Only in 2020 would these Dallas Cowboys be in the thick of the playoff picture.
It’s crazy, and it’s surely not what a lot of the fan base wanted to see, but the 2020 Dallas Cowboys have a relevant game next Sunday afternoon. This, of course, comes by virtue of the Cowboys defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 37-17. Not only that, but the Washington Football Team held up their end of the bargain by losing to Carolina, 20-13.
A Washington win would’ve rendered Sunday’s result moot, win or lose. But so long as Football Team keeps trucking Dwayne Haskins out at quarterback, the bottom line remains that the Cowboys still find themselves firmly in contention for the booby prize that is the NFC East.
Laughable as that may be, it still begs a shallow dive into recent Cowboys’ history. First, they’ve won three games in a row for the first time since the opening three games of last season. Secondly, despite some forgettable losses, they’ve managed to win four of their last six. That’s respectable no matter how you feel about this bunch.
This is especially true given the way this year has unfolded. Obviously, the season-ending injury to Dak Prescott was the main blow. But the franchise in general has had to weather a bad season from their star running back and a historically bad campaign from their defense. Further, the patchwork offensive line has remained steady, which is all we could realistically ask for.
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The impressive thing about the win over the Eagles was the way Dallas went about their business. Despite digging themselves into an early 14-3 hole, the Cowboys methodically reeled Philadelphia in by halftime and led 20-17. The Eagles wouldn’t score another point, and Dallas would tack on seventeen in the second half to secure the lopsided win. It wasn’t always a work of art, but it was effective. More importantly, the Cowboys looked like a team that arrived well-coached and prepared to fight for their playoff lives. So despite the defense allowing 477 yards, they also forced two interceptions and one fumble to help keep the damage to a minimum.
Throw in a massive game by Michael Gallup (6 catches, 121 yards, 2 TD) and you had all the elements for a season-extending crushing of the hated Eagles. While we’re at it, how about the effort from that receiving corps? Gallup, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb, put up a monster 307-yard, 3 touchdown game that showed how fully they toyed with the Philadelphia secondary.
Look, even if Washington acquiesces and Dallas wins next week to claim the division, none of us can feel good about their chances in any playoff game–not with that defense. But to see a left-for-dead team show some signs of life–and more critically, pride–is encouraging. It’s good to see a team respond to adversity. If you told me a month ago that the Cowboys could get into the playoffs with a win and some help, I’d have called you insane. Yet here we are. So let’s go.
- Published on 12/29/2020 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 12/28/2020 at 15:22 PM