To say the least, it’s been a forgettable, horrible year for the Cowboys.
A 2015 that began last January with Dez Bryant’s catch/non-catch in the playoff loss in Green Bay will mercifully end Sunday afternoon in a season finale that will likely result in another loss to the Redskins.
The Cowboys did record the only playoff win of the Jason Garrett era in 2015, but in all the calendar year will likely include a whopping 13 losses.
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But let’s be more positive come 2016, shall we? Let’s squint really hard to see the good in a bad year.
“Oh there’s no question,” head coach Jason Garrett said during his Wednesday press conference. “There are a ton of guys on our football team who have had very good years. Collectively, we haven't done enough to win ball games, but those guys have helped us overcome some of the adversity that we've had over the course of the season.”
Jason Witten broke records and somehow the Cowboys landed three offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl despite a unit that got held to one touchdown or less in almost half of its games. But there are other legit reasons to be excited about 2016 and beyond:
- La’el Collins – Rip Jerry Jones the GM all you want, but he picked two quality 1st-rounders last year in Byron Jones and this free-agent LSU offensive lineman. He started 10 games at left guard and with his strength and speed blocking as much as 30 yards down field, he can’t help but remind of us Larry Allen.
- Byron Jones – While shuttling between cornerback and safety, he showed the physicality and instincts to be a building block in the secondary for the future.
- Sean Lee – We’re reminded – yet again – that when healthy, he’s one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He overcame a torn ACL and a position change to at times dominate.
- DeMarcus Lawrence – Since Nov. 12 he has the NFL’s second-most sacks with 11. You can conceivably see him being a book-end pass-rusher with Greg Hardy for years to come.
- Darren McFadden – Thought to be only part of the Cowboys’ running-back committee, he emerged by default and will rush for 1,000 yards. Since Week 6 only Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin have more rushing yards and it’s now likely that McFadden will be the team’s No. 1 running back heading into training camp.
- Kicking Game – Punter Chris Jones has just one touchback in 64 kicks and Dan Bailey is headed to Hawaii after an almost perfect season in which he missed two just field goals of 48 and 50, both in windy conditions.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.