It’s an NFL fan’s worst nightmare, and, thankfully, we have not had to confront this issue in many years. We must, however, finally look ourselves in the mirror and admit that the Dallas Cowboys are actually a fun team to root for this year. We’re not sure how it happened, as this was the year we were supposed to put the final nail in the Romo-era coffin. We enjoyed the pre-season mockery immensely, as we prepared for a historic collapse from a franchise that has provided a predictable and copious dosage of buffoonery for the better part of two decades.

 

The Cowboys’ strategic ineptitude seemed to be on full display when owner Jerry Jones admitted that he was nearly seduced into drafting Johnny Manziel in the first round. That type of short-term, reach-for-the-sizzle approach was so Jerry, and it seemed to confirm to the football world that the Cowboys still weren’t ready to sit at the big boy table. Toss in an aging gunslinger coming off of major back surgery and prone to lapses in on-field judgment, as well as a defense that was equally gashed by injuries and the opposition, and we had all of the elements of the familiar cocktail of Cowboys disappointment. Six weeks into the season, though, we’re still waiting to take that first sip.

 

Dallas has showed remarkable restraint and patience – typically regarded as four letter words in the Jones regime – in rebuilding its offensive line and employing a run-first approach offensively. Although severely depleted, the defense has managed to remain competitive and effective. This is the equivalent of small ball in baseball. It’s not flashy or fun, but it reveals some admirable characteristics of the players and the organization.

 

There is still ample time for everything to come crashing down, beginning this week with a trip to Seattle, the ancient burial ground of Super Bowl contenders and, of course, the site of Tony Romo’s very first playoff melt-down moment. America is paying attention to the Cowboys again, which is something Jones very much wants. It remains to be seen whether we’ll have anything nice to say about them or whether we’ll be throwing turkey legs at the TV by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.

 

Here are five other teams who are giving us the I’m-starting-to-be-intrigued-but-I’m-reserving-judgment vibe for Week Six:

 

Buffalo:
The Bills’ defense is for real; the home crowd will be electric for their match-up with the Patriots and the AFC East is up for grabs. It’s still unclear what to make of New England, who simply reaffirmed the well-proven theorem that the Bengals always shrink from the big moment. Nonetheless, this is the moment for Buffalo to show its worth.

 

New York Giants:
With apologies to the Cowboys, the best resurrection job in the NFC East belongs to the Giants. New York’s competence still feels shocking to us. Some fans have yet to buy-in, but a win at the Eagles changes everything.

 

Cleveland:
The Browns can advance from oh-look-at-that-cute-team status to legitimate thorn in the side in the AFC North. There are way too many inconsistencies to take Cleveland seriously, but this team seems to have a whiff of potential. Or that thing we’re smelling may just be Cleveland itself.

 

Green Bay:
We think we know that the Packers are back and that the Aaron Rodgers R-E-L-A-X soundbite will remind us that nothing was every wrong with this team. They’ve gotten well thanks to the mediocrity of the NFC North. Let’s see what kind of statement they make in Miami.

 

Arizona:
Did the Cardinals simply have a bad case of the Broncos last week, or have they lost their luster? Another defensive stalwart has been lost to injury, the QB situation is still unsettled, and there’s not much room for error in the NFC West. The first step for this team to gain a solid fanbase is to deliver a sound performance against the struggling Washingtons.

 

What do you think of the season so far? Let us know here or find me on Twitter @endbadly