It’s the Sunday before the start of Dallas Cowboys training camp, and I suggest that Cowboys fans everywhere join hands. Head down to the altar at the football cathedral otherwise known as AT&T Stadium.And pray to the football gods.Pray real hard now for a season of prosperity and a breakthrough from the dark days of .500 football.Pray for faith in things unseen and unsigned.Pray that the teachings of Dallas’ great Yoda — defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli — are greater than the talent he has to work with.Pray that coach Jason Garrett finally has the right kind of guys, who not only play with passion, emotion and enthusiasm but who make the right plays when it matters the most in what could very well be his final season as coach.Pray that the legendary career of tight end Jason Witten doesn’t go unfulfilled.Pray that quarterback Tony Romo’s clutch gene shines through and finally overcomes the mediocrity surrounding him.Ask for forgiveness for the years of arrogance and feelings of superiority brought on by the five Super Bowl titles, including three in the 1990s. It was a time of success and prosperity that you took for granted, made you feel entitled and spoiled.You have now learned your lesson, thanks to many seasons of pain and sorrow.A whole generation of Cowboys fans has grown up knowing nothing but mediocrity. They are stuck with images of drugged-out quarterback Quincy Carter, Dave Campo in a wetsuit, Terrell Owens dancing on the star and then wearing the star, Romo dropping the snap in Seattle, Owens weeping for his quarterback, Roy Williams fumbling a victory away against the Saints, Garrett’s late-game mismanagement and the famed Doomsday Defense becoming a turnstile for yards and touchdowns.Don’t make me go on about 136 wins and 136 losses and just one playoff win since the start of the 1997 season.It was enough to make legendary coach Bill Parcells quit and bring on Camp Cupcake before giving way to Coach Process. Mediocrity and disappointment were the constants.How hath thou forsaken thee, the Cowboys fan?Yet year after year, they return by the multitudes, hoping for a revival. Hoping that what has been an ordinary franchise becomes extraordinary again.They remain believers because of the stories told by their fathers and forefathers, who have seen miracles performed in the name of the franchise before.In the beginning, there was Tom Landry.Then there was the Hail Mary in Minnesota that remains the water-into-wine moment that Cowboys fans cling to in desperate times.And then there were the Triplets, who carried the Cowboys to their greatest success — three Super Bowl titles in four seasons.Forgive owner Jerry Jones for diminishing a team of abundance and prosperity with the disrespecting moniker of “glory hole days.” For he knew not what he what was saying.Pray hard, Cowboys fans.Pray that Jones has learned his lesson.Pray that your fandom is finally worthy of success again.That’s certainly what ownership and the coaches are doing.There has been nothing dramatic done in the off-season via free agency or the draft to expect a Super Bowl run or miraculous turnaround.Not with DeMarcus Ware banished and Sean Lee’s season already served up as a sacrifice.The Cowboys base their optimism on hope and faith.At this point, pray that prayers are answered.Amen.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr