A Bleak Day in Cowboys Country

I woke this morning to an overcast sky in Memphis, Tennessee, but if I had to guess, it’s probably a gloomy day all over the world. Although hours have passed since the tragedy occurred, it’s still fresh in my mind, although sometimes I find myself questioning if it even happened at all, pleading to all the powers in the universe to let me wake up from this horrible nightmare. Yesterday morning I woke up with a smile on my face, full of optimism and hope for the future, the sun shining down upon me. It was supposed to be a great day, but by seven o’clock last evening it had transformed into the dark reality that we are now forced to live in. The Dallas Cowboys lost their playoff game yesterday, and all hopes of a Super Bowl winning season have fallen to the wayside.

Throughout this football season I have been a roller coaster of emotion; excitement as the Cowboys began the preseason, utter horror as I watched our starting quarterback get hurt once again, hope as the rookie Dak Prescott emerged as a talented young quarterback, trepidation as I tried to keep my expectations in check so as not to be disappointed if things didn’t work out, and then finally excitement once again as I gave myself over to the realization that this was in fact a special season, one that I hoped would end with the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We lost to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs, unable to stop the great Aaron Rogers from picking apart our defensive secondary. We got in a hole early, but made an admirable comeback with our two rookies leading the way and with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, down by three, I loved our chances.

Prescott led our offense down the field with poise, completing passes to multiple receivers like clockwork, a seasoned veteran in a rookie’s uniform, but then the drive stalled and with just under a minute left to go in the game, Dan Bailey kicked a beautiful field goal to tie it at 31. Surely the game would go into overtime, where our newfound momentum would lead us to victory, but I underestimated the ability of one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and Aaron Rogers made a desperate throw that resulted in an amazing catch on the sideline, with just a few seconds left on the clock. The season could not end this way, I wouldn’t let myself believe that the Packers would win the game on a field goal as time expired, but that’s exactly what happened. Mason Crosby kicked the winning field goal, simultaneously kicking me and the rest of the Cowboys fan base in the chest. It was all over, all hope lost with nothing to be done about it. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t devastated, but at least the future seems brighter for our team moving forward than I have in a long time. Now that we have closure we can look ahead to next season with a renewed hope for the expectations that didn’t pan out this year.

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