What damage did the Cowboys latest win create?

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Depending on who you ask, the Dallas Cowboys did more harm than good by beating the Cincinnati Bengals convincingly this past Sunday.

Team tank took a tremendous hit on Sunday with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in convincing fashion. The problem with this win goes beyond draft positioning and could give false hope to those in charge of running this football team.

Confused? Allow me to explain with a few examples of how harmful this win could be. Draft positioning is at stake here with the Dallas Cowboys somehow staying at fourth with a 4-9 record. If the NFL draft were to start today, the Cowboys would just edge out the Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans (Miami Dolphins), Atlanta Falcons, and the Carolina Panthers.

Why are the Cowboys still fourth you ask? Strength of schedule takes priority before head to head matchups for those who point out we beat Atlanta. This win now keeps us at a logjam at fourth with the possibility of dropping all the way down to the ninth spot.

Still with me? Now, the Cowboys were a Philadelphia Eagles loss away from being leapfrogged at the fourth spot which would have meant the tenth spot would have been in play this week. I don’t know about you but picking tenth after enduring this terrible season does not sit well with me. I never thought I would say this but thank you Jalen Hurts.

At the moment, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t pick any lower than tenth but the New York Giants loss made me put a pin on that topic with the way they played this past Sunday.

So now the third spot looks unattainable unless the Bengals go on a run in their last three games and the bottom falls out for the Cowboys again. The enemy has gotten larger but the goal is still in reach.

I am not on team tank and I want the Cowboys to win no matter what as there is still hope in making the playoffs.

I am happy for those fans who still want their team to win no matter what. I used to be the same way but the past 25 years of watching this team waddle in a puddle of mediocrity have made me more realistic.

Just to bring everyone back to reality, the Dallas Cowboys have to win their next three games and the Washington Football Team has to lose their next three games in order to win the division. Washington still has Seattle, Carolina, and Philadelphia left to play for what it’s worth.

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys can make the playoffs but the effects that would have are so toxic that I do not want any part of it. What could be toxic about getting to the playoffs you ask? Allow me to explain.

First, the Andy Dalton bandwagon would return, and the endless questions about Dak Prescott’s contract would only ignite a fire in those who believe that just inserting any quarterback would benefit the Dallas Cowboys in the long run. There is already chatter comparing Dak’s 2-3 record this year against Dalton’s 2-4 record.

It would also give ammunition to the draft guru’s who assume any one of the top four quarterbacks could also be drafted to replace Dak to save money for the defense. Can everyone already feel the divide on what to do?

Before you jump on the draft bandwagon, please look up how many top five quarterbacks drafted in the first round since 2000 have led their team to a Super Bowl. Spoiler alert, there is only one person, New York Giants Eli Manning, who has accomplished this feat (twice). Additionally, only five first-round quarterbacks have accomplished this feat in the same time frame.

Let’s also not forget that if you draft a quarterback, your defense still needs work. I get that the team can spend the supposed Dak extension money on defense but if you look at this year’s free-agent defenders, there are some good complimentary defensive pieces but there is not a Khalil Mack type player available.

Paying great money to good players is the fastest way for people to get fired. A good mixture of drafting well and solid free agents would do wonders for this team. I am convinced that with Dak Prescott under center, a mediocre defense would allow us to compete with the top teams in the NFL.

Speaking of the draft, the New York Giants could have drafted defensive end Chase Young but they won a meaningless week 16 game last year which pushed them to the fourth spot. They took Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas who was benched for disciplinary reasons and possibly poor play. Do you think their fans would like a do-over?

Now the last and possibly most toxic effect wins can have right now is the false hope versus the reality of what you are. I was bombarded by people asking me if this team can make the playoffs and telling me how well the defense played.

First, these Cowboys beat a two-win Bengals team without their face of the franchise. Suppose Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sees hope for this defense and decides that defensive coordinator Mike Nolan deserves a shot at coming back next year under normal circumstances.

How well would that go over with the entire fan base who has overwhelmingly wanted the team to fire him? I also find it interesting that the New Orleans Saints lose Mike Nolan from their staff and then proceed to currently possess the number one defense in the entire league.

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Winning is great but the old cliche of “winning is everything” seems like a false narrative when dealing with a team that has only provided hope for the past 25 seasons. Hollow wins are great but inserting top-tier talent to a contending but injured team could have super results.