The Dallas Cowboys lost their 11th game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, but America’s Team scored big in terms of draft positioning.
The Dallas Cowboys trailed the Buffalo Bills by three points with just 6:53 left in the game with their opponent sitting at its own eight yard-line.
Now, we could sit here and talk about the lack of big plays from the defense – but they did force a couple of turnovers in the lousy New York weather. We could lament the obvious accuracy issues faced by quarterback Kellen Moore, who was making his first NFL start following his first NFL appearance on Week 15 against the New York Jets. I could even get into the fact that the Cowboys were one of three teams to start their fourth quarterbacks of the season on Week 16 (Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens), yet they were the only ones to lose.
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The Cowboys had no business winning this game, either because of the way they played on offense – or – given what’s at stake next April in the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago.
As it stands right now, there are only two other teams with fewer losses on the season than the Cowboys. In the AFC the Cleveland Browns and the Tennessee Titans both sport records of 3-12 with a single game to play and appear well-positioned to occupy the top two selections next April. The Browns finish the season at Pittsburgh against a Steelers team that’s going to pissed that they lost to the now-5-10 Ravens on Sunday. The Titans wrap up their awful 2015 campaign at Indianapolis to play a Colts team that’s desperately hanging on to its playoff ambitions.
The list of teams with records of 4-11 is just a tad longer, which includes the San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and, of course, the Cowboys. The Chargers play their regular season finale at Denver against a Broncos team that’s still gunning for top-two seeding in the AFC playoffs, especially following a Jets victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday. In the NFC, the 49ers will host the sub-500 St. Louis Rams, a team that might very well be heading back to Los Angeles sometime soon – don’t bet that the Rams will be missed too much if, in fact, they head back home. This game could go either way, but perhaps the ‘Niners can pull off the upset to move to 5-11.
As for Dallas, they play their finale at home against a Washington Redskins team that’s already clinched the retched NFC East following a Week 16 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. Dangerous here is the idea that head coach Jason Garrett might call in some more established head coach or leader to inspire his team – or do his job, basically – to pull of a completely meaningless win against a division rival that has no reason at all to make the flight to Dallas-Ft. Worth for this football game.
If you consider the NFC East its own unique family, isn’t it important that this once great division sends a sacrificial lamb into the playoffs with a record above 500?
Okay, the NFC East isn’t exactly a family, even if the teams in this division get along much better than my family does.
Most importantly, a useless Cowboys win on Week 17 would certainly cost Dallas a few spots in the top-10 of the first round of next year’s draft, which is closer than you think. As of right now, that choice wouldn’t be lower than the fifth pick.
If you watched Moore throw the football against the Bills, you can see that the skill set here is minimal – no, I don’t think wide receiver Dez Bryant‘s presence would have changed anything. A quarterback is clearly needed in Dallas to join the oft-injured Tony Romo and early in the first round is the best place to find him.
If you saw Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor scramble here, there and everywhere while rushing for 67 yards and throwing for an efficient 179 yards on 13-of-18 attempts, you can see that the Cowboys still don’t apply enough pressure on any opposing quarterback and early in the first round is where you’re most likely to find that, too.
The Cowboys can ill-afford to win a meaningless final game of the year against Washington. Against the Bills, even in defeat, the Cowboys still got the last laugh.
- Published on 12/27/2015 at 23:51 PM
- Last updated at 12/28/2015 at 00:15 AM