As Week 13 draws to a close and Week 14 begins, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a very traditional spot: Sitting back and enjoying their second bye week of the season.
Technically this is not the 2nd bye week for the Cowboys but just the result of a short week over Thanksgiving weekend, but at the end of the day, this is just as advantageous as a “normal” bye week. Since the Cowboys played on Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 28th ) they did not play on Sunday (December 1st) but instead wait until the following week to resume gameplay. Because the Cowboys play NEXT Monday night, this translates to nearly 11 days off in between contests.
A typical bye week lasts 14 days so while the 11 days isn’t an exact swap it is possibly MORE advantageous than a standard bye week.
With the recent showcase of NFL games on NFL Network on Thursdays nights, spacing games 10 days apart are fairly common. But what the Cowboys have, is a permanently scheduled opportunity to play at home on the short week. You see, for every 10 day break you must endure a short 4 day week. In other words, for every advantage, you must withstand a disadvantage.
In this “tit” for “tat” scenario the Cowboys gain the advantage because they get to have a guaranteed home game on the short week (Thanksgiving Day). They are not saddled with travel and get to absorb the atmosphere of home rather than travel and fight the hostility. The following week they get extra days to both prepare and rest. In other words, it’s an advantage for the Cowboys for both games.
It’s an absolute travesty the Cowboys have not been able to capitalize on this significant advantage every singe year but it’s a recognizable advantage none-the-less.
The question at hand is – Can the Cowboys use it to their advantage next Monday in Chicago?