The 2015 season started with all of the normal posturing and bluster expected from the NFL. Each team proclaiming that this was their year, and that the Superbowl was just within reach. With the Rookies signed, and the free agents on board, the coaches had completed their new drills, and the team had a new perspective. The Cowboys, “America’s team”, had their eyes on the prize. With Tony Romo match fit, and the rest of the team ready to rock, spirits were high. Dez Bryant was ready to play his socks off, and everything was AOK for the Cowboys to take another shot at winning the Superbowl. What could possibly go wrong? A 4-12 return – that’s what! No matter what way you cut it, that hurts. This was a terrible season for the Cowboys, and they came away heavily damaged from this season. With injuries up and down the field, and a terrible finish, it looked like a foregone conclusion for a clean sweep come Black Monday. Nothing of note happened. Jones stayed. Garret stayed. The only victim of note was Brandon Weeden in what was undoubtedly the worst season the Cowboys have seen in recent history. Let’s take a look at some of the key games from this year.
Week 2 – Eagles
This win was a hollow one for the Cowboys. Tony Romo was carted off of the field with a broken collarbone, forcing the team to finish the game with Backup QB Brandon Weeden. With Dez Bryant already out with a broken foot, and now their star QB out for most of the season, the Cowboys quickly went from top of the pile, to on shaky ground in a single Sunday afternoon. Many people were still hopeful for the Cowboys, at this point, all they had to do was hold on for a 4-5 by week 12, and they could still stand a chance (How right they would have been).
Week 12 – Panthers
This was the game that decided the season. The Cowboys were still technically in the race, even if only mathematically, and the return of Romo in the last game had clearly driven the Cowboys to victory. Firing your backup QB, and bringing back a player from serious injury was a risky play, but it had paid off. Then the Panthers aggressive defence ruined it. A break in the same Clavicle resulted in a heartbreaking loss for the Cowboys that would go on to define their season. With their two Superstar players out through injury for a substantial portion of the season, the Cowboys were cruelly taunted with the playoffs by the generally terrible quality opposition in the rest of the NFC East. With that hope constantly on the horizon, it was inevitable that they would bring Romo back before he was ready, and firing Weeden was frankly a ridiculous call. Yeah, he sucked, but why bother firing him at that stage? Which makes the retention of both the GM and the HC at the end of the season surprising to most. Especially after the Eagles released Chip Kelly. The Cowboys may well be a team with some major Lombardis in their cupboard, but they are undoubtedly a team in decline right now. With Romo in his final years of his career (that bum shoulder can’t hold out for much longer), and a frankly dismal offense in place to back up the star players, the Cowboys are looking very much like a paper bag in a deluge. The 2016 season could well save the Cowboys reputation, but they even managed to lose the title of “Most hated team” to the Patriots this year. That’s got to suck, because their fans worked hard on that level of undeserved arrogance for a long time, and it’s painful to watch New England fans just come and sweep it out from under them with a relentless swagger. 2015 is a season that the Cowboys will be more than happy to put behind them. With major injuries ruining what could have been a golden season before it had even got started, and the ever taunting playoffs always just out of reach. Even the Pro-Bowl was lacking in Dallas players, and if you struggled to get into this year’s Pro-Bowl, you’re probably playing a different sport. Next year boys. Next year…
- 2015 Season Review: Arizona Cardinals
- 2015 Season Review: Seattle Seahawks
- NFL Breaking News: Pats Jerod Mayo announces retirement
- NFL Breaking News: Marshawn Lynch announces retirement