Could the Dallas Cowboys beat the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs?

Jan 22, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

After the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Atlanta Falcons shredded Gang Green, 44-21. Here’s the fun question: Could the Cowboys have won?

I know I have no right to ask, but you got to wonder: could the Dallas Cowboys have fared better than the Green Bay Packers against the mighty Falcons in the NFC Championship game?

Sure, the Dallas Cowboys lost an epic thriller to the Green Bay Packers, 34-31. Had America’s Team found a way to win (um…. forgetting that spike play, limiting that prevent defense option), the Boys would have been the ones dressing for the NFC Championship game.

The Green Bay Packers showed up in Atlanta with great hope, only to leave with forgettable game tape and false confetti. The men in green helped the Falcons say farewell to Georgia Dome in wonderful fashion. The Packers showed up Sunday; the problem was they forgot the whole playing football part.

At one point, the score was 31-0 with 13:51 left in the third period. Wide receiver Julio Jones had just danced down to the end zone for a 73 yard score. The Packers needed six minutes into the third period to get on the scoreboard.

Suddenly, America felt for the great quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. He needed more weapons on offense. He needed talent around him to match the magic around his right arm. What he needed, I believe, was what the Dallas Cowboys already have.

Go ahead, name it.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott. The offensive line, a.k.a. the great wall, a.k.a. the fabulous five. A defensive coordinator like Rod Marinelli, who schemed against big time wideouts like Antonio Brown, A.J. Green, and Odell Beckham Jr.

When the Cowboys get bounced from the playoffs, I do my best to avoid television sets. Over the years, I sadly admit, I’ve developed a special skill for this. It’s quite simple really: I avoid displays of any kind everywhere I go as if they could scorch my eyeballs.

When the NFC Championship was on and live, any word related to football irked me. I’d rather not know the score or what’s going on, to be honest. Last Sunday, I spent my day how any sane man who loves football spends his day off — I took my girlfriend shopping.

You see, there are no television sets hanging around in department clothing stores. There is no chit-chat about how Julio Jones is dominating, how Rodgers smoked the Cowboys, or how cool it would have been if Dallas met the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. (At least I wouldn’t have to explain how I’d think the Internet might break had the two franchises met in Houston.)

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid the game between the Packers and Falcons. As I was crossing a Bose Store, there it was — that football game. To my surprise, my eyeballs did not light up or burn. I did not turn into a vampire or fall dead. I was actually, for that moment, okay. And believe it or not, I entered the store to get closer to the action.

That’s when I saw the score: Packers 0, Falcons 31. Two things came to mind as I stood there alone.

First, I felt like Bernie Sanders. Someone took a photo of the U.S. Senator from Vermont watching the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and posted it online. The photo went viral. I shouldn’t be at a Bose Store, I thought. I should be at home, spiking up my calorie intake with pizza and chips while watching the Cowboys fight off the Falcons.

Secondly, I wondered what the score might look like had the Cowboys went to war with the Birds. Again, I realize I have no right to ask this sort of question. Dallas lost fair and square. The Packers and Mr. Rodgers took care of business at AT&T Stadium. I know. I get it.

With the scoreboard reading 31-0 with nearly two quarters left of football to play, I couldn’t help but feel America got flexed out of a game the country deserved. The Dallas Cowboys draw in big television ratings. Pair America’s Team appeal with a pair of rookies in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in a NFC Championship game setting, and you have a recipe sure to be a hit with NFL customers.

But enough of the spectacle and sparkle, the real question is could the Dallas Cowboys have fared better or even won the game? My answer: Yes and no, but I would have loved to have witnessed the match just like the rest of America (outside of Wisconsin, obviously).

The Cowboys offered the Falcons a better, more competitive game. The defense danced with pure freaks at the wide out spots (see above) all season, and I think Mr. Julio Jones would have had his work cut out against Marinelli’s scheme.

Though, I admitted during the Packers and Cowboys game that had Dallas emerged victorious, their hands would be full with Atlanta. I think the final score would end up in the neighborhood of Atlanta 40, Dallas 34.

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The Cowboys had a hard enough time with the Packers defensively. Meeting Matt Ryan and his MVP helpers wouldn’t be a welcome sight, despite the game hosted at AT&T Stadium. But you know what, I would have loved to have seen it play out, and can’t help but feel the Cowboys robbed themselves from another epic match.

On the bright side I only have to avoid NFL talk for another two weeks. But please, don’t take any photos of an old, grumpy man standing alone in a Bose Store and post it on social media. He would really appreciate it.