With a 2-7 record the Dallas Cowboys might disappoint their fans by…winning the NFC East????
At 2-7, the Dallas Cowboys are having their worst season since 2015, when the team finished with a 4-12 record. This awful year has the same feeling as that one because that was the year former quarterback Tony Romo broke his collarbone twice and was lost for the season.
The same way Romo’s season-ending injury caused Cowboys Nation to throw in the towel, Dak’s injury has the same effect here in 2020 (Ironically, the Cowboys would go ahead and draft Romo’s replacement in the 2016 draft when they drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round).
But the problem is the Cowboys are in a unique position that defies their 2-7 record: They are in position to win the division. Many suspect it will only take six wins to claim the NFC East. And Dallas has, by far, the easiest remaining schedule. The division is there for the taking. But they have to want it.
My Goodness! That’s truly a conundrum.
Well, Cowboys’ fans should want to win the NFC East instead of losing and receiving a top-5 draft pick.
And I’ll explain why.
The NFC East is still winnable
For starters, Dallas plays in the weakest division ever in NFL history, if not in the entire history of sports. In the NFC LEAST, Dallas sits in last place with a 2-7 record. Washington is 2-7, the New York Giants are 3-7, and the evil Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the division with a embarrassing 3-5-1 record.
Realistically, Dallas is one game out of first place. And with Dallas still to play all three of their divisional foes, it’s easy to see Dallas beating all three of them. That’s’ because all three teams are struggling just like Dallas, but for different reasons, of course.
By default, the Eagles are supposed to be the best team in the division because they have a better defense and a Super Bowl winning coach, but the Eagles lost to the Giants in their second meeting, and lost to Washington in their season opener.
And Dallas played a highly contested game against the Eagles because Dallas’ defense finally stepped up and forced four turnovers and played its best game of the year. If not for rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci playing atrociously, Dallas could have easily beaten those buzzards.
Did I mention Dallas’ defense?
Dallas defense has improved
After giving up 30 plus points a game, Dallas’ defense has improved in the last two games against the Eagles and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas’ defense gave up 23 and 24 point, respectively.
Dallas’ defense held the Steelers vaunted rushing attack to a measly 46 yards, and held Big Ben Roethlisberger in check for most of the game. If not for self-inflicted miscues and bad officiating, Dallas could easily be 3-6 with a one-game winning streak (don’t laugh).
If Dallas’ defense can hold the Steelers’ prolific offense in check for almost four quarters, what do you think it will do to the anemic offenses of Washington, the Giants and Eagles? Seriously!
Washington doesn’t have a quarterback, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones throws interceptions and fumbles at such a high rate you’d think he plays for the opposing team, and Carson Wentz has regressed so much that his head coach, Doug Pederson, could lose his job.
Is the picture a little clearer?
Finally, Dallas’ defense has matched Dallas’ quarterback play/offense. Oh, man.
Quarterback play and the offense
Dalton is a legitimate veteran backup quarterback. But Gilbert can PLAY! And appears to play better than Dalton.
Ole Gilly proved that he’s more than capable of being a backup signal caller and utilizing Dallas’ potent receiving corps. Gilly threw for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception that should have been nullified because of a receiver being held.
He went 21 of 38 with a 72.6 rating. And Gilly is mobile, too, rushing for 28 yards getting a crucial first down. I’ll take Gilly and Dallas’ improved defense any Sunday against its remaining schedule.
By the way, Dallas has the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. Wow.
I’m not saying Gilly is without criticism or flaws, but he’s good enough to win the NFC LEAST, and so is Dalton. I expect Dalton to be the starter and play much better than what we’ve seen, but if Dalton struggles for any reason, expect Gilly to come in and win the game.
In fact, Gilly should be the starter because he gives Dallas the best chance to win moving forward.
The top-5 pick
Like all Dallas Cowboys fans, I’ve sat back and wondered what life would be like if Dallas picked as high as second/ third in the draft, and all of the possibilities that came with that pick.
Would Dallas stand pat and draft a much needed defensive player? Would Dallas trade its pick only to acquire many more picks? Or would Dallas be dumb and draft Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, or Zach Wilson. Contributor Daniel Ruppert wrote an excellent article explaining how Dallas winning the NFC East could be costly.
It’s a great read, and Daniel is correct, but if Dallas’ defense and quarterback play are decent, shouldn’t Cowboys Nation cheer for a divisional crown instead of a top-5 pick? I hope so because I hate to see the Cowboys lose, even if they stink and it warrants them a top-5 draft pick.
I’d rather see my Boys go down swinging. I’d love to see them win the NFC East crown. Because anything can happen once the tournament starts!