The 2011 season is a cleansing one for the Dallas Cowboys. Since the championship era of Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer the Cowboys have endured years of being downright horrible… to the Parcells years when fans got excited at the prospect of soon being able to compete for a Super Bowl… to the excess of the Wade Phillips era… and now to the humility of the Jason Garrett era. QB Tony Romo, TE Jason Witten, and LB DeMarcus Ware are the three players that make up the nucleus of the Cowboys—all three were drafted and/or discovered by Bill Parcells between 2004-2006. That anxiety eventually grew to fruition in 2007 when the Cowboys marched all over the NFC. That excess of confidence led to the No. 1 seed Cowboys losing in their first playoff matchup against the division rival New York Giants, the team that would eventually win it all.
The NFC is a very tough division to play in each and every year. At least three of the division’s four teams are projected to make a playoff run every season. Sometimes, the Giants will supplant the Redskins, or the Eagles will supplant the Cowboys; nevertheless the competition is always very stark in the NFC East. This season the division has played out to see the Redskins falter tremendously in the absence of a dependable quarterback or running game. The once-heralded (recent) assembly of Pro Bowl talent in Philadelphia has proven to be nothing short of a bi-weekly mess. Meanwhile, the Giants have coasted through it all and have led the division all year. The Cowboys have easily been the most inconsistent; but in that same vein the Cowboys have also showed the most promise.