Imagine the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as a big house, a grandiose house with a long driveway, immaculately manicured lawns, black suit and dark sunglasses-wearing security guards roam the expansive acreage. Yes, this house exudes wealth and pedigree, but the most impressive thing about this mammoth house are its long-standing pillars, two equal sized pillars side-by-side with a bigger, mightier pillar in the middle, seemingly holding the house up.
Now imagine if two of those pillars gave way.
Jason Witten (15 seasons in Dallas) and Adrián Beltré (8 seasons in Arlington) have both retired. Both of these men anchored their respective franchises and their departure leaves the Metroplex in an emotional quagmire.
That leaves the biggest pillar: Dirk Nowitzki (20 seasons in Dallas). An ankle injury — and subsequent surgery and rehab — has delayed his return for a historic 21st season. The stone masons have patched up the biggest pillar, and now we sit back and see if the patch work will hold up.
So, what would Dirk’s return mean for the Metroplex?
The biggest aspect of a Dirk return would be the feeling of stability the Dallas sports fan needs right about now. With the departure of the other big pillars, fans can rest assured that Dirk will still be there to keep the house up.
The contractor working on this grand house has done a great job of selecting some new support structures that could eventually become the main pillars. From Nomar Mazara, Ronald Guzman, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Texas Rangers) to Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch (Dallas Cowboys) to Jalen Brunson, Dennis Smith, Jr., and Luka Dončić, the future of the house looks to be taking shape — and it’s a strong look.
But as much fun as all these young stars are, there’s a lot to be said for having a strong piece of the past still around. Dirk is the rock that the house is carved out of. When the City of Dallas decided to give Dirk a key to the city recently, a lot of us chuckled a bit because this gesture — while sweet — was akin to giving the owner of a car a set of keys to the car: DIRK ALREADY OWNS THE CITY.
The future for this grand house of Dallas sports looks promising. Dirk Nowitzki’s return will only enhance the pride we have in this magnificent structure.
And I’m ready for this.