Three Years In a Row, Dallas Cowboys Finale Is All or Nothing

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Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) returns a fumble for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 38-33. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are 5-2 at home this year. In a unique twist of fate the Eagles are 5-2 on the road. Some would argue that the Eagles road wins are not an impressive lineup of foes. Their road losses were to the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings, who were playing with a 3rd string Running Back leading the way behind a Quarterback who had been the backup for many weeks. Their wins on the road were in Washington, New York, Tampa Bay, Oakland, and Green Bay minus Aaron Rodgers. Clearly not a murderers row this season other than the Broncos.

One can counter that the Cowboys home wins are equally unimpressive. Their two home losses were to the Broncos and the Green Bay Packers by a combined 4 points. Their home wins were against Washington, New York, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Oakland. Unlike the Vikings the Cowboys will not go out there with their 3rd string RB, but like the Vikings they are going to be going with a backup QB at the helm of the ship. In a remarkable display of guts and guile Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a come from behind victory last week to set up this duel for the Division.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys and their fans, Romo may be lost to the injury suffered in that game. Upon learning of it a friend at work who is a Redskins fan told me, “I guess we did end your season after all.” I said, yeah, we sort of ended yours too, only it was in week 6 after your bye.”

Until Washington’s score with just under 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter last week, Dallas had not trailed a single Division opponent in any game this season. Had Dallas taken care of business against the Packers 2 weeks ago they wouldn’t have even trailed in the Division race at all, and this game would not be for the Division, Dallas would already have it wrapped up by virtue of a better NFC East record than the Eagles. More than just the playoffs are at stake for the Cowboys in this game. A win means the Cowboys will accomplish something that has only been done twice in the History of the NFC East. They will have swept the Division. Since 1970 this has only been done twice. The first time was in 1998 by the Cowboys. The second time was in 2004 by the Eagles.

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