The Dallas Cowboys Silver Linings Playbook

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Nov 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Given the December showings of the Dallas Cowboys the past several years, it’s understandable that fans might be panicking given the lackluster performance we saw on Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. But, the one and only Tom Landry once said

"“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”"

So in dedication to him, as well as the argument I made several weeks ago, I’m going to try find to the silver linings from this week – because even though it makes me sound like Pollyanna, I truly believe there are some.

No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn

Well, Dallas. But you get what I’m saying. It’s true that the Eagles also played on short rest and that they had to travel to Texas. However, it’s also true that the Cowboys played on the least amount of rest in the history of the current NFL schedule. No team has ever played a Sunday night game on the road and then played again on Thursday afternoon.

With their plane touching down at 4:45 in the morning, from the tarmac at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to kickoff at AT&T stadium, the team had a mere 84 hours to recover and prepare for the game. Moreover, the training staff found a system to keep Tony Romo ready for Sunday games. The practice schedule was completely disrupted this week and Romo Wednesday – where he doesn’t practice but instead spends time in the weight room with strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Woicik – was eliminated entirely.

In a game where we needed the passing game to be on point because the Eagles were loading the box in order to stop the run game, this was, I would argue, a game changer. He lacked zip on the ball and his accuracy was off.

To be clear, I am not pointing this out as an excuse. Aside from egregious errors from the officiating crew, I don’t think there are excuses when you lose. So what’s the silver lining here? The team gets a regular amount of rest this week before taking on the Chicago Bears and then 10 days off before heading up to Philadelphia for their rematch with the Eagles. Good for their recovery, good for team preparation, good for their heads, and Romo will be physically ready to go.