Dallas Cowboys: The Home Stretch

Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) talks with head coach Jason Garrett during a timeout from the game against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT

Well here we are folks the December home-stretch is upon us. I have heard several analysts say that the Cowboys will make the playoffs, thanks in large part to their remaining schedule. If you look at the Cowboys’ schedule vs. Philadelphia’s schedule, you will notice that they both have plenty of tough games left to play. The Eagles play the Cardinals and Lions at home, followed by a road game at Minnesota, the Bears at home, and then the week 17 showdown with the Cowboys in Arlington. The Cowboys go to Chicago for the Monday Nighter, play the Packers at home, and travel to Washington before the week 17 match-up against the Eagles.

The reality of the situation is that both the Eagles and the Cowboys could stumble down the stretch, however, I don’t believe that either will. If Dallas can go into week 17 with a one game lead, they will most likely have the tie-breakers should they lose to the Eagles. But the Cowboys shouldn’t be thinking like that, the Cowboys need to try and go 3-1 in the final month. When I look at their remaining games I think, wow they could easily lose three, even all four of those games, but that’s not going to happen. I see the Cowboys going 3-1, or 2-2, which should be enough to get to the playoffs.

May 21, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) takes a break during organized team activities at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The two games against the NFC North frighten me the most, both teams will have starting QB’s returning from injury, and both will be desperate for a win. The Cowboys are better off having to travel to Chicago rather than Green Bay, they must win at least one of these games. The Redskins might be thinking about next Season by the time the Cowboys face them, although this is in no way a “gimmee” game. The Cowboys have played well at home and the Eagles have played well on the road. The week 17 game should be a doozy.

The Roster

The Cowboys are going to be relatively healthy for the Chicago game so they need to find a way to get Ernie Sims and Jeff Heath off of the field. Ernie Sims has no business being around after this Season, while Jeff Heath is a project and needs to be kept off of the field until he is ready. I fully expect Davonte Holloman to be a key contributor for this Defense when he gets healthy.

It is interesting that Dallas has this infatuation with the 2-Tight End formation when they are so good in the 3-WR set. They are at their best in both the run and the pass out of this formation and have been for years.

Key Cowboys Down The Stretch:

Tony Romo has to continue his solid play, his leadership in December is going to be the catalyst for this team. If the Defense continues to improve and the Cowboys can somewhat stick to the run, then they have as good a chance as anybody in the NFC.

 

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo

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  • SmartThinking

    If the Cowboys are able to beat Chicago, that would be a major statement about who they think they are for December and for any post season run.

    Personally, with all the odds – weather, their house, injuries, the Bears’ better team – against them for this game, I’d be happy just to see them play respectably, particularly after the humiliating drubbing they took from this team last season.

    Last years’s game was, in my opinion, much worse than this season’s New Orleans game. The Saints out-coached and out-played Dallas. Chicago, last year, man-handled and mauled every Dallas player. And all those interceptions but one were the result of being beaten outright. It’s a memory I still can’t shake about the way this team plays football.

    The Washington game will be a scrap but Dallas should win it unless they get over confident or someone else on this team goes down.

    Green Bay will be a fight if Rogers gets back.

    At this point, I see Dallas at 1 and 2 in December coming into the prize – the Eagles game for the division championship.

    Right now, in my mind it’s a toss up. But depending on how Dallas plays and excels in these three previous games, that will determine if this team has finally found its Chi and decided to make a fight for the title. If they’ve discovered their true character, then we’ll have a team, bumped and bruised and bloody, but a real team nonetheless.

    I’m waiting to appreciate that outcome.

  • Jd

    Getting healthier is the good news. The bad news is Marshall, Jeffrey, Bennett & Forte. Dallas has not been able to stop any team this year with the opposing teams full compliment of weapons, and that includes the Giants on opening night.
    I understand that Cutler is not Eli, Peyton, Rivers or Stafford.
    Confidence goes a long way towards making the playoffs, but being able to beat these types of teams says more.

    So far this season Dallas has answered some questions though.
    1) can they finally beat the Giants at home? Yes.
    2) can Romo overcome a late game turnover and lead his team to a victory? Yes (Minnesota)
    3) can Dallas win a must win game, on the road? Yes (Giants)
    4) can Dallas, facing adversity in a game, find a way to win? Yes (Oakland)
    4a) can the Cowboys defense find a way to step up, make the proper adjustments and give the offense a chance to win a game? Yes (Oakland)

    With all those questions asked & answered, the last question that remains… Can Dallas finally play well in December & get into the post season?
    That question will be answered in a month.

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