Cowboys: The Better Team Lost and the Best QB Won


As Cowboys Nation navigates the all-too-familiar waters of postseason disappointment, we must all accept that the better team lost and the best QB won

No matter what stage of grief you are currently swimming in this morning, it’s easy to see that this is not your typical open and shut case of the best team winning. If we’re being honest, things in life are rarely that simple and NFL football is certainly no exception.

I’ve long trumpeted the case that in single elimination tournaments the best team doesn’t always win. Don’t get me wrong, it sure as hell helps but it’s far from a certainty. A fluke play here or there mixed with good old fashioned luck really does make it any given Sunday no matter how apparent the mismatch.

This isn’t to say it was bad luck, a fluke play, a blown call, or anything singularly identifiable that brought on the premature demise of #1 seeded Cowboys. Nope, Dallas got beat fair and square and the correct team is advancing to the NFC Championship game. Period.

This was a matter of meeting the one of the best players in NFL history, playing at the very top of his game, at the league’s most important position. I’m talking about quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Now the Rodgers love-fest is already running at ridiculous bandwagon occupancy right now so the last thing I want to do is pile on with praise. Especially for a guy so easy to hate like him.

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It didn’t take four hours of film review to determine the better team on Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys. Although, after watching the All-22 I am overwhelming convinced of my admittedly biased conclusion. In fact, I feel confident the Green Bay Packers are collectively below average. Only their offensive line and quarterback deserve recognition for their efforts (ok, kicker too). But in today’s NFL that’s all it takes.

This is not your grandfather’s NFL. Heck, it’s not even your father’s. Today’s game heavily favors the passing game and goes out of its way to protect the position that makes it all possible – the QB.

Whether we’re talking about protecting the QB from hits both high and low, the inability to touch receivers beyond five yards, or nitpicking contact when the ball is in air, it’s an inevitability we all must come to grips with. And it’s a good thing too because who wants to see backup QBs playing every week? Wowing us with a 50% competition percentage on 175 yards through the air? No one. That’s terrible football. If you like that watch high school ball.

The NFL is all about passing (a good thing) and that’s why one guy like Aaron Rodgers can lead a below average team like the Packers past a team like the Cowboys. This is no slight to Dak Prescott but the better quarterback won on Sunday.

The good news is the Dallas Cowboys are sitting pretty looking towards the future. Dak Prescott just concluded arguably the best rookie season in NFL history. Meaning he may singlehandedly lead a subpar squad past a #1 seed one day as well.

The Dallas Cowboys have some work to do this offseason, that’s true. The defense needs the same attention the offense received the past few years in the draft. The pass-rush specifically could use some free agent attention as well. But the Dallas Cowboys are a very good team. Maybe even the best team in the entire NFL top-to-bottom.

They just met the wrong man at the wrong time.

People love to have absolutes and that’s why they want to pretend the best team always wins. I get it. Thinking is hard and some people want to avoid it. But the game is so tilted towards the passing game, a great QB (or QB stopper in a pass-rush) can lift a poor team up.

Next: Cowboys Fan Got Exactly What They Needed

However painful it is, let it be comforting that the best team is only going get better in the offseason. The Cowboys weren’t riding one hot player or a wave of momentum like the Packers. There was nothing gimmicky about them. The Cowboys are legit. They just got beat by an all-time great, playing the best ball of his career, at a position that has the biggest impact.