I was there, I saw the end. The date was Dec. 28, 1996 the last playoffs win for the Dallas Cowboys. I remember being in the stands when the Boys won the Wild Card Playoffs (Vikings 40-15) thinking to myself this maybe the last run the Cowboys have with the team of the 90's. Little did I know after a loss in the Divisional Playoffs (Panthers 26-17) that my beloved Cowboys would be on slippery slope to the NFL doghouse.
The story starts in 1997, after the great fall of the "Team of the Decade" an ailing Troy Aikman carrying a dying team to a dismissal 6-10 season only two years removed from a Super Bowl. For the next two years he was plagued by injuries, bad pass protection, coaching changes and of course the final 10th concussion. I found myself rooting silently for Troy Aikman to retire, my hero, a 3 time Super Bowl quarterback but it was time for the Cowboys to move on and start fresh.
This is where it gets ugly, the year 2000, a new millennium, a new start for the Cowboys? I was full of hope, thinking the rebuilding has started and we would be back to Super Bowl form in 2-4 years. I WAS DEAD WRONG! And it begins.......the famous Dallas's own Quarterback Carnival Carousel staring Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner (I don't remember him to well, but I guess that a good thing) Chad Hutchinson: Vinny Testaverde and Drew Henson. This was an embarrassing time to be a Cowboys fan, I had no pride in my beloved team, no stars and finding myself turning off the TV in the 3rd quarters of games in disgust.
Fast forward to 2005, the Drew Bledsoe era, things were starting to click. As the early 2000 quarterback carousel happened a great event took place. While I was blinded by the offensive woes (or non offense woes) the "D" in Dallas was back. Jerry Jones was building a stellar defense while everyone was focusing on the offense. I remember on draft day (s) praying, praying! For the Cowboys to select a quarterback in the first round and was deeply disappointed every year. Anyways back to 05! We all knew it Cowboys fans, Drew Bledsoe was a good quarterback but was not the answer. We needed a young franchise quarterback that we have not had since Troy Aikman. Bledsoe was a band aid while the Cowboys moved pieces of the puzzle around to setup for a Super Bowl run.
So who is this quarterback going to be? I'm sure everyone was with my thinking using a first round draft pick to grab us a starting quarterback was are only hope. Little did we know we had one sitting on our lap the whole time. Tony Romo................ummmm......are you talking about our 3rd sting quarterback for the last three years? The first time I saw him play in a regular season game I was hooked. We have found him! It took 10 long years but we found the answer the Boys have been looking for.
This is to you Tony Romo! You've had two great years as a starting quarterback. The time is now to win! The defense is in place and you have an offense that would make Roger Staubach blush. The last two playoff games have been heartbreaking, but 2008 is a new start. Don't break my heart Tony Romo! Its been 12 long years since a playoff win. I think all Cowboys fans can agree when I say the hopes and dreams of America's team fan base lies squarely on your shoulders.