The Dallas Cowboys playoff hopes are alive and draft dreams are dead
One month ago there were two distinct groups of Dallas Cowboys fans: “Team Tank” and “Team Just Win Baby.” In those dark hours, Dallas had but a two percent chance of making the postseason. Fans aware of the situation began shifting their hope to the offseason and dreamt of a top-5 draft pick to aid in their offseason reload.
Others, refused to give up on 2020. They spurned the calls to embrace the tank, and cheered on. Never mind the Dallas Cowboys would need to match a Washington losing streak with their own perfect 4-game winning streak. Never mind they’d be one of the biggest underdogs in playoff history. Never mind they’d be trading a top-5 pick for the 19th pick. It was about winning the NFC East, no matter the cost.
One appropriately distributed winning streak and reciprocal losing streak later, and it seems Team Tank is DOA. Heading into Week 17, the Dallas Cowboys stand just one personal win and one Washington loss away from winning the NFC East crown.
winning begets winning. And there’s something to be said for a young team that ends a season on a high note.
It’s not clear what team exactly is replacing “Team Tank.” Dallas still doesn’t look like a team that could compete, let alone beat, a winning team. So to think they’ll be anything more than a embarrassment in the playoffs might be a little optimistic for the jaded masses of Cowboys Nation.
But winning begets winning. And there’s something to be said for a young team that ends a season on a high note. Let’s say the Cowboys win and Washington loses. They win the division, and host a first round playoff game against Tom Brady and the Bucs. Let’s say they keep the game relatively close and finish on the good side of the spread too.
That’s certainly something to build on in the offseason, isn’t it?
If they win the NFCE, the best the Cowboys can realistically do in the 2021 NFL Draft is pick 19. A far cry from where they could have been picking in the top-5. It’s a spread that’s nearly as wide as the delta between Chase Young and Taco Charlton.
But that’s a purposely dramatic example, cherry picked to prove a point. The point is this winning streak is at the cost of a premium pick. It’s not for free and shouldn’t be treated as such. If the Dallas Cowboys are going to run the table and win the division, they better get something for it other than just a postseason appearance. They better get some character and psychological momentum to drive them in the offseason. Something, even if it’s intangible, to give them a boost for next season.
Are they “Team All for Nothing?” Or are they “Team Cinderella?” Maybe “Team Never Die.” Whatever they are, they are no longer Team Tank because that ship has sailed.
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For as upsetting as it is to kiss that top-5 pick goodbye (and the impending trade down for a bounty of picks) it’s nice being able to cheer for victory in Week 17. Is it in the club’s best interests down the road? Almost certainly not, but that doesn’t mean certain intangibles can’t be gained from this season-ending winning streak. With any luck, Dallas will win next Sunday. Hoping for a loss is pointless now and frankly impossible for a fan to do.
Note: As a card carrying member of team tank, I never wanted Dallas to lose on purpose. and like most fans, once the ball was kicked off, I cheered to win. Team tank was more about admitting the smart thing to do was to lose out and get the better picks. It wasn’t about quitting.
The Dallas Cowboys are alive in the race for the playoffs. They stand to host a playoff game at 7-9 against a team that’s 11-5. Kinda awesome if you think about it.
In the immoral words of Monte Python, the Dallas Cowboys are “not dead yet!”
- Published on 12/28/2020 at 13:01 PM
- Last updated at 12/28/2020 at 13:08 PM