By Kaleb Page
Remember the show on MTV where Ashton Kutcher would pull pranks on celebrities or essentially ‘punk’ them. It is safe to say that this year many Cowboys fans are sitting back thinking where and when are the cameras (along with Ashton) going to come out and say gotcha on what so far has been a great start to the season.
Right now the Dallas Cowboys are sitting with the lead over the NFC East and have a 6-1 record. In comparison to years past where at this point they would be 4-3 (2013), 3-4 (2012), and 3-4 (2011); this start is something to look at in optimism. Especially when to begin this season the buzz around this Cowboys team was one of downright despair.
Before this season started there were question marks all over this team and what they could even do in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams). It centered around the engine of this team Tony Romo, who at the time was still recovering from back surgery after injuring his back last season. Without really receiving any big hits or preparation on the season beating that most quarterbacks take, many wondered if he could even last through the season and what the team would do if he went down.
Another big question that had people thinking the Cowboys were canoeing upstream without a paddle, was the defense that lacked much talent or big names. When you think of the Dallas Cowboys you think of a team Jerry Jones assembled with big names up and down the roster. Defenses’ of old had Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, DeMarcus Ware, and the list goes on. With today’s group it is hard to off the top of your head go about naming any one big name on that defensive unit (unless you look it up or have some close tie to the team).
Even though these question marks were there and with good reason, the reality is this team is playing hard and inspired football. The offense is playing at a high level, ranking 14th in the league in passing and 1st in rushing with DeMarco Murray on pace to break all sorts of rushing records. The defense that is a thrown together bunch with little name power and mid-range talent, is ranked 12th in passing yards allowed and 16th in rushing yards allowed. A lot of what the defense is doing can been credited to the defensive mind of Rod Marinelli the team’s defensive coordinator. A man who has been credited with doing more with defenses than what he is given.
The stats are nice but the eye test of actually watching this team shows that the potential is there to go farther than anyone expected. Beating teams like the Saints, Giants, and Seahawks (on the road) is quite impressive when considering that, when this schedule was printed out, many people would go against the Cowboys nine times out of ten in those games. Now sitting at 6-1 these Cowboys can control their destiny. Especially when the next three games they play before their bye week are all winnable games (Washington, Arizona, Jacksonville).
If you are a Cowboys fan you might look around and ask “what’s the catch?” When is the heart going to be torn out after these Cowboys epic fail once again, like they have done almost year in year out for the past several seasons. Possibly this is a change of season and this team is actually for real. Deep down though, if we know anything about the show Punk’d from the past, the best sketches have the real unexpected events still to unfold. So for this Cowboys team to be just another episode of Punk’d playing out before us, be ready for an epic unexpected serious of events to end this Cowboys season. For the Cowboys fans reading, be ready to have that prank happen to you and your team and a guy in a trucker hat coming out yelling “You’ve been Punk’d!”
For your sake though Cowboys fans, lets hope that doesn’t happen.