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NFC East Race: Eagles' Road No Cakewalk

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Despite popular opinion surrounding these troubled Cowboys, the prevailing notion of doom and gloom is far from a forgone conclusion.  Unfortunately that’s the rollercoaster mindset of today’s average NFL fan.

The knee-jerk reactions from one week to the next are becoming outlandish and rarely accurate.  Perception of a team’s prowess often bounces from playoff contender to goat, or vice versa, in a matter of days.

Losses are microscopically dissected through a purely negative light.  Wins often result in mass disregard of faults as long as the “W” was collected.

Often ignored is that each week carries it’s own unique roster considerations, player match-ups, etc.

As of today, aside from being a Jacksonville Jaguar or Tampa Bay Buc, there is plenty of fight left in most of the teams without winning records.

Sure Dallas has several holes to plug to right the ship.  So does every other team without more wins than losses.  That’s what bye weeks are for…regroup, heal, and correct inadequacies.

Luckily for Dallas their biggest threat in the race for the NFC East crown, the Philadelphia Eagles, are far from an infallible football team.

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  • SmartThinking

    I appreciate all your pencil-twisting logic although I must admit I found it tiring to keep up with. In your story, you said, “… there’s no doubt Dallas picks up at least two,” referring to the balance of the scheduled games Dallas has yet to play this season.

    I submit there is a doubt. No one is guaranteeing the players currently injured on defense will come back ready and able to contribute. A brief look at Ware’s performance in New Orleans verifies that, for example. You’re making the assumption that Dallas will beat New York and Oakland as a way of backing into the final game tied with Philadelphia for the lead, win, and then “On to the Play-offs!”

    I submit that, even with returning starting defensive backs for the Cowboys, winning in New York will not be the skate everyone is giving it. The Giants will be playing their Super Bowl. And, based in part on their preseason loss and the way it happened, I’m not completely sure this Dallas team can beat Oakland. We’ll soon see. But your article takes several assumptions for granted regarding this team. One is that they’ll get better when the starters return. Ware’s return contradicts that assumption.

    I certainly hope Dallas can win two or three more games before Philadelphia. But what bedevils this team is as much or more mental than physical. I’m not sure this team has the desire to pay the price for winning anymore this season. They’re spent emotionally and beaten down physically. To draw up the emotional and physical strength to finish this season on a winning track may just be asking more from this team than they can or will be able to provide. As always, time will tell.

  • BradAustin

    I certainly agree no game is a given, and with the injury concerns any one of our key players could regress and go down, or even Tony Romo could be knocked out. But the same is true for any team we play in the future. The assumptions I’m going off of are this team is no less than an even level club with the majority of it’s starting defenders back. Claiborne, Hatcher, Wilcox, a better rested Ware, and even Lee after missing a game or two will make a huge difference. Watching B.W. Webb, Jeff Heath, the scrubs back-up DT’s, Lee out, and Ware limp around should scream there is a monumental difference in the ability of our defense mostly intact over what we just saw.

    Just a few weeks ago only a fraction of this doom and gloom attitude was prevalent when Dallas was 5-4…3 very narrow last 2 min losses (by combined 5 points). 2 losses to the very best teams in the game who are 17-1 combined, along with the NFC North leader. The only team that somewhat separated from Dallas was San Diego, that’s all.

    Well, the vast majority of the players that performed in those wins and narrow losses (to 3 strong teams) are back. Lee is the only one temporarily down come Giants game. Yes, it’s big, but nothing like what we just saw in New Orleans where all this jump off the bandwagon began. To say the team that was 5-4 going into the Saints game couldn’t win 2 of their last 5 is naive. Nobody would have wagered on that before New Orleans.

    These are the knee-jerk effects of a blowout loss and emotions guiding logic. All of the sudden the whole team sucks and they will finish with a losing record. Regardless of the high volume of key contributors returning before the next contest. Out of the blue, regardless of the first 9 games, these guys just aren’t good enough to win 2 of 5? All it takes is perspective of the elements involved to know that is illogical.

    Let’s take a look…Giants played us tough but you can’t deny they are 3-6, worse off with injuries than we will be, and we’ve defeated them already. Would you favor the Giants as an oddsmaker?

    Oakland…is Dallas not the likely victory at HOME on THANKSGIVING vs. a 3-6 team who’s scored the 4th fewest points in the NFL? Nothing is guaranteed but we are talking the best assumptions here.

    @ Chicago…there’s no doubt this is the type of team that should give us fits. If the defense remains healthy with what they start for the Giants, Sean Lee should re-join them and the unit will be intact. Still it’s a tough game on the road and more likely than not a loss.

    Green Bay…another tough game as Rodgers should be back and the Packers have a balanced offense and dangerous pass attack. It’s hard to say Dallas will likely lose this on their own turf, but I’d have to favor Green Bay.

    Washington…the Skins give up the 2nd most points in the league and Dallas soundly beat them already. If this game is needed to stay in the hunt to play Philly for a winner-take-all…there’s no way I favor Washington.

    My view is Dallas will finish 3-2 and head into the Eagles game 8-7. Btw, one interesting note is if Dallas picks up wins over NY and Wash, then lost to Philly they’s have a 5-1 division record. So if the Eagles and Dallas both end at 8-8 with a series split…Dallas still takes the crown by way of a better division record. Both at 5-5, Dallas is in far better shape than the Eagles at the moment. O division losses to the Eagles 2. And already 1 game up in the head-to-head.

    Dallas will win 2 of 5 with the majority of their defenders back. Just as they were a pretty dangerous team before they all went down. It’s time for fans to get some perspective on what Dallas was like before they lost a ton of guys who are now returning.

  • californy

    I may be one of the hardest critics on the Cowboys. I do so because I want a team that not only win the division duty is ready to do damage in the play off. Even in the Cowboys win I don’t turn the blind eye to this team and it issues it has in many department. I believe we need to build on our success and keep building from there. This team is so up and down every week, I don’t know what direction they are going. If I have to take a guess it may be at a 8-8 team, and that may be enough to win the division. The next several weeks we are going to see what this team is build out 0f with loses to layer like Sean Lee, Durant and Ware off this team. At 5-5 the climb to 8-8 may be a higher climb this year with the circumstance that are ahead of us.

  • ctcowboy1968

    Agreed that Philly has the hardest road. It all depends on Foles consistency. Don’t assume that Arizona will give them trouble. Arizona rarely wins on the east coast.
    Dallas MUST win the next two games. Without Lee that will be a challenge. The D is not going to win any games for us. The O has to step up and consistently score points. The O has no excuse. Only Waters is out. The play calling and design have to be improved. Unfortunately our coaches are not smart enough to do that. Put Dez in motion or in the slot or stack him with other WRs. The other WRs have to catch the ball to bring the attention off of Dez.

  • ctcowboy1968

    No Dallas fan wants a win and in game. Been there the last 3 years. It has not worked out well. That’s to much pressure for this team.

  • californy

    I believe this team is best when the hill is a harder climb. I dont want the easy Road anyway, expect no help from other team. I say if you need to do the job, it will mean more if you do it without help