It has been 16 years since the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. In those 16 years, the Cowboys have made the playoffs just seven times. In those seven playoff appearances, they have managed to win but two games.
On January 1, 2012, the Cowboys needed to get one win at home against the New York Giants. Just one win and they would be NFC East champions and playoff bound.
Of course, the Giants clobbered the Cowboys 31-14 and took the first step toward the unlikeliest Super Bowl triumph since the last time the G-men won the Super Bowl.
The game that catapulted the Giants into history relegated the Cowboys to ancient history. The team that was once considered the shining star, the flagship franchise of America's greatest professional sports league, is now all but irrelevant.
During the 16 years since their last taste of glory, the Cowboys have wandered aimlessly through the Wilderness of Mediocrity. They have employed six head coaches and been led by seven different quarterbacks.
But the man with the compass, the fearless leader of this ill-fated expedition, is the only general manager the team has ever had under owner Jerry Jones.
That would be GM Jerry Jones.
Jones and those in his deluded company may console themselves by saying, "Look! The team that beat us to get into the playoffs won the Super Bowl."
Bitter fans, however, will be incensed and say, "Look! The team that beat us to get into the playoffs won the Super Bowl."
What Jerry sees as hopeful, the discouraged, disheartened, distrustful fan will see as hopeless.
Ah, Jerry Jones.
Here is a fellow that says, "Come with me. I know the way."
But he keeps changing the map, altering the direction and getting nowhere. Long ago, it became painfully apparent to anyone paying attention that Jerry Jones does not know the way, he cannot read a map and when it comes to building and guiding a successful NFL franchise, he is as lost as a goose in the desert.
Meanwhile, the Roman numerals keep rolling. Each passing Super Bowl is another mile marker along the Lost Highway for the driver that has no idea how to get there and is too stubborn to ask directions from anyone that does.
Somewhere, a coyote howls, a tumbleweed ambles aimlessly across the lonesome prairie and Jerry Jones studies his map.