It’s been an unusual season in Dallas this year with its ups, downs, and now a surprising turnaround. The Cowboys as of late have done things which many may consider to be far beyond impossible. During the 2011 season, the Cowboys offense was carrying the team while the defense was basically nonexistent. Yet at the beginning of this season it was a completely different story with an improved defense leading the team, and a mediocre offense trying to keep up. At this point the story has changed once again from hopeless to hopeful.
While the season progressed the defense lost key players Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, and Barry Church and the offense gained a vital part of their offensive attack, DeMarco Murray. This led to a 180 on both sides of the ball the offense became a juggernaut, and the defense became exposed. This season has been somewhat backwards, usually the Cowboys play horrible in December but surprisingly they manage to maintain a 3-0 record. In addition, during the month of November they struggled and broke even with a 2-2 record. To give you some prospective on how much of a turn around that is, in 2011 the Dallas Cowboys were 4-0 in November, and in December of 2011 they were 1-3. From an overall perspective, since Tony Romo has been quarterback the all time record for November is 20-3 and 8-13 in December.
These stats deserve recognition, they are a complete turn around and have shown the mental toughness that this team lacked in the beginning of the season. It’s surprising how the Cowboys have responded this season with the NFC East title on the line, they have won two straight games that many, including myself, thought were to difficult for them to overcome.
As for the coaching staff that was under fire up until recently, they have reestablished their leadership and have changed the outlook of many fans and writers alike. Jason Garrett no doubt stepped it up and had to make a few calls Sunday that could have easily altered the game. Jason Garrett showed leadership after refusing Tony Romo’s plead for a risky 4th down conversion, and instead he issued a secure punt on 4th and inches. A failed conversion would have left the Steelers within scoring position, but Garrett chose to punt and trusted the struggling defense to stop the Steelers. Jason Garret made a seemingly safe call but at the same time took a risk with the defense. In a scenario where the Steelers would have scored on the Cowboys defense all fingers would be pointed to that call.
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys seem like a completely different team that has maintained a steady winning streak. There is still so much more work to be done but Dallas is finally looking consistent and show future promise. At the rate they are performing I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys win out and make it to the playoffs but, as nice as that may sound I wouldn’t crown the Cowboys yet. Instead as fans we should all sit back, try to relax, and in the words of Jason Garrett “Take it one game at a time”.