Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

End of the Line for Barry, 'Boys

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

End of the Line for Barry, 'Boys

Article excerpt

They talked loud, walked proud, and fooled us all. Even

when it should have been obvious the Dallas Cowboys were

done, you listened to them, and looked at their roster. You

saw those famous names and believed.

Troy. Emmitt. Michael. Deion.

You saw those names, remembered Super Bowls, and gosh, you

thought, how could this team lose?

More often than not, it did.

We come this week not to praise the Cowboys, or bury them, but

to reflect upon how and why they fell so far so fast. It was

their time, at last, but even during the fall, it was hard to

believe what you saw.

The Cowboys, before the season, showed the signs of a crumbling

dynasty. Emmitt Smith was aging. Leon Lett, their best defensive

tackle, was out for the first 13 games because of a drug

suspension. Even with Deion Sanders, Troy Aikman and Michael

Irvin in their prime, they had lost too many players to free

agency in the last three years and many who were left --

particularly crucial offensive linemen such as Nate Newton and

Mark Tuinei -- had aged beyond effectiveness. They even made it

easy on prognisticators, losing to the Panthers last year in the

second round of the playoffs.

This was the first time since 1991 they failed to play in the

NFC Championship Game.

But you saw Emmitt, Troy, Deion and Michael and forgot tight

end Jay Novacek and defensive end Charles Haley retired before

the season. You heard the Cowboys say they'd start a winning

streak, and be fine again. You heard, which made it easy to

forget that any team, even the Cowboys, can't overcome those

kinds of losses forever. And it made it easy to forget that any

team, even the Cowboys, can't overcome Barry Switzer being

around forever.

And as you watched the Cowboys fade this past Monday, it was

hard not to believe they didn't listen a bit too long to their

talk, and believe they were still dominant, even when they

weren't. …

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