While you can never read a lot into the preseason, the mediocre Cowboys, who have finished 8-8 the last 3 NFL seasons, don’t have a lot to feel good about, especially on defense. After losing arguably their best two defensive players, Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware of the NFL’s last-ranked defense in 2013, there is no reason to believe the 2014 team will be any better. For the record, the last time Dallas was winless in the preseason was 2000, and that team went 6-10.
The first team offense has provided some signs of hope, but they put up good stats last year and still only managed an 8-8 record. There are still questions about Tony Romo’s physical condition after off-season back surgery, and it is very obvious that if Romo goes down again the team doesn’t have a viable backup quarterback that can be depended on to provide wins.
Although Jerry Jones has indicated he is happy with Coach Jason Garrett, he is going into the last year of his contract, and there is no way Jones will be giving him an extension until he sees what quality of team hits the field under Garrett this year. IF he remains at the helm, it will be at least mid-season, if not later before there will be any discussions of a new deal.
There were very few bright spots Thursday night on either side of the ball. To make matters worse, the Cowboys open the season at home on Sunday, September 7th against the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Though they have not been overly impressive in their own right in the preseason, they will probably be, and should be a 7-10 point favorite over the ‘Boys in the opener.
As is always the case, Dallas WILL be entertaining to watch because anything can happen when they are on the field, but it could be a very tough year for fans of the Silver and Blue in 2014. Some NFL pundits are proclaiming the Cowboys could be as bad as 3-13 this season. One can only hope a miracle similar to the parting of the Red Sea is in the cards. If that happens, there will be a lot of excited Dallas fans. If not, and things go even further south, perhaps the Cowboys should consider providing crying towels on the back of stadium seats near the end of the season.
Although one game does not a season make, you will have a good idea of what to expect during the upcoming season in Dallas after the opener with San Francisco. If you are a religious person, you might want to start praying for some Divine Intervention for the Cowboys even now. That is most likely what it is going to take if this team is to get back into the playoffs in 2014.