Dallas Cowboys victory puts season in purgatory status

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys now are in purgatory after a win over San Francisco

Last week, I outlined all the things that the Dallas Cowboys needed to have happened in order for Week 15 to be successful. True to form for 2020, absolutely none of those things occurred.

The Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles all lost while Dallas, of course, won 41-33 over the 49ers. Houston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all were either tied or had a lead in the fourth quarter of their respective games.

None of it mattered, however, as the Dallas Cowboys never trailed in the fourth quarter. This win was much like almost all of the rest. The Cowboys needed all the offense they could find to outlast a team equally beset with injuries.

Despite the defense once again getting shredded on the ground, they did force four crucial turnovers. On offense, running back Tony Pollard filling in for the injured Ezekiel Elliott, showed out with a big-time performance. Posting 132 total scrimmage yards with two touchdowns, Pollard carried the Dallas Cowboys to victory.

If ever a win could feel like a loss, this would definitely be that situation.

First of all, with the other teams all losing, all four remain in the four-win club, with three other teams having less than that. This means that, at best, it is highly likely the best pick the Dallas Cowboys will have in the 2021 NFL Draft will be eighth overall.

Dallas now joins four other teams in the five-win club. One of those other teams, the San Francisco 49ers, would get a higher pick than the Cowboys if they end up with the same record thanks to this “win.”

Secondly, even though the Dallas Cowboys are just “one game” behind Washington for the division lead, due to being swept by the Washington Football Team, it’s really two games. That means Dallas has to hope that Washington loses to both Carolina and Philadelphia while winning their two games over Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

While anything is possible, all of that to happen is still highly unlikely. For all that transpired in Week 15 “in favor” of the Dallas Cowboys, they still only have a 5% chance of making the playoffs.

This is why the Dallas Cowboys are now in purgatory. They have officially made themselves not bad enough to be bad and not good enough to be good. No one is going to be ringing up the Dallas Cowboys war room on draft night, itching to give away the farm for a pick between 8-12 which is almost certainly where Dallas will end up landing.

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At this point, #teamtank is out of gas. Next week, the Eagles come to town and Dallas will be trying to extend their winning streak. The outcome of the game between Carolina and Washington will be known before kickoff. I would suggest a Washington win should inspire Dallas to lose but clearly, they are not good at this tanking stuff.