Like those first few weeks when Lynnette and I started dating, this current run of Cowboys success feels amazing and impossible, even as it is happening.
My brother Paul messaged me on Saturday and asked if I’d be interested in a small wager, since the Seahawks are his first favorite sports team. Admittedly, I didn’t feel too great about he Cowboys chances of winning the game outright, so I asked for the 7.5 point spread and he agreed. I feel as if I am morally obligated to participate in anything within my power to make sure Sports Fan Paul is here to stay. Well, thanks to Fox’s decision to run the Panthers/Bengals overtime, Paul and I were not able to watch the first quarter of the game, and the score was 10-0 in favor of the defending champs before we ever saw a snap. That’s so Cowboys. Somehow, though, the Cowboys dropped 17 unanswered points and kept the game close into the 4th quarter, which is about all I could have asked of them. Then, on a 3rd down and 20, this happened:
Like he did last week, Romo spun out of backfield pressure and found Williams streaking, this time for the sideline. Romo threw the ball to a spot on the sideline and Williams came up with this catch, which not even members of his own coaching staff could believe. Though it was clearly a catch, Seattle challenged the play. I can’t blame them, getting the on-field call negated – no matter how improbable – likely would have meant the game. Where did this fourth quarter Tony Romo come from? my cousin Andrew messaged. Dallas went on to score and win the game 30-23. They are now 5-1 on the season, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for first in the NFC East.
The last two games – close contests decided in the fourth quarter – are the kinds of games the Cowboys of the last 5 years have typically lost. Even yesterday, the Cowboys tried their best to give the game away, getting a punt blocked in the first quarter, muffing a punt return later, shanking a punt even later than that, fumbling a snap deep in their own territory. So when Rolondo McClain intercepted Williams’ pass with seconds remaining in the game (no “choke” memes?), I let out a passionate YES! but still held my breath because if any team can fumble a snap in victory formation, it’s the Cowboys.
The Cowboys are now 4-0 when Madison wears her Cowboys shirt. I have not worn my shirt since the Week 1 loss to the 49ers. During this Fall Break, we found Lynnette a shirt at Old Navy. “Here,” I said to her as I handed it to her in the store. “But you can’t wear it yet.” She rolled her eyes pretty hard, but she knows what’s up. YOU DON’T MESS WITH A STREAK.
Uncle Paul, the lawyer tried on two occasions to trick Madison into taking the shirt off. Mad ran into the living room. “You cannot take that shirt off unless daddy – and only daddy – tells you that you can,” I said. She nodded. “What about a Seahawks shirt?” Paul asked her. Mad made one of Lynnette’s faces of contempt and shook her head side-to-side.
“Dad, can I take my shirt off now?” Mad asked after the game. “Yes, give it to me,” I said. “Are we finally going to wash it?” she asked. “No, we can’t,” I said. She didn’t let me finish. “Because it will lose its magic?” she finished. “Yes,” I said. She knows what’s up. YOU DON’T MESS WITH A STREAK. I give all the credit in the world to the Dallas offensive line and the running game. The defense has done more than I could have ever hoped for. But you can never ever convince me that Madison has nothing to do with what’s happening right now for America’s team.
Get ’em Cowboys!