The bye week for the Dallas Cowboys came at a great time. With ten games behind us, the (7-3) Cowboys got a nice rest before heading into a grueling stretch to close out the year. With four of the final six games coming against NFC East divisional rivals, Dallas once again controls it’s own destiny.
The toughest portion comes over the next two games where the Cowboys play late on Sunday night against divisional rival, the New York Giants and then a Thanksgiving day game against another NFC East foe, the Philadelphia Eagles. You read that right, a Sunday night game followed by a Thursday game. The Cowboys will play until almost midnight on Sunday and make it home very early Monday morning, only to play a game that Thursday in the afternoon. The short turnaround makes no sense for a league that claims to be all about player safety, but that’s a subject for another day.
If Dallas does find a way to win both contests they will be set up perfectly to end their season with games at Chicago, again versus Philly, but this time on the road. Then at home against Indianapolis before capping it off with a date with Washington in their stadium.
The good news is that four of these games are on the road. Yes, I called that good news. Dallas is currently 4-0 on the road, winning in Tennessee, St. Louis, Seattle and London. For whatever reason the Boys seem better going into stadiums and beating opponents than they are at sending them out of Arlington with a loss.
“It’s going to be huge for us.” – Murray
Now we all know about the people out there just waiting for Dallas to fail. I’m sure many are expecting a December meltdown. Yet, this year is different. Dallas is relatively healthy and their only competition left in the NFC East is not. Philly is missing their starting quarterback, Nick Foles and their offensive line is a mess. Whereas Dallas has just seen the return of quarterback Tony Romo, tackle Doug Free and guard Ronald Leary.
The return to full strength of the O-line has to be music to running back DeMarco Murray‘s ears. He understands that this is the time of year his production is needed most, and he knows how those five guys help him succeed.
"“In this part of the year, you know it’s cold, the weather, so I think the running is going to be a little bit more of a factor, it’s good – we’ve got a strong offensive line, we’ve got some backs who can run and also we’ve got a lot of guys on the edge who can go up and get the ball. It’s going to be huge for us.” – DeMarco Murray"
This is the year the Cowboys need to make some noise. Last year Philadelphia took advantage of an injury to Tony Romo, and beat his replacement Kyle Orton. This year Dallas can capitalize on the Eagles being forced to their contingency plan at quarterback, Mark Sanchez.
Dallas needs to take care of business against the teams in the East. Suddenly Washington and New York are terrible and these games should both be wins. I know Washington won earlier against Dallas but with the return of their quarterback Robert Griffin III comes even more drama. Same complaining to the press problems as last year, different coach. Anyone think it may be the quarterback?
New York is also in a free fall. The world does not seem to want to believe the Giants are bad. But they are. Three wins and seven losses on the year is not good. And this is after they went 7-9 last year.
So with these issues popping up all over the East, The Cowboys (for once) are the ones who are no noise, all business. This Dallas team does not look ready for a collapse, they look ready to seize control of this division for good.