In football there are no moral victories, just like there are no bad wins, which means the Dallas Cowboys got exactly what they needed today. In beating the Philadelphia Eagles the Cowboys managed to stay in the NFC playoff race and climb within one game of the division leading New York Giants.
That is good news.
Cowboys fans should be rejoicing at the way the defense finally managed to create some turnovers and score points off of them. Dallas will also be happy they have gotten their return game in order with Dwayne Harris returning a punt for a touchdown, just as one of his returns led to points last week for the Cowboys. It appears the Cowboys have found a solid punt returner to ease their worries about putting Dez Bryant back to field punts.
However, while watching the game I got the sense that even though the Cowboys got a win they desperately needed today, this team still has a long way to go to be considered a serious playoff team.
The penalties weren’t a big issue today but it seems like the Cowboys offense is lost. Tony Romo still has very little time to throw and Jason Garrett still seems very hesitant to throw the ball down field. There is too much dink and dunk to this Cowboys offense, which continues to be an issue. The Cowboys don’t take enough chances down the field and they aren’t explosive enough to win consistently with this kind of offense.
I am also aware the Cowboys defense came up big today with a few defense scores but for a long period of this game, they looked average. The managed to get a few late sacks on the Nick Foles but where was the pressure for most of the game? This Eagles offensive line is one of the worst in the league and yet they held the Cowboys without a sack until the fourth quarter. The rookie quarterback even managed to torch the Cowboys on a busted coverage early in the third period.
It’s tough to knock the defensive effort and I could be overreacting to this game but Cowboys fans have to be realistic. Rob Ryan needs to dial up the pressure and put these offenses on their heels just as much as Jason Garrett needs to be more aggressive with the offensive play calling.
In today’s win, the Cowboys finally got some breaks to go their way and sometimes that’s just what you need to get your team going. It’s amazing what a little taste of success can do!
None of this is to say the Dallas Cowboys can’t get better and become a serious threat in the NFC but right now they aren’t there yet. Wins are always a step in the right direction and the Cowboys got a big one today. It’s something to build on and just like Jason Garrett preaches, they need to stack good days on top of one another.
If today was an order of pancakes, it would be a short stack but I think we’re all hoping for something a little taller for breakfast.
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