By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
No, I'm here to tell you that the only people who expected the Cowboys to be playing in January are the same people who subscribe to Baconian Theory and the Area 51 myth. Even if Dallas had beaten the Panthers, it wasn't going to win the conference or the Super Bowl. It just wasn't. The 'Boys have to walk, or in this case trip face first, before they can run full out.
"I'm disappointed," Parcells said again after the loss. "But we're gonna do our best to do better next year. I just told the players that I'm not gonna rest. We're gonna improve this somehow."
Put it all in context. This season can be seen as nothing but a pleasant surprise, not to mention a good start. There are many things that need to be fixed or added--Dallas is sorely in need of a running back, some pass-rushing defensive linemen, a punter and perhaps a quarterback and another cover corner--but Jerry Jones and Co. have the cap space (approximately $16 million) and money to make those adjustments. Given where the Cowboys were in previous seasons and where they were this year, thanks in no small part to Parcells, you have to figure that this playoff loss was only the beginning of something grand, not the end of something disappointing. Trust in Big Bill, enjoy the memory of the first winning season in years and relax.