It was almost a perfect Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys. Things fell just the way they needed them to for their final run at the playoffs. The Philadelphia Eagles lost before the start of the DAL/GB game, giving Dallas a chance to ensure that the last game of the season is for the division if they could secure a win. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Packers wasn’t active for the game. The team jumped all over Green Bay in the first half, gaining a 26-3 lead. But from that point, it was all downhill. You know how it ended. So instead of me rehashing the awful second half, let’s examine what Dallas has left for the 2013 season.
The Cowboys final two games are against divisional foes Washington and Philadelphia. Dallas will again be facing a backup quarterback in Kirk Cousins in Washington against a team that is 3-11. But a win versus Dallas would help compensate for a lost season for Washington. The Cowboys are currently favored to win the game at Washington by 3 points.
And for the final game against the Philadelphia Eagles to matter, the Cowboys need a win versus Washington OR a Philly loss versus the Chicago Bears on Sunday night. If either of those things happen next week, the Cowboys and Eagles will be playing for the division title in AT&T Stadium and for a chance to take on likely the Panthers or 49ers at home in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
But before they even worry about whether or not they will be playing for the division the following Sunday, the team has to pull themselves up by their bootstraps after that horrific loss. The Cowboys, once again, will be dealing with major injuries on the defensive side of the ball. It is very unlikely that linebackers Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, or Justin Durant will suit up for the game this weekend. That leaves, Kyle Wilber, Ernie Sims, and DeVonte Holloman the task of stopping Alfred Morris and the Washington Redskins’ running game. In their first meeting, Washington ran the ball 33 times for 216 yards and a score. And that was with a healthy Sean Lee and Bruce Carter.
For the Cowboys to help slow down Washington’s running attack, the Cowboys will again have to start out quick on offense and force the Redskins to come from behind. Dallas should be able to attack Washington’s secondary, but then again, Romo struggled in their first meeting at home. Washington is one of the healthiest teams in the league, outside of their quarterback, and would love nothing more than to knock the Cowboys out of the hunt. It’s going to be a tougher task than most think for the Cowboys, but the game has big implications for the future. If Jason Garrett does not win this game, you can bet the house that he will not be back in 2014. Dallas has a lot at stake these final two weeks and as always, it should be entertaining.