4 critical games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020

The Dallas Cowboys can ill afford to lose these late season games if they want to win the NFC East.

The Dallas Cowboys had one of their best drafts since the 1990’s adding multiple players who can help now and be cornerstones for the future.  Additionally the Cowboys added some defensive studs with the free agent signings of Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe.

Then the Cowboys got even luckier because their strength of schedule is just .459 playing in the NFC. Combine the new coaching regime and the current Pro Bowlers to the equation, and it looks as if the Cowboys will have a cake walk for a season.

When all is said and done, I firmly believe the Cowboys will have a bounce back season in 2020, winning 10 plus games and recapturing the NFC East crown. However, the Cowboys have a slate of late season games against tough opponents that could that could throw a wrench in their postseason plans.

From Week 11 to Week 17, the Cowboys face the likes of the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, the evil Philadelphia Eagles, and the lowly New York Giants.

I’m going to explain why the Cowboys must win those late season games in order to have a fighting chance for postseason success.

The Dallas Cowboys face four playoff teams down the stretch (Vikings, Ravens, 49ers, and Eagles).

Week 11. The Dallas Cowboys face the Minnesota Vikings, who are a playoff team that they lost to last season. It’ll be a rematch played in Minnesota, but it’s a game the Cowboys need to win. The Vikings are a tough defensive team and a hard one to beat at home.

If the Cowboys can win that game the benefits will be twofold:

  1.  it will have the tie-breaker over the Vikings
  2. It will be one less opponent to worry about before its annual Thanksgiving game against the lowly Skins (the Cowboys will win that game).

A loss to the Vikings would be devastating because the Cowboys still face three more playoff teams and it gives the Vikings the tie-breaker in playoff seeding. And depending on their respective records, it could ultimately help the Eagles.

Let’s be mindful, Kirk Cousins played outstanding last season and he’s nothing to sneeze at. Dallas must stop him, first and foremost. Luckily Dallas comes off of a bye before they play the Vikings, That might be the edge they need to steal a win in feisty Minnesota.

Week 13:  Dallas travels to Baltimore and plays the Lamar Jackson led Ravens on a Thursday night prime time game. It will be Dallas’ third game in 11 days. As of right now, Dallas is NOT favored to beat Jackson and the Ravens dominant defense, and you can’t blame the critics for not favoring them in this cold weather matchup.

That’s going to be a cold night game in December, and the Ravens will be on a revenge tour from last season’s early playoff exit. I’m not saying Dallas can’t steal a win against a ferocious foe, but it’s going to be their biggest test of the season.

So I’m again pointing out the importance of Dallas taking care of business before they play the Ravens because a loss to Vikings only thickens the plot of their playoff hopes. And their old nemesis comes to town two weeks later and they’re on a revenge tour as well, and best believe they want to destroy Dallas for old time sake.

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Week 15:  I don’t see the 49ers having a Super Bowl hangover like most the previous Super Bowl losers because that team is legit from top to bottom, even if Jimmy Garoppolo is not a viewed as a top-10 quarterback.

In order for Dallas to win this game, it has to play mistake-free football against one of the better teams in the league, but more importantly, Dallas’ defense must find a way to clamp down on the 49ers running game. If not, the 49ers will run all over Dallas’ defense the same way the Los Angeles Rams ran through them to the tune of 250 rushing yards in the 2018 divisional playoff game.

Point blank, Dallas has to find a way to win this game because it will be the third playoff team they faced in the last five games. Sandwiched between those games are games against the lowly Skins and Cincinnati Bengals. Although those are winnable games, they’re not  sure wins. This is the NFL.

So Dallas must wins those games because the buzzards come to town the following week. Man I don’t like those buzzards.  

Week 16: The only thing I like about this game is that its played in Dallas, and it’s a must win game for Dallas-whether it’s for the NFC East crown, playing for a higher seed, or knocking the buzzards completely out of the playoffs. Having said that, this will be a hard fought game because both teams don’t like each other, and Dallas is looking for revenge from last season.

Also, the buzzards will be fighting for a playoff spot and they always play Dallas tough. This is another must- win game where Dak Prescott (hopefully he’s the quarterback) must come through in the clutch along with the coaching of Mike McCarthy.

Dak has  to remind the critics that he owns the buzzards, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup have to catch the ball and make plays like the 1,000 yard receivers they are, CeeDee Lamb will become a veteran that day and make some key plays, along with Blake Jarwin.

Ezekiel Elliott has to do his best Emmitt Smith impersonation and carry the ball 30 plus times and score a few touchdowns. The defense has to simply beat down Carson Wentz and dismantle the buzzards receiving corps.

Next: Strength of Schedule is unpredictable and unreliable

Out of all of these tough games, Dallas has to beat the buzzards because if the only way to get into the playoffs is winning the NFC East, then the Eagles have to go down like the titanic. And that’s why the main reason why the Dallas Cowboys must win these late season games because there is no room for error.

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