FRISCO, Texas — The scene at the Dallas Cowboys locker room cleanout day on Monday was similar to Sunday’s postgame at AT&T Stadium: quiet and solemn.
Most of the players that were present were walking quickly in and out, speed-walking away from the disappointment that comes with the second-seeded Cowboys losing in the opening round of the NFL playoffs, 48-32, against the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers, which snapped a 16-game home winning streak at AT&T Stadium and ended their 2023 season.
“It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, and I’m still in shock,” Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis said Monday when asked to describe the feeling surrounding the game a day later. “More shock than anything.”
Dallas has at least 12 wins for three seasons in a row under head coach Mike McCarthy after going 12-5 every year since 2021. This stretch marks the second time in franchise history for that to occur, joining the Cowboys’ 1990s dynasty run from 1992-1995 in which they won three Super Bowls in four seasons. McCarthy is the first Cowboys head coach to accomplish this feat.
However, McCarthy’s Cowboys also became the first team to win 12 games in three straight seasons and fail to make the conference championship in any of them.That left everyone at The Star, the team’s headquarters, with unresolved feelings of grief and anger.
“It’s always frustrating,” Lewis said of the team’s regular season success not translating to the postseason. “The end goal for any team is go to the Super Bowl. So for most teams like us, we always want to go to the Super Bowl. It’s disappointing.”
“It’s a messed up feeling,” Cowboys wide receiver and returner KaVontae Turpin said Monday. “Everybody around here is frustrated because we weren’t supposed to lose, but that’s just the National Football League. Green Bay came in hot and spicy and they just stayed with it. We couldn’t stop them.”