In order for the Cowboys to make the Playoffs, they need to win the Division…
Obviously this makes sense. The expectation is if your team is good enough to make the playoffs, then they should be able to win the division. The Cowboys have not had the luck of some other teams meaning if the Cowboys aren’t winning the division, they aren’t making the playoffs.
In 2014, 2016 and 2018 the Cowboys were division champions. In 2017, they were 2nd in their division but finished 9th in the playoff seeding. In 2013, 2012, and 2011 the Cowboys were faced with win or go home games in the last week of the season. They lost all of them.
The Cowboys had to win the games in order to win the division guaranteeing their spot in the playoffs. They couldn’t resulting in 3 consecutive 8-8 seasons.
The NFC as a conference has plenty of good teams. In the last 4 seasons, only 2 teams with fewer than 10 wins have made the playoffs. (2018 Philadelphia Eagles, 2016 Detroit Lions) General rule of thumb would dictate that 10-11 wins is good enough to win a division. Many teams seem to fall in that category.
Realistically, the Cowboys will need to win 11 games in order to guarantee a playoff spot. This also means they have to beat playoff caliber teams. In 2017, had the Cowboys beaten the Seahawks, they still would’ve been eliminated from the playoffs because of their loss to the Falcons. (They owned the tie breaker)
In all, the point of bringing up this trend was to show what the Cowboys would need in order to get into the playoffs next season. Luck has not always been on their side so it’s imperative they aim for the top.
Will this trend carry over to this season?: Yes
Considering all I’ve mentioned in this article about other trends, the teams schedule, and the unpredictability of injuries, it’s hard for me to have faith going into a season followed up by a playoff run. No matter the optimism, something always seems to happen.
Superstitions aside, the team signed Randall Cobb. Cobb hasn’t played a full season in 4 years. Robert Quinn has had a lingering back issue that caused his trade value to plummet while being one of the most lethal pass rushers in the entire NFL. Tyrone Crawford’s suspension is still looming after the bar fight.
Don’t even get the NFL started on what happened with Zeke in Las Vegas…
The more we think about the quality transactions that the Cowboys have made this off-season, it just feels uneasy knowing all the hard work these guys have put in this off-season may not come to fruition because of issues as simple as managing a roster.
These trends were not meant to change the narrative that the Cowboys aren’t equipped for a Super Bowl run this season, but instead these are a precursor as for what the Cowboys need in order to return to their moment of glory. This article was not meant to be in bad taste, but simply in a realistic one.