Tony Siragusa will be on the sidelines for the Cowboys opener on Sunday, although you're sure to hear more about the quality of the toppings for frankfurters at Raymond James Stadium. It's still a few more days until the smell of freshly grilled meat distracts him from focusing on anything else, though, so he took a few minutes to talk about football with Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Like so many others this year, the Goose's take on the Cowboys begins with a player who isn't on the team anymore.
"I thought the Cowboys had chemistry before the T.O. era. Now with him gone, I think it’ll be a better team inside the locker room. People don’t take that enough into consideration."
Actually, it seems like that's the only thing people took into consideration when talking about the Cowboys during the offseason. Without dismissing the idea that chemistry matters, have people completely erased the history of Cowboys football from their memory?
We'll leave aside locker room stabbings during the franchise's highest point and just focus on more recent history. The Cowboys were 31-17 over the last three seasons with Owens on the team and they were 21-27 in the three years before he came to Dallas. The T.O. era, as the Goose calls it, may have been light on chemistry but it was long on wins while it's clear that whatever chemistry predated him didn't do much for the team on the field.
Last year's implosion was clearly a sign of a dysfunctional team coming apart at the seams, but how does T.O.'s presence explain Tony Romo dropping a snap on an extra point or Romo throwing a pick against the Giants? That's the thing all the amateur chemists have yet to explain when they give the Cowboys kudos for making it easier to organize team barbeques. Owens is gone and at some point everyone's going to have to admit that whether they win or lose comes down to the guys who are still around.
Will the calm lead to wins? Siragusa doesn't know the answer to that, no one does at this point, but it's going to come down to a lot more than chemistry.