I realize that the point of playing football games, or any other kind of game, is to win. I’ve never bought into the naïve idea that competing can be just for fun. Competing is about winning, otherwise it wouldn’t be called competition.
Having said that, I think it’s important to always keep your eye on the big picture. In the case of the Dallas Cowboys right now, that greatest part of that picture is 2014, not necessarily 2013.
Now, I’m not suggesting that the Cowboys go out and intentionally lose their final two games against the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles. Frankly, I think they’ll handle at least one of those tasks quite unintentionally.
Nonetheless, there’s positively nothing to suggest that Dallas is a team that’s well equipped for the NFC playoffs. In fact, all of the evidence points directly to the contrary. Can you see the Cowboys beating a single team during the wild-card weekend to open the NFL postseason?
I’m not sure about you, but I would prefer keeping the most positive stat surrounding the stadium formerly known as Cowboys Stadium in place and completely unaffected, at least right now. I’m referring to Dallas’ perfect 1-0 playoff record at it’s new stadium. To try to make that mark 2-0 would be futile this season.
Granted, that one playoff victory against the Eagles following the 2009 regular season doesn’t mean a whole lot at this point. I’m just thinking in terms of the few positives that Cowboys fans can hang their hat on at this point.
Even bigger than the playoff record in Arlington and also the dim prospects the Cowboys would face against an NFC rival that would likely have a better record than Dallas—think about that one—is the biggest part of the 2014 picture about to unfold:
The 2014 NFL draft.
Yes, the Cowboys need plenty of talented players during the annual selection meeting next May and it will be even more important for the future than possibly any draft in the franchise’s history. A failure to qualify for the postseason this year would place Dallas in position to miss the playoffs for five consecutive seasons in 2014, if things were to fall that way.
Half a decade without a single playoff game? This has only happened twice during the history of the franchise, the first one happening when the Cowboys entered the league as an expansion team in 1960. The other marked the last three seasons of the Tom Landry-era, which overlapped into the first two seasons of owner and general manager Jerry Jones’ reign beginning in 1989.
Yes, this is a real possibility right now.