ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Andre Gurode #65 of the Dallas Cowboys jumps on John Phillips #89 after Phillips scores a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Andre Gurode;John Phillips
OK, so the Cowboys failed to reach the NFC title game this year. You thought they were primed to make a run. You thought that, perhaps, the team would not only finally win a playoff game, but use that momentum to carry them to Miami and perhaps another Lombardi Trophy. But that didn’t happen. So the question for you now is, were you happy with this? Was this Cowboys season a success?
Well, success is something that is measured arbitrarily, of course. Some of you may consider anything less than the Super Bowl a failure. A fair point, given how regularly this team won titles a decade ago. Others may consider that playoff win a big step. Jerry may look at the bajillion dollars he made this year and conclude that yes, that was a nice season. It’s all quite subjective. But what is not subjective is this: The Cowboys beat most every preseason expectation experts made for them. To wit:
-Las Vegas’ futures betting had the Cowboys at 9.5 wins for the year. Dallas finished over that total.
-Invaluable Web site Kottke.org made a composite ranking of teams’ preseason assessments, tallied from the predictions of ESPN, Yahoo, The Sporting News, Las Vegas, USA Today, SI, FOX Sports, and CBS. Taken together, the Cowboys ranked 14th among all teams before the season began. They end this year ranked 6th.
So if you consider success defined as exceeding expectations, and considerably so, there’s only one way to view this Cowboys season in light of Sunday’s disappointing loss at Minnesota: Job well done.
But if they don’t win it all next year, you’re free to burn the city down.