Frisco, TX – Twenty-seven years on and we’re still growing.
With their 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the drought is now on for the Dallas Cowboys at 27.
The shadow of the ’90s Cowboys teams that won three Super Bowls in a four-year span continues to grow, just as it does for today’s players to live up to those expectations — whether they want to admit it or not.
The story became the same. The seasons don’t change. The only differences in the sentences are the nouns: Tony Romo to Duck Prescott. DeMarco Murray to Ezekiel Elliot. Jason Whitten to Dalton Schultz. Des Bryant to Sir Lamb. DeMarcus Ware to Micah Parsons.
The constant, of course, is Jerry Jones, owner and general manager.
But the Cowboys’ issue isn’t so much with roster building as with playing their best when it matters most, like in the divisional round of the playoffs against the 49ers.
“You just haven’t done enough,” said frustrated coach Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy has coached two of the NFL’s most popular teams, the Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. He won a Super Bowl in Green Bay and has a street near Lambeau Field named in his honor. The names adorning the Packers’ Wall of Fame are as impressive as those in the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is filled with players from both teams.
If anyone knows the inherent pressure to live up to the past, it’s McCarthy. In 2010, the Packers didn’t feel like a burden.
“I think it’s something you should definitely embrace,” McCarthy said late in the regular season. “I’ve always looked at it as a source of energy. The pride that’s in the bricks and everything here, I mean it was obviously built by the generations before us, and I think it’s something we do a great job of honoring, recognizing. But I’ve always looked at it as a source of energy. Proud Where you work, who you work for, and the success that’s ahead of you, so I don’t think it’s negative in any way.”
The Cowboys went 15 years between Super Bowl XII with Roger Staubach to Troy Aikman in Super Bowl XXVII. The essence of the ’90s Cowboys was part of a rebirth of the franchise after the end of the Tom Landry era and the 1-15 season in 1989.
“They’re more distant from our era than I was under Staubach,” Aikman said. “And I don’t think we felt the burden of what the ’70s teams did. But we certainly knew about that and respected it.”
Michael Irvin said, “We didn’t suddenly get better. We were poor, gradually got the good, and made it into something great for a while. Because I struggled through 3-13 and 1-15…. We never had a problem because we knew we all started in 1-15 And 3-13 together. We grew up on that. So it wasn’t like someone handed us in. We just developed that into what it was, and we remember that.
“I just, well, I don’t want them to see this as a burden. I want them to understand what a blessing it is. Everyone wants it, watch it. Show them. You can’t show up dressed.” [Cowboys] Star because everyone else is trying to have your season.”
Irvin’s and Aikman’s Cowboys wouldn’t have heard of their near-three-decade Super Bowl drought — and it’s probably a good thing those teams don’t have social media — but these Cowboys do.
There became a strange elation on the part of the national media when the Cowboys lost. Not that their opponents won the game.
“I’m here to do work, so whether the fans like it, the fans don’t, Stephen A. [Smith] Like it, Stephen A. He doesn’t like it, it doesn’t really matter,” Safety Jaron Kerse He said. “I still have to do the same work, regardless. So regardless of whether the lights are on or not, we’ve got a job to do. So we don’t have to do any work that’s different from what they have to do in Cleveland. It’s great—more people.” They watch us, star – but we still have the same job.”
The Cleveland Browns have never won a Super Bowl. The last NFL championship came in 1964. But because of Jones’ ubiquitous presence, Prescott’s status as the quarterback on Team America and his patriotic ads, plus all that comes with the star on their helmet, the Cowboys face more pressure, internally or externally.
“It’s the biggest burden in the world. What do you mean, is there a burden?” Irvine said. “It’s the biggest burden in the world because you know everyone is going to give you an eyeball of some kind. Now, what are you willing to do with their eyeballs? Are you willing to let them see you take the plunge, or are you willing to take that opportunity and maximize it?”
In 2022, the Cowboys have gone a step further than they did in 2021, getting them past the wild-card round, even if it felt a bit empty after Sunday’s loss in the divisional round. The Cowboys won 12 games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1994-95. They felt poised to at least end their NFC Championship Game drought.
The Cowboys were up against a rookie quarterback at Brooke PurdyMr. Irelevant as the final pick of the 2022 draft, yet fell short on Sunday.
There is no guarantee that 2023 will deliver anything different than any other year since 1995 when the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX. The burden or shadow is getting bigger.
“There’s no doubt we’ll be back in this position,” said Prescott. “It’s just about winning. No doubt at all. What we’ve done as an organization and made a move — it’s all bad now, no ‘don’t get me wrong’ — [but] There’s no doubt when you’re talking to the guys in the locker room, you’re talking to the guys who have laid down, at this time, the pillars of this team. We have to get some guys back. But there is no doubt that we will be back. It gives me confidence and it gives everyone in the locker room that confidence. Amal.”