Dallas Cowboys In Familiar Spot As Season Winds Down


As the 2014 NFL season winds down, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a familiar spot. Yes, I’m aware that our beloved ‘Boys have eclipsed the 8-8 mark for the first time in what seems like forever. The spot I’m speaking of is in regards to is the one in which Dallas can claim the NFC East crown and its coveted playoff spot by winning their remaining games.

As we are all painfully aware, that scenario hasn’t worked out well for the Cowboys the past three seasons. Why do we in Cowboys Nation have reason to believe that 2014 will be any different?

The success of the Dallas ground game is the most obvious improvement over those close-but-no-cigar Cowboys teams of the past. For the first time in a long time Dallas has a definite identity as a running team. The last time a premiere back like DeMarco Murray resided in Big D, it was the glory days of the 90s and Emmitt Smith, who would go on to become the NFL’s leading rusher of all time, was in the Cowboys backfield.

Of course that rushing title didn’t come without the offensive line known as “the great wall of Dallas.” Although the current Cowboys front isn’t in that category yet, they have shown gradual improvement through the college draft which has culminated in the formidable front that has been opening running lanes for Murray so successfully in 2014. It is far from coincidence that the Cowboys have been able to secure a winning record in the same season that Murray has become a breakout star.

Like dominoes falling in line, the resurgence of the Dallas running game has had a trickle down effect on the rest of this Cowboys team. The defense, albeit improved over the debacle of 2013, has benefited from the offense being able to stay on the field. Also, quarterback Tony Romo hasn’t had to pull out his magic wand as often in 2014. It is good to know, however, that he still has winning drives like the one that saved the game on a Sunday night in New York up his sleeve.

The countdown is on to the biggest test of the season as Dallas travels to Lincoln Financial Field to face what has become arguably their most hated rival…the Philadelphia Eagles. The last time the two teams met, Cowboys Nation was left with a lump in our stomach that had nothing to do with too much turkey and pumpkin pie. This time around, though, Dallas will have had a mini-bye of sorts to prepare for the Eagles, which is in sharp contrast to the shortest of short weeks that the Cowboys were coming off of when Philly came calling on Thanksgiving Day.

We can take little solace in the defeat that the Eagles suffered at the hands of the surging Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon. As has become clear, even teams with the most shabby of records somehow find a way to play their best in divisional games…see Washington Redskins 20, Dallas Cowboys 17 in Jerry’s World on October 27th.

Dallas will need to be clicking on all cylinders to bring down the Eagles in their house. The winner will find themselves in the divisional driver’s seat, while the loser will likely be scrambling for a wildcard spot.

Are these Cowboys the contenders we all hope they are? The answer is less than a week away and all there is left to say is…Go Cowboys!