Well, it's that time of year again, folks. As we all settle down for a grueling 17 weeks of glory and agony, it has become our responsibility as fans to become prepared for what is known as the Cowboys annual circus. Now don't get me wrong, I bleed silver and blue. I've been indoctrinated in the Cowboys machine since I was run roughshod through family outings adorned in a onesie with a star firmly planted on my torso as a wee toddler. This is my team, dangit. So through all of the Jerry Jones (GM) failures and Jerry Jones (CEO) successes, I still keep coming back.

It didn't help that my formative years happened at the tail end of the no-salary cap era in the NFL that helped propel (along with one magnificent trade of a man named Walker) the Cowboys to becoming the team of the 90s. Hello, terrible expectations for the rest of my life, my name is Ben, nice to meet you. You might as well have introduced me to Mickey Mouse (but the REAL one!), had me win every one of those Electronic Gaming Monthly mail-in contests, and told me I could go to Six Flags every day. Eight year old Ben WAS SET in the sports world. Bring it on, NFL!

Then Jerry and Jimmy got divorced. Barry Switzer took a gun to an airport. Randall Cunningham, Anthony Wright, Quincy Carter, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, and Drew Bledsoe happened. BE THANKFUL FOR TONY ROMO, FANS. NO EXCUSES. THIS HATE HAS TO END (My editors told me that I was allowed a short and quick Romo rant. Cool guys, those WFAA editors). Dave Campo and Hard Knocks happened. Bill Parcells drafted Bobby Carpenter. Somebody forgot to de-slick the K-balls in Seattle. Oh, those slippery, slippery K-balls. One playoff win. One.

Oh, to be a Cowboys fan in 2013. Our seasons are but sequels to The Iliad, and the fans tragic heroes of Homerian proportions.

But we press on, Cowboys fans. We press on. The schedule is favorable! We've got a new stud at backup right outside linebacker who should be off the PUP list in six weeks! THIS IS OUR YEAR!

Ah, the romanticism of the beginning of an NFL season. Soak it in, because that romanticism is merely the beginning of what will inevitably be a roller coaster ride. Let's try to be prepared this year, Cowboys fans. Don't worry, I'm here to help:

Talking Points For Fans Who Don't Understand Why 16-0 is a Veritable Lock:

  • Brian Waters is your new 6'3' 320 lb. savior This man has single-handedly turned the Dallas Cowboys offensive line into an impermeable defense shield for Tony Romo. He is the Rain-X supplement to your car wash, the additive to your refueling, and the 500 miles early oil change. He's no standard 5W30 he's full synthetic extended performance. Roll down interstate 35, head southeast for a mile, and take the exit for US 77 south to Waxahachie High School to find this man's roots. The other name for US 77? DALLAS Highway. How this isn't a sign of the universes aligning, I don't know. (He's also a pro bowl guard who helped the Patriots make the Super Bowl in 2011 no big deal.)

  • Dez Bryant is a cheat code Remember those times playing Madden where you eventually got fed up with daily exhibitions and decided to create a player with your name, who was six inches taller, perfect physique, and somehow had 99 ratings in grit, determination, hustle, and kicking power? Dez Bryant is your cheating create-a-player. He towers over every defender on the field, routinely sheds the 15 closest tacklers with a swift glance and a pop from his forearm, and has the balance of a ballerina who has learned how to come down with a ball with all feet and... fingertips within the confines of the playing arena. Dez Bryant will catch 320 passes for 8,000 yards and 45 touchdowns this year. Dez Bryant will make the number 88 only that much more hallowed in the halls of Valley Frisco Ranch. Go ahead and warm up the oversized metal letter printer machines (those exist, right?) the Ring of Honor is getting a new addition right next to fellow triplets Witten and Romo.

  • TAMPA 2, BABY! Long gone are the days of the Parcells 3-4. Hello cover 2 1/2 (here's looking at you, Mike linebacker). Demarcus Ware has been freed from the evil clutches of instant flat coverage. What else do we want our Hall of Fame-caliber pass rusher doing other than turning and running awkwardly sideways at the snap to try to make odd open field tackles on screens that were already established by the time he's turned around? LET THAT MAN LOOSE! Barry 'Jolly Rancher' Church has returned from the clutches of 2012 Injured Reserve death to bolster a defensive back corps featuring veterans Brandon Carr and Will Allen, as well as second year LSU talent Mo Claiborne (Geaux Mo!). Don't worry that the Tampa 2 is actually a variant of the same Steel Curtain that helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl X in 1976 the Cowboys have no lingering resentment towards the Steelers from that year... or decade, right? I mean, I'm sure Roger Staubach endorses the defensive switch, after all.

  • Why the Cowboys Might Not Win 16 Games This Year: I've got nothing.Polish those parade hats, Dallas.

For more relentless Cowboys homerism and the inevitable despair that comes with it, follow Ben on Twitter at @Benjihana.
Read or Share this story: