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.
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 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.