ever stop to think when is that pivotal moment when a player becomes a legend? Is it after they retire? Is it a particular game that elevates them to the next level?

It seems to happen without us knowing it. Sorta like how your kids grow up right in front of you. They seem to go from playing tee-ball one day to graduating high school the next. Of course you watched it happen, yet it’s all a flash to you now. Or is it just me?

Troy Aikman looked like a fish out of water his rookie year. I personally saw him as a draft bust after that miserable 1-15 season.  I knew this guy couldn’t take Dallas to the Promised Land. He seemed to have all the tools but I wasn’t confident at all in his ability to run a team. Then we all watched him evolve into a Pro Bowler, an All Pro, a true leader, a field general, a Super Bowl MVP,  the winningest QB in a single decade (90 wins in the 90s) and a Hall Of Famer.

Obviously Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are once in a generation players.  But so were Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett. All is not lost when the legends retire from the game. Shoes have to be filled. History in Dallas has proven it is not a matter of if they will be filled but when they will be filled.

Today’s Cowboys are no different than the ones of Cowboys’ past. We will watch in disgust and dismay as they make their own mistakes and pay their own dues. We will watch these young men and not even realize that they’re evolving right before our eyes. When the rookies become stars and the stars become legends.

Watching these kids become men and these men become legends is a gift one will learn to appreciate more as the years go by. I know I have.

Who’s Next?

Okay, he’s done. He coached his heart out and he’s tired. Its been two days and I think we have all accepted this, its time to move on and we are ready for the new guy. But who will it be? I’ve heard more rumors and speculation in the past 48 hours than in my entire life it seems! From Bob Stoops to now Lovie Smith? Bob Stoops, by the way, said ‘no way’ just so we are clear on that. Lovie Smith? Well I’m pretty sure right now his mind is on the Super Bowl not moving back to Texas. But ya just never know. One thing everyone agrees on, to become the coach of America’s Team is a dream for alot of guys in the league. Its also one of the most stressful jobs out there.

There is also alot of people saying that Terrell Owens was part of the reason Parcells decided to retire. I don’t doubt that. It wasn’t the only reason but it had to have a hand in it. T.O. seems to be a coach’s worst nightmare. This is what he had to say about Parcells decision:

"Sometimes change is good," T.O. said. "I think it was needed." Owens, currently preparing for a second round of finger surgery, said he hopes "the owner will hire a coach to take the team to the next level."

Yeah, I know… The guy who dropped the most passes in the league. But he also led the league in receiving touchdowns.

During an interview about his retirement, Parcells was asked over and over about Terrell Owens and he refused to comment. So maybe he was part of the reason, but I don’t think Parcells was going to give T.O. the satisfaction.

My opinion about T.O. is, if you don’t want to be a team player, then get off my team. I have tried and tried to accept him, but he keeps pulling these stunts and talking to the media. He is a great player, when he’s 100% and I won’t deny that. But is it worth the grief and drama he brings? I can think of many WR’s that could be good for us without the controversy. But that’s not for me to decide. So if Jerry says he stays then hes a Cowboy and I will have to accept that and support him on the field. Off the field… different story.

So now, we wait. That’s what offseason is about anyway. We wait to see who our leader will be, we wait to see who gets cut, who gets signed, who gets hurt, who gets well. Someone asked me, "What do you do now that football season is over?" I simply answered, "Football season may be over, but I’m a Dallas fan year round, there’s plenty to do!"