The Dallas Cowboys are preparing for a re-match against their NFC rival Philadelphia Eagles. Disclaimer: since these teams are basically in the same spot as the last time they played just 3 weeks ago, this go around might seem very similar in terms of what is said and what is predicted. I’m not lazy, but most of the main observations were made in the last post, so certain points may be similar, or even the same.
This week, the Cowboys stay at home and face an equally dysfunctional squad. The Eagles and Cowboys are similar in so many ways that it’s difficult to count. Head Coach in jeopardy? Check. Porous offensive line? Check. Defense that should be great, but plays average? Check. Disheartened fan base that constantly overestimates its own team’s effectiveness? Check. I could continue, but I think you get the point.
The only huge difference between this game and the one they played a few weeks ago, is the quarterback situation. Because other than the absence of Eagles QB Michael Vick and his rookie replacement Nuck Foles, the Eagles are just like the Cowboys: unbelievably average and mediocre (at least statistically) in just about every conceivable category.
Statistically, both the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are in the middle ten teams in the NFL in terms of yards in the main four statistical categories (offensive and defensive rushing and passing yards per game). That said, neither team is consistent, so the stats can be misleading. Both teams can be ‘streaky’, and both teams have the capability to beat any team on any day.
The current condition of the Philadelphia Eagles (they haven’t won in six games) may not suggest they are capable of beating any team in the NFL, but they have enough weapons that you can never count them out. While I’m usually pessimistic every week about how the Dallas Cowboys’ game will unfold, this time I’m actually indifferent.
The way I see it, after last week’s loss at home, which dropped the Dallas Cowboys to six losses on the season, they are basically out of the playoff mix. In order for them to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, they would probably have to win out (barring a monumental collapse by other NFC teams).
To close out the season, the Dallas Cowboys play Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Washington. Tell me (in the comments section) whether you think that Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Washington play worse football on a weekly basis than the Cowboys. I would accept the assertion that New Orleans is playing worse all around football, but they are truly the exception. For the first time since maybe the early 2000′s (and even then it was pretty close), the Dallas Cowboys play worse football than the Washington Redskins.
Even if the Dallas Cowboys shut out the Eagles this week like 2009, this current squad is not the 2009 Cowboys, nor will they be for quite some time. Should they somehow win out (which they won’t), then they would face either the Bears, Packers, Buccaneers or possibly even the Vikings in the first round of the playoffs. None of those teams play worse than the Cowboys, and in all likelihood, should the Dallas Cowboys make it as a wildcard (or a division winner, since it really won’t matter), they don’t have a serious, legitimate chance to win if we’re honest with ourselves. The truth hurts.
After making my feelings about the future of the Dallas Cowboys this season clear, I’m curious as to how you feel. Would you take a sweep and risk the likelihood that valuable draft stock was thrown out the window for the honor of being the Packers’ first conquest, or would you rather the Cowboys get swept themselves and boost their draft stock? I think you know my view.
My colleague CowgirlCas raised a great point: 2/3 of the salary cap is devoted to nine players, so most replacements will have come through the draft. Keep that in mind as you contribute to the comments section. If you accessed this page through Facebook or Twitter feel free to share your feeling their as well.
In terms of this game, despite everything I just said, I actually see the Dallas Cowboys winning this second round against the Philadelphia Eagles, if only because the Eagles seem to be in even more disarray that the Cowboys. The fact that they play outside Philadelphia (since home field advantage isn’t really a factor) doesn’t hurt either.
Since the Eagles play on Monday Night Football, I’ll follow the precedent I set when the Cowboys played the Bears and wait until tomorrow night to do the News and Notes along with predictions, since those are based off of the other teams’ performance.
News and Notes
The Eagles lost 30-22. After tumultuous season in which they have lost seven straight games, they couldn’t put away a 2-8 team with nothing to play for. Yes, the Eagles played the game in Carolina, but if the Eagles were truly better it shouldn’t have mattered. Their three turnovers were also indicative of this seasons problems.
Bryce Brown ran for 178 yards. Honestly I don’t know much about Bryce Brown other than (after quick Wikipedia checkup) he went to Kansas State and received funds from Nevin Shapiro, the Miami Hurricanes booster. This isn’t indicative of a truly elite talent (at least not yet) since most of his yards came before contact, but I think he will be something of a bother.
The Cowboys win 21-13. Honestly everything that has to be said for this game has been, so I’ll make this quick. Basically, the Eagles struggle with turnovers and play as loosely as the Cowboys, the only difference being that they have fewer flashes of brilliance. With their backup quarterback playing and what looks like the continued loss of Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy, I don’t see even the few flashes of brilliance happening. Still, I put the chance of the Cowboys losing at about 35%, if only because they are still the Cowboys and only they can lose to who we can honestly say is honestly one of the worst teams in the league, at home with something to play for.