The Dallas Cowboys are sitting pretty at the moment. The day after the Cowboys beat up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Giants gave up first place in the NFC East with a home loss to the Washington Redskins. Dallas won a must-win game, making the Cowboys seem resilient and ready to ride into the playoffs. However, the Cowboys haven’t proven anything yet.
While enjoying this most recent success, the Dallas faithful must remember the Cowboys have had more late-game collapses this year than the entire previous franchise history combined. Dallas is 8-6, but there are four games the Cowboys should have won this year that are losses in the record books. That means the ‘Boys should be 12-2. Imagine the Tony Romo hype if that were indeed reality.
The Cowboys have given up three fourth-quarter leads this season against the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and New York Giants. In addition, Dallas would have beaten the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago if Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett hadn’t iced his own kicker at the end of regulation. The morale of this depressing story is America’s Team isn’t as resilient as the Dallas faithful believes.
In addition, the Cowboys allowed the Buccaneers to believe they were still in the game Saturday night. Even though Dallas led 28-0 at the half, Romo’s fumble that was returned for a score to start the third quarter is not something championship teams do. The Cowboys should not have left Tampa Bay score at all on Saturday. Then again, Dallas should be 12-2. Can you imagine?
The Cowboys can quiet critics with another big win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve to really take control of the NFC East. However, those critics will only be taking a breath to verbally abuse the team if Dallas gets crushed in an early playoff exit. Romo and co. have gotten to a point of win-or-else. The Cowboys still have a lot to prove, but this team has never been in a better position to win.
Follow Jeric Griffin on Twitter @JericGriffin