So the sky is falling following the Cowboys 49-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night. Apparently the lop-sided loss proves Dallas won’t make a run this year, so there’s no point in watching anymore… Bring on the 2014 draft.
As if getting blown out by a good team on the road nullifies the tight-scoring competitive efforts against other quality opponents this season. Sometimes teams get blown out. The opponent exploits a mismatch; every tight call goes the wrong way; the ball bounces funny; the opposing QB gets red hot; an offense calls all the right plays at the right time; an undrafted rookie free agent safety forgets how to tackle.
It happens. In fact, it happens to good teams in the NFL pretty regularly.
The 2012 Superbowl champion Ravens were crushed in Week 15 at Denver last year. The final score was 34-17, but Baltimore was trailing 31-3 to start the fourth quarter. They made it look a little better in garbage time, but they got manhandled.
Baltimore’s opponent in last year’s Superbowl, the San Francisco 49ers, were blown out at home 26-3 by the New York Giants in Week 6. The eventual Superbowl favorite got abused on both sides of the ball by a team that would finish the season 9-7.
The Giants won a championship the year before, and in Week 12 that season they got beat down 49-24 in New Orleans. Again, the game wasn’t as close as the score suggests, with the G-Men putting 14 points on the board after the game was long out of reach.
Good teams get blown out in the NFL. This is not said with the purpose of suggesting the Cowboys are a good team, but just to remind the world that blow outs happen. Anyone see the lowly St. Louis Rams’ 38-8 beat down of the 6-2 Indianapolis Colts earlier on Sunday? Does that mean the Colts are done for the season?
Getting embarrassed hasn’t been the big problem in Big D this year. Quite the opposite – they play teams maddeningly close, then lose more of those games than they should. That’s still their identity – a team that’s knocking on the door, but has so far been unable to kick it in.
One blow out in 10 games does not make a season, and does not define a team. The 2013 Dallas Cowboys have issues, but they head into the bye week leading the division, and with time to address their deficiencies.
This is the kind of loss where you burn the tape and move on. There’s a lot off football left to be played in 2013, and the schedule sets up nicely for 8-8 or even 9-7 – either of which is likely enough for a ticket to the dance.
|Nov. 24||at NYG||3-6|
|Nov. 28||vs OAK||3-6|
|Dec. 9||at CHI||5-4|
|Dec. 15||vs GB||5-4|
|Dec. 22||at WAS||3-6|
|Dec. 29||vs. PHI||5-5|
It’s not crazy to think the Cowboys could run the table and finish 11-5. This team is due for a few breaks, particularly on the injury front. There’s a lot of season left – jump off the 2013 bandwagon at your own peril.