Since the Dallas Cowboys’ collapse at the hands of the New York Giants, their playoff hopes are dimming with just 3 games remaining in the regular season.
Judging by the internet banter over the last 48 hours, many Cowboy fans have given up and are once again turning their sights towards next season.
However, as bleak as things may seem today for the Cowboys, we must remember that the season isn’t over yet. All the Cowboys have to do is win out and they are the NFC Champions and headed to the playoffs. Yes, that’s all they have to do. Easy right?
Well, not that easy, but certainly not impossible.
Next Sunday, the Cowboys will head to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers, who are 4-9 this season and have lost their last 7 games. The following week, Dallas will host the underperforming Philadelphia Eagles, who despite their 5-8 record, manhandled the Cowboys in their first meeting. As with any rivalry game, however, records and past games should be thrown out the window.
The New York Giants will host the 4-9 Washington Redskins on Sunday, and then face off against the 8-5 New York Jets the following week in an “away” game, despite its being played on the field that both teams share.
The Cowboys and Giants play a fairly comparable schedule over the next couple of weeks culminating in a New Year’s Day match-up in New York as the Giants and the Cowboys meet in their final game of the regular season. If things go as expected over the next 2 weekends, the NFC title and a playoff berth will be on the line.
If the Cowboys don’t win the NFC East, there is still a chance at a wild card berth though the Detroit Lions (who hold the head-to-head advantage over Dallas) and the Atlanta Falcons are a game ahead of the Cowboys both sitting at 8-5, and the Chicago Bears have the same 7-6 record as Dallas.
Again, I understand the frustration that Cowboy fans are feeling. Over they last few years, Dallas has had a knack for getting their hopes up in November, only to watch them slip through their hands in December. Believe me, I completely understand.
I also understand Jason Garrett faces a monumental task in getting this Cowboy team to look ahead and not back at what could have and should have been.
Granted, it will take a big turnaround from the Cowboys, something we haven’t seen from them in a long time. It will take mental toughness I am not sure they have. To make matters worse, they will have to do it without their young rookie star running back, DeMarco Murray.
However, with 3 games remaining, as difficult as it is to believe, the Cowboys hold their fate in their own hands.
Yes, their postseason forecast looks bleak.
Yes, playoff hopes are dim.
Yes, they have done nothing over the last few years to show us that they have what it takes.
But nonetheless, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
And it ain’t over yet.