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The eyes of Texas are upon you

I could mourn the loss of sports success in North Carolina this fall, but like evaluating most wins and losses this is probably just a passing fancy.

Or maybe I’m just smarting from that ECU loss Thursday night on the last play of the game.

This hasn’t been the best of autumns for college football statewide.  Sure, State and Carolina are bowl eligible, but only because they have the minimum of wins; and beyond them, down thru FCS, Division II and III, all the way to NAIA, this hasn’t been a memorable football fall for your dear ol’ alma maters.

On the pro side the Panthers are toothless kitties that have had no roar since the leaves started to turn. Speaking of turn, the Hurricanes’ ice has melted even before their season is over one-quarter old. And finally, where’s that sting that was supposed to come back with the new-look, re-defined Hornets?  How about 4-15.

That said I have to turn my eyes south to the Lone Star State where their major sports have been re-born.

On the college side, both Baylor and TCU are in the Final Four college football mix.

Pro-wise, the Dallas Mavericks NBA team is 15-5 but playing in a tough Western Conference and as of Thursday had put together an eight game win streak, bettered only by Golden State and the Clippers, and equaled only by LeBron and Cleveland.  The pro hockey Stars may be languishing in last place, but like I said earlier about the Hurricanes, it’s early.

But where Texas can really give out a loud, proud and happy Yippee-Ki-Yay-A is with their long-suffering (well, four years worth of suffering!) NFL team.

Yes, whatever owner Jerry Jones has been feeding them is working off the dinner table – and off the charts! – because the Dallas Cowboys have suddenly re-awakened.

There was a time when people said if things were going wrong with “America’s Team”, then things were going wrong with America.

Not any more!

After all those seasons of diminished expectation, the Blue and Silver are back in 2014.  People used to say of Cowboys fans that when they’re winning you can’t stand them, and when they’re losing you can’t find them.  Well they’re coming out of the woodwork again now, Lucille.

Thursday night’s win over the Chicago Bears means that: (1) the ‘Boys won’t finish 8-8 like they had for the last four years. They were just two years shy of six non-winning seasons like they had back in the sixties. (2) Dallas has kept the Eagles in sight in the division race. They can also at least now get some temporary relief from the heat of the fans and the other nay-sayers who brutally condemned them for that Thanksgiving Day excuse for a football game; and (3) maybe Tony Romo can make this a “December to remember” after all.

Romo’s carried the ‘Boys on that bad back of his for much of this season after a so-so start where he looked downright terrible; or at least looked and played like every bit of his 34 years.

But you can’t argue with 6-1, the record they had through the first seven weeks of the season before the Redskins came to town (thought you Maroon-&-Gold-diggers might like me throwing that one in).  In fact, starting with the ‘Skins loss, Dallas had gone 2-3 until winning in Chicago Thursday night.

I don’t hear anybody calling for Romo to be named NFL MVP – and realistically, not with the season that Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers are having; plus, you could even make a case for superlative credentials that could be bestowed on Romo’s backfield mate: DeMarco Murray.  Still, to have 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions is impressive and ought to get a few voters’ attentions.

Now Dallas has to look ahead to getting back that game in the standings that they lost to Philadelphia when they play the Eagles next weekend, and they have ten days to prepare.

There are five playoff spots available, division titles included, and seven good teams vying for them – Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, Green Bay, Arizona, Seattle, and San Francisco.

This year two 10-win teams could watch the playoffs from home. With three games to go, including two road games within the division, the only game left that isn’t must-win for Dallas is at home against Indianapolis.

Wouldn’t that be something if the Cowboys make the playoffs with 11 wins, and only three of them came at the “House that Jerry (Jones) built”?  Worse yet, what if they’re an 11-win wild-card team and have to play whomever wins the Panthers’ division, and that team might only have a seven-win record?

Whatever, after what they’ve been through since 2009, I think those Cowboys fans will take it.

Gene Motley is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at gene.motley@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7211.