Is there a cure for Cowboys’ ‘optimistic infection?’

Posted Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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galloway Don’t know about you, but personally, I’ve got the Dallas Cowboys totally figured out.

Well, almost totally.

Sorry, Jerry, but I don’t know how to factor in a “moral victory.”

Gawd help us, at some point, to understand the words and wisdom of Mr. Jerry. It’s been 24 years, and most of us still haven’t gotten past “Troy looks good in the shower.”

But 90 percent of the factors involved in the Cowboys’ 2-3 start to the NFL season has now become simple logic.

And the best place to start with football logic is here: The Cowboys are an 8-8 team, and if things go right, they might be a 9-7 club, or if things go wrong, they will be 7-9, or worse.

Going into Sunday night’s Big Yard visit by RG3 and the Redskins, the Cowboys are on course to get back to an 8-8 pace.

A win Sunday night, and the Cowboys are 3-3, and that meager record would also make them a strong title contender in the pathetic division that is the NFC East these days.

So far, it’s almost logical for the Cowboys.

They beat the Giants to open the season, mainly courtesy of five defensive takeaways, including four interceptions off the arm of Eli Manning. Well, the logic now tells us that opening game was a strong barometer, at least for Eli and the Giants.

Eli kept throwing picks once he left Arlington, and the Giants continue to struggle.

Then came the loss in Kansas City, a loss in a game where it appeared the Cowboys let a W get away. But the Chiefs still haven’t lost, and they are on the same Seattle course of a year ago. The road L that day is better explained by how well KC has continued to perform.

Next up, in game No. 3, were the St. Louis Rams, and the Cowboys wiped out this opponent. “They didn’t beat anybody,” was the stupid local reasoning after that W. Well, the Rams left town saying, “We got trampled by a nobody.”

Then came the road trip to San Diego. This is where it becomes tricky.

The Cowboys had a first half that hinted this was a team that had turned a corner. In the second half, we learned what was around that corner was a speeding 18-wheeler. The Cowboys stepped in front of a truck.

Last week, Mr. Peyton and his Denver guys came to town. A steamrolling Broncos offense ultimately tore down a struggling Cowboys defense. It wasn’t exactly a shocker of an L.

Again, thus far I’ve got the Cowboys “almost” figured out.

The second half in San Diego is the only confusion. Even an 8-8 club should not have been that bad.

But to remain on the 8-8 pace, and at least claim dominance in the weak division, it’s must-win time Sunday night, and the same does apply for next week’s road venture into Philadelphia.

Obviously, what Mr. Jerry was attempting to promote with his “moral victory” statement following the Denver loss was the theory that better days are ahead due to the 58 minutes of explosive offensive football from Tony Romo and his receivers.

But go back to the Jimmy Johnson theory several weeks ago on the Fox pregame show:

“There’s a disease in Dallas. It’s called ‘optimistic infection’ ....and they are still looking for the cure.”

Mr. Jerry’s old friend, Jimmy, usually has it right on the Cowboys. And he did again. Mr. Jerry was born with an optimistic infection. There is no known cure.

If there’s anything positive about Jerry’s “moral victory” statement, it’s that everyone in the organization — son Stephen, Coach Red J and numerous players — all shot down the comment. Nobody else at Valley Ranch wanted to be associated with a moral victory comment from the boss.

But in a conversation with Daryl Johnston, also a Fox TV guy, and once a keystone to Jimmy’s Dynasty Days clubs, I asked if he could ever remember a “good” loss. Or a “moral victory.”

“Not once. Never,” answered Moose. “Not when we were kind of building our club, not in the ’92 season when we made our first Super Bowl trip, and certainly not in any game after we started winning Super Bowls.”

More from Johnston: “I don’t think there is such a thing as a moral victory. A loss can certainly be a learning experience, but that’s all it can be, in my opinion. You learn from it, and hopefully move on. But, boy, I can never remember anything positive coming out of a loss, even in the days when we were still a club trying to make the climb.”

I’ll take Moose’s word for it.

Each Sunday in the NFL is a new world.

In the Cowboys’ world, either beat the Redskins on Sunday night, or...

Maybe this team is impossible to figure out. And my opinion that this is an 8-8 club is actually a disease known as optimistic infection.

Randy Galloway, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @sportsdfw

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