Your Dallas Cowboys are 3 up and 3 down after six games in the 2012 NFL season. The Cowboys beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday in a less-than-riveting game and by a hardly-impressive margin.
Final score: Cowboys, 19–14.
So, what does this mean about your team?
Well, it is hard to say.
It may mean that they are exactly what they appear to be: a middle-of-the-pack, .500 team. Average, at best.
If your glasses are rose-tinted, you might say, “Hey! It is a win and in the NFL, a win is a win.”
And I would agree. Any way you can get a win is a good way to win in this league.
But if you are thinking the narrow 31–29 loss to the Ravens the week before, which could and should have been an even narrower win, is a moral victory, then you are saying a lot about your team. The best NFL team in Texas right now elected not to settle for a moral victory and put an old-fashioned thrashing on those same Ravens. The Texans manhandled the same team that the Cowboys ran all over (to the tune of 227 yards on the ground), but could not put away.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys struggled to defeat a Panthers’ team that is no real contender for anything.
Moral victories and talk about “the process” is what we get in Dallas. That, and the endless sales pitch from the eternally optimistic and completely clueless GM/owner. Jerry is always busy selling what I, for one, am sick of buying.
Bill Parcells is famous for having said, “You are what your record says you are.”
I believe in the veracity of that statement. But not until you are far enough along in a season to actually let things wash out.
This season is less than half done. The Cowboys are at .500 in the win/loss columns. Is that what they are? Or, are they the contender Jerry Jones insists they are?
It may be too soon to tell. But in three weeks, it will not be.
Next week, the Cowboys get the Super Bowl champion New York Giants at home. The two weeks following, they go on the road to face the surging Atlanta Falcons and the always-tough-to-beat Philadelphia Eagles.
By the end of that stretch, it will be much more obvious what these Cowboys are really all about.
Winners. Losers. Or, what they have been for way too long: something between a winner and a loser.