The Inspiration Of A Record-Setting Defeat
Inspiration is no stranger to monumental happenings, though human tendency is hesitant to pair it with defeat. Yet, for me this dynamic duo became a realization in the moments following the Dallas Cowboys’ historic 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles which concluded the 2008 regular season. As the score strongly indicates, the game was a one-sided affair overflowing with Cowboy flubs, fumbles and miscues. The second-worst defeat in franchise history, the 38-point margin also proved to be the highest during the Jerry Jones era.
But more than that, it also brought to my attention that, barring something miraculous in the 2009 season from the Cowboys, the first decade of the 21st Century was going to be the worst in team annals. Worst not only in the category of winning percentage, but in Super Bowl appearances, NFC Championship Game appearances, playoff appearances, and postseason victories.
No other game, perhaps no other moment as irrevocably decisive as that evening proved to be, could make an impact such as it did on me. While the Cowboys were licking their wounds from another wasted season, I embarked on the initial research necessary to answer the burning question inside of me: How could a franchise which prides itself on winning championships turn up such a stinker with their playoff hopes on the line?
What I found in researching more than four years worth of news archives was a tale of defeat unlike any other and one well worth putting into book format. That book, Decade of Futility, became a reality last July.
For some, accepting such a colossal defeat can be a hard pill to swallow. For me, the defeat of all defeats inspired a book about a decade beyond the reach of repair.