Entering must-win territory, the Dallas Cowboys remain without their leaders on both sides of the ball. Will they limp into the knockout punch?
It’s now’s time to eat some crow and ditch the blue tinted glasses.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and I divert my response to Jim Mora…
The only path the Cowboys have to a wildcard is by winning all five remaining games.
Like most fans I’ve lost all faith in head coach Jason Garrett’s version of the ‘next man up’ strategy
to accomplish this daunting task.
Other teams are replacing Pro-Bowlers and still winning games. But Dallas has proven their insurance plan consists of warm bodies cashing checks.
It’s true the Redskins and Giants starting lineups are banged up much worse than the Cowboys for these next two games.
After watching Dallas lay down for three brutal losses and a -70 scoring deficit, they’ll be lucky to win even one of those divisional melees.
STARS STAY OUT IN DALLAS
Back in Week 8 they dumped Washington 33-19. Ezekiel Elliott grounded out 150 yards and two scores. Sean Lee led the defense with nine tackles.
The doom begins here as neither will be on hand tonight like the last three defeats.
Left tackle Tyron Smith will play while nursing injuries and right tackle La’el Collins hasn’t practiced all week.
If Collins is a scratch it should get ugly facing the 13.5 combined sacks of rushers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.
On defense, Dallas will also increase the nickel workload of Xavier Woods and start fellow rookie Chidobe Awuzie at corner. Too little, too late.
I doubt it gets worse for the 21st ranked pass defense. Yet expecting vast improvement against the Redskins’ 11th ranked passing offense is a stretch.
VULNERABLE SKINS FIND WINS
The slumping Cowboys pass rush will again face a depleted, piecemeal Redskins line.
Also gone from the Skins offensive attack will be tight end Jordan Reed, dangerous receiving back Chris Thompson and wideout Terrell Pryor.
916 receiving yards and seven touchdowns is no small loss.
The bad news is Washington still has plenty of weapons and the Dallas defense cuts like warm butter without Lee.
Expect a monumental, unified, last gasp effort. Look for a renewed energy and passion that’s been missing since November 5th.
However when the dust settles, a final dose of reality should shame the scoreboard. The hot debate on Friday will likely center around Dallas losing out for draft position.