Rabid Reaction: For optimism, just forget 2010

August, 9, 2011
8/09/11
8:00
AM ET
Rabid Reaction: Our series of knee-jerk-styled, emotional overreactions from Ben Rogers of 103.3 FM ESPN's Ben and Skin Show. He's known to get way too excited over even the slightest of developments with the teams he grew up with in the D/FW. Proceed with caution ...

SAN ANTONIO -- Finding a single ray of sunshine among the dark, billowing clouds engulfing media row at Cowboys training camp is near impossible. San Antonio is currently inundated with savvy journalists, clever radio talk show hosts and astute TV sports anchors who refuse to buy into whatever it is that Jerry Jones is cooking.

Apparently the epic disaster of the 2010 Cowboys season is just too much for responsible thinkers to overlook. To be mired in such reality is to be handcuffed to the toilet. It takes a special kind of mind to pretend that an entire season of footballing never happened. In order to mine precious optimism from this otherwise depressing wasteland, one must do exactly that.

After all, it was a completely wasted season in almost every single way for the Cowboys. Following a chaotic training camp that included distracting and exhausting whirlwind trips across America for needless reasons, coach Wade Phillips displayed the passion and leadership skills of a below-average mall Santa.

A tired, undisciplined team got off to a dreadful start, further compounded by the loss of Tony Romo to a broken collarbone. A once proud defense had its swagger surgically removed and a team with Super Bowl aspirations folded like a cheap lawn chair.

The Cowboys are clearly in need of what the front yard football community refers to as a “do-over.” The Nerf went over the neighbor’s fence? No problem. Do-over! Jerry ruined the 2010 season with an overzealous marketing agenda and a coach who allowed the culture to crumble? No problem. Do-over!

If you’re searching high and low for some rare Cowboys confidence to spoon with tonight, experts are now recommending “The 2010 Season Never Happened Theory.” After all, in 2009 this team was talented enough to go 11-5 and appeared destined for postseason greatness before the offensive line imploded in Minnesota.

Squint hard enough and you can erase 2010 entirely. With that mess conveniently out of the way, it’s easy to combine the regular-season success of 2009 with the new and improved changes of 2011.

A swaggerless defensive unit that had lost its playmaking way is now being led by the King of Swagger himself, Rob Ryan. Long silver locks reminiscent of Wade Garrett from Road House now top off a superbelly-powered presence on the sideline that already has the mighty Eagles distracted. Problem corrected.

A Romo-less Cowboys offense (that scrapped and clawed admirably with Jon Kitna at the wheel) now has its franchise quarterback healthy and back under center. In 2009, Tony Romo took a major step forward in his development by maintaining his gunslinger ways while impressively decreasing his turnover totals. “The 2010 Season Never Happened Theory” allows that progress to march on unabated. Problem corrected.

A rudderless football operation being led from a coaching hammock by a friendly gentleman near the end of his career has been replaced by an intensely structured leadership agenda being led by an intellectual perfectionist on the first leg of what appears to be a budding, young magical journey for the ages.

It’s merely a matter of perspective. The glass is either half full, half empty, or the glass never happened at all. It’s all in the squinting eyes of the beholder.

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