Dallas Must Overcome Groundhog Day Syndrome to Win East


Is it me, or is this season playing out kind of like that movie “Groundhog Day?” Think about it for a minute…Just like the characters in that old comedy relive the same day over and over again, the Cowboys have been rehashing the same scenario for the past few seasons. They start on a high note by winning their first game, then promptly board a roller-coaster for the rest of the season, and wind up in a winner-go-on, loser-g0-home game with a division foe.

I know we have a ways to go, but I’m starting to get the feeling that the season finale against the Eagles is stacking up to be just that.

To even get to that point, though, the ‘Boys have to survive a road trip to the Meadowlands to face the G-Men on Sunday.  New York is following a familiar trend of their own. After dropping off the radar for the first half of the season, they are once again finding their mojo at the right time and are currently riding a four game winning streak. If the Cowboys could somehow find a way to knock off the Giants on their home turf and, dare I even think it, get a win on Turkey Day against the Raiders, I would feel a whole lot better about their chances for post-season play.

After that disheartening loss at the Superdome I’m not holding my breath.

Nov 10, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) breaks a tackle by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Will Herring (54) on a touchdown run during the first half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Not helping the Cowboys chances is the fact that the injury bug has once again found its way into the Dallas locker room. Starting running back DeMarco Murray has been riding the pines for a good part of the season….again. In another bit of deja vu, the Cowboys most dominating defensive player, Sean Lee, is joining him on the sidelines with an injury for the second time in as many seasons. Miles Austin has been another non-factor so far in 2013 as well. The closest thing to a locker room leader Dallas has…DeMarcus Ware…has also been hampered physically of late.

Meanwhile during the bye, the Philadelphia Eagles have snatched the NFC East lead away from the Cowboys. Quarterback Nick Foles has turned into a starting caliber signal caller since Dallas last saw him and the Eagles defense is also showing signs of life. I don’t know about the rest of Cowboys Nation, but I’m starting to get that old familiar feeling…kind of like the one that comes after discovering that bologna you had for a midnight snack had been in the fridge a little longer than you thought.

The Cowboys are going to have to come out of their week off with a renewed determination to get the ground game going if they are going to be able to salvage the 2013 campaign. That means the offensive line is going to have to find a way to open some running lanes and DeMarco Murray is going to have to find a way to stay healthy. Without a serviceable running game Dallas doesn’t have much of a shot at a division title.

I, for one, will be praying to the powers that be that the Cowboys can avoid the Groundhog Day syndrome and finally break through to the other side…and that all starts with a Sunday afternoon date with Eli and Company.