Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Dallas Cowboys Still the Team to Beat in the NFC East?


John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Inconsistency & blown opportunities are the reason this Cowboys team is sitting at 5-5 during their bye week. Dallas has lost three very close to the hands of three good teams. Dallas lost to Kansas City & Denver by a combined score of 3 points. More importantly because it was an NFC game, Dallas blew a game against the Lions. This was the game where the Cowboys defense was faked out by Matt Stafford on a QB sneak with only 12 ticks left on the clock. That was also the game Dez Bryant had his sideline “tantrum”, visually in dismay with teammates & coaches all across the sideline.

It has been another up and down season in Big D. It looks like the same team from last year with the injuries piling up and the team not being able to string a couple of wins together. Dallas is one of those teams when they’re playing well, they can compete with anyone. But when the Dallas Cowboys aren’t able to find consistency, they can play down to some of the worst teams in the league. This was the case with their contest against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were beating the Cowboys with just about two minutes remaining, until Tony Romo did what Tony Romo does; game-winning drives. Despite  the scrutiny he receives, Tony Romo is one of the most clutch quarterbacks in crunch-time. In fact, Tony Romo holds a 100.7  career passer rating in the fourth quarter since 2000. Romo’s career passer rating is 95.6, this ranks 5th of all time. Another stat, Romo has had a 90.0 passer rating in seven straight seasons (minimum of 200 passes). Only Steve Young & Peyton Manning also hold this accomplishment. It is truly a shame that Tony Romo is labeled as a “choke-artist”.

On the other side of the ball, this unit has been ravaged with injuries. Key players such as Jay Ratliff & Anthony Spencer were placed on IR; this was before Ratliff was released by the Cowboys. To add insult to injury, Dallas has lost DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee, Morris Claiborne, Jason Hatcher, J.J. Wilcox, and even Justin Durant to injury. When many see the stats of this defense, most think this secondary is extremely bad. The main reason why the Cowboys are giving up the second most passing yards is because of the poor pass rush. The Cowboys have had a record 18 different defensive linemen join this squad since the beginning of the year. Most were not with the Cowboys before the start of training camp.

Ever since the Saints blew the doors off of Dallas, the Cowboys have witnessed the Eagles winning three in a row and the Giants winning four in a row. For the Eagles, Nick Foles has solidified his status as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. The Eagles’ achilles heel has been their defense all year. But in the past three games, they have only let up an average of 19 points per game. The Eagles are improving each and every week. They are riding this three game winning streak and are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC East with a record of 6-5. For the Giants, they have rallied four victories in a row since starting the season 0-6. The Giants have a chance to be tied with the Cowboys next week if they can beat Dallas. The Redskins are 3-7 and are pretty much out of the running for first place in the division.

One thing to remember is that the Dallas Cowboys are 3-0 in the division. That is a big thing to know for the future when the Cowboys still have to play the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles again for the second time. Dallas has the most talent out of any team in the division, this will surely help them in the future.

Week 12 will be a good test when the Cowboys play the Giants at the Meadowlands. A victory will give the Cowboys a big confidence boost before the play the Raiders on Thanksgiving. Despite the hot streaks of the Eagles & Giants, the division is still right there for the taking for Dallas. If Dallas can beat the Giants this upcoming week, they will have a good start to the second half of the season coming out of their bye. After the Raiders, the Cowboys play the Packers, who could be without Aaron Rodgers because of his collarbone injury. If Dallas can find consistency, this is still their division until to lose.

Make sure to grab your Cowboys tickets for the stretch run of the 2013 season!

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo

  • SmartThinking

    Dallas will finish this year second behind Philadelphia in the division race or third behind Philadelphia and New York.

    • Ryan Ratty

      Thanks for the comment. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  • californy

    The only one who is beating Dallas is JJ at his GM skills.

    • Ryan Ratty

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with you; Jerry Jones has got to go as GM.