Hopefully, Jerry Jones was watching the game, Sunday evening.
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With a 27-23 victory Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their NFL-record 6th Super Bowl. The game was a nail-biter, an ‘edge-of-your-seat’ screamer to the end, when the Cardinals left too much time on the clock, allowing Ben Roethlisberger to march down the field and allowing us to witness one of the great catches in Super Bowl history with only 35 seconds left on the clock.
As is expected, the 2008-2009 Steelers won with grit, the kind of smash-mouth football that is usually reserved for those NFL Classic shows, narrated by Steve Sabol. They draft well, they develop talent from within and they’ve never (ever) hired a bad coach. Basically, sadly, the Super Bowl champions represent every principle the Cowboys have come to lack. Everything, that is, except for talent.
Toughness wins super bowls, and our head coach shares his nickname with a small, frosting-covered dessert; our number-one wide receiver is about to join the ranks of Flavor Flav and Bret Michaels in the realm of VH1 reality shows; Tony Romo gets more exposure in the pages of People and Us than Sports Illustrated or ESPN the Magazine. Long story short, these Dallas Cowboys are not tough.
Granted, the Cowboys have never been a lunch-pail squad, and they never will be. It’s not a bad thing, necessarily, that’s just not us. A quick look through Cowboys history, and you’ll find that there has always been some degree of celebrity, a certain Hollywood quality that goes with being a Dallas Cowboy.
However, until recently, this quality has been secondary to the game itself. Michael Irvin would wear enough gold to make Mr. T blush and enough fur to make a PETA member cry in the press conference, but he would also come ready to play each and every Sunday. No one was above being publicly harangued by Jimmy Johnson. No defense was above being slapped around like a JV squad by our offensive line. We were tough, and our celebrities were celebrities for playing football well.
Winning came first in those days, and with winning came accountability, an asset that can’t hide behind larger than life personalities (of which we’ve always had plenty). Make no mistake, accountability is not hiding anywhere in Valley Ranch these days; it’s not there at all, and unless there is a serious shift in culture here in Dallas, it, along with success in the playoffs, may not return for a very long time.