by MOSES LEOS III
I must confess: As a fan of both of the professional football teams in the state of Texas, no other day makes me feel as jaded as the Super Bowl.
Now, that is not to say that the Super Bowl does not illicit some semblance of excitement for me. I have always been astounded by the pageantry, excitement and gallantry of the big game. It is about as close to an American holiday as one particular day can get, without actually gaining a holiday status.
Yet, no matter how exciting a game the Super Bowl is, or what clever commercials air, or what delicious food is served, one thought still races through my mind:
There has not been a team from Texas in the Super Bowl in nearly two decades. Heck, the city of Houston has not seen a team reach the championship game in the NFL era.
Sure, there have been players that have hailed from the Lone Star State to root for. Still, fans in Texas have been relegated to just watching the Super Bowl, rather than having a stake in the big game.
But it seemed that 2012 would be the year the Super Bowl drought would end.
After a decade of wallowing in mediocrity, the Texans franchise finally seemed to turn the corner. Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and the Texan offense offered a beacon of light to a franchise that has been progressively overlooked.
Dallas also seemed primed for a run at the big game. Most fans felt that Tony Romo and the Cowboys could finally live up to the hype that constantly surrounds them.
However, it was not to be. Injuries and inconsistency plagued the Lone Star State teams, as both teams faltered down the stretch late.
In Houston’s final four games of the regular season, the team went 1-3, losing key games against New England, Indianapolis and Minnesota; all teams which made the postseason.
I was discouraged at the inconsistency of the Texans during the last part of the year. Against teams that provided a playoff-caliber level of difficulty, Houston failed to pass the test adequately enough.
Houston’s offense was woefully inconsistent, the team collectively struggling to move the ball in key situations. The defense, which had been battered and bruised all season, caved to the pressures of the incredible offensive opponents they faced in the final part of the year.
Yet, for as much disappointment as the Texans provided, Houston showed that they are now on the right track. Two straight AFC South division championships, two straight playoff appearances and two playoff wins in as many seasons
. In my mind, Texan head coach Gary Kubiak is leading this franchise towards a future that could net a Super Bowl. All they need is consistency. I think time will help the Texans obtain that goal.
The same could not be said for the Dallas Cowboys. It seems very apparent that time is not on the Cowboys’ side; the window is starting to close for Tony Romo and the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl.
“Frustrating” could be the only word to describe the Cowboys’ journey in 2012. From constant injuries to key players, to rampant inconsistency from players and coaches, the team embodied their run-of-the-mill 8-8 record.
The most maddening aspect of the Cowboys’ descent was that the team had just about every opportunity to claw their way into the postseason. Unfortunately, the team failed to step up at the big moment, faltering when they needed a big win. The season finale against Washington showed just how disjointed the Cowboys truly were.
Sadly, 2012 may have highlighted a much more problematic issue the Cowboys faced: a lack of team chemistry.
For years, fans have complained that the Cowboys have the talent, but cannot play as a cohesive team. This year seemed to be the saturation point for the franchise. The final few games showcased a franchise whose players seemed apathetic to the cause. Worse, the coaching staff seemed to harbor the same ideologies.
The constant with all of those franchise problems: The owner, Jerry Jones.
I firmly believe that Jones is one of the biggest problems plaguing the team. His penchant to meddle in football operations, rather than just the business side of things, has now put a firm halt on the Cowboys goal of a Super Bowl.
Jones proved that point when he fired Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan after the season’s end, letting go one of the more stable aspects of the franchise. Surely, there could have been other coaches who performed a much worse job than Ryan did, especially with the injuries that the defense suffered. A few weeks after Jones fired Ryan, he then promoted offensive line coach Bill Callahan to offensive coordinator; the same Callahan who allegedly sabotaged the Raiders offense in Super Bowl XXXVII when he was head coach.
Unless Jones wises up and stays put in the press box, the Cowboys will be hard pressed to win a Super Bowl.
I would love to believe that this state could witness another Super Bowl win in this decade. Houston stands the greatest chance to at least get to the big game, but it’s troublesome to believe that year-in, year-out, fans in this football crazed state of ours will be constantly let down.
If that is the case, then maybe we would be better off just enjoying the spectacle.
- Maybe next year, Cowboys 10/20/2010
- A few predictions 12/31/2009
- UIL Football Championships to be hosted at Cowboys Stadium 07/27/2011