Whodathunkit: Dallas Cowboys 6-2 At The Season’s Midway Point


Forty years later, the Washington Redskins pull even with the Dallas Cowboys as former University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy becomes the Redskins answer to the Cowboys’ Clint Longley. Gotta love this rivalry.

These Cowboys did not play their best last night against a bitter division rival in a primetime slot. Wide receiver Dez Bryant had  a few big drops. Quarterback Tony Romo, prior to re-injuring his back, missed several open receivers. Cowboys running backs DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle both lost fumbles – Murray in the opponent’s red zone and Randle in his own.

This game is a midseason reminder to Cowboys fans who were getting a bit ahead of themselves that the NFL is hard, and there’s not much separation between the really good teams and the really bad teams. Do the Cowboys have problems? Sure! The Cowboys have a fumbling problem. It’s big enough it might derail their season. They have a play maker at quarterback who may or may not be able to stay on the field. They have a defense that struggles to sack the opposing quarterback. They have a coaching staff who can’t seem to scheme to counter the all-out blitz. This Dallas team did not execute very well Monday night.

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Why so chipper? Because if seven weeks ago, on the heels of a thoroughly demoralizing season-opening loss, you’d told me the Cowboys would be 6-2 at the midpoint of the season I would have chuckled at your audacity. Then I would have asked you what you were drinking and if I could buy you another one, because whatever it is it’s gettin’ the job done.

Be honest: 6-2 is a miracle. It blows your mind. After that Keystone Kops routine the Cowboys pulled on opening night, you would have been ecstatic with 4-4 at the break. You were expecting two wins by Week 8. Maybe the Titans. Maybe the Rams. Maybe Houston. Maybe the Giants or Redskins. Certainly not four of five. The Saints and Seahawks were done deals. The kickoff was a waste of energy – chalk those two games up in the loss column and hope you split the divisional matchups.

Now we see what this Cowboys team does when faced with adversity. When faced with the uncertainty of a quarterback with a balky back. When faced with a short week and a tough opponent (the 6-1 Arizona Cardinals are coming to town) following a disappointing loss. When faced with more injuries to the linebacking core, as team captain Justin Durant left last night’s game early with an arm injury and very likely is out for the rest of the season. When faced with another injury to the offensive line, as left guard Ronald Leary was replaced in the fourth quarter by Mackenzy Bernadeau after injuring his groin.

You see, adversity was always going to happen. This team was never going 15-1. Even the Cowboys teams of the early ’90s, to whom this 2014 team has been prematurely compared, never went 15-1. Those were some of the greatest teams in the history of the National Football League.

So this Cowboys team was always bound to drop a few games. Even a successful, double-digit win season means at least six losses. How are they going to react?

If the Week 2 game in Tennessee is any indication, they’ll react with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. These Dallas Cowboys have a knack for bouncing back during the Jason Garrett era: Forget about yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Focus on today.

Today, the Dallas Cowboys are 6-2. How sweet is that?