This feels like a repeat of the 2008 season. The Cowboys were talked about as Super Bowl favorites by the media for months and months leading up to the season. In the end, both seasons ended without a playoff appearance. And watching the playoffs, while exciting, also brings up a lot of painful memories and emotions.
During the Seahawks colossal upset of the Saints yesterday I'm sure a lot of Cowboys fans were thinking back to 2006. The Cowboys held a 4th quarter lead against the Seahawks and watched it evaporate quickly. But Tony Romo led the Cowboys down the field to set up a potential chip shot game winner to allow the Cowboys to upset the Seahawks at home. We all know how that game ended. Romo botched the snap, picked it up and it looked like he would score a touchdown for a split second, but he was tackled from behind short of a first down and short of the end zone. The Saints have learned a lesson the Cowboys learned in 2006. It is tough to win in Seattle. I don't even want to get back into the talk about the conspiracy with a brand new ball being put into play by the Seattle field crew or the horrible spot on the previous play that cost the Cowboys a shot at a touchdown instead of a field goal attempt.
Watching the Seattle-New Orleans game also brought back painful memories of the 2007 Cowboys-Giants divisional playoff game. The Cowboys were the #1 seed coming off their first round bye and were favored to beat the Giants in Dallas. Again, we know how that one ended. But seeing the Saints get upset in the first round of the playoffs had to feel the same for Saints fans as it did for Cowboys fans in 2007. Misery loves company I guess because I found myself pulling for the Seahawks just because I wanted to see the Saints go down in embarrassing fashion like the Cowboys did in 2007.
And how can the Philadelphia-Green Bay wild card game not remind you of how far the Cowboys have fallen in just one calendar year? It feels like just a short time ago that the Cowboys manhandled the Eagles in back to back games to end their playoff drought. And yet here were are watching the Eagles play a playoff game while we talk about what could have been and what we are hoping for next season. It is just sad.
I hope the players are sitting at home watching these games feeling the pain that the fans are feeling. I know guys like Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Jay Ratliff, and Demarcus Ware would give anything to be playing right now. Anyone who doesn't feel awful about how the season went down shouldn't be back next season. Every player who will return next year should be taking mental notes of how horrible it feels to be sitting at home in January watching their peers play for a Super Bowl.