Even though their record doesn’t reflect it right now, but at 4-5 the Dallas Cowboys are in pretty good shape. They are just one game behind the division leading New York Giants in the loss column and they are in a stretch of winnable games that could propel them into contention for a playoff spot.
According to the strength of schedule, the Cowboys have played the most difficult schedule in the league so far, which probably contributed to their win-loss record. However, it’s also a sign there is much work to be done to compete for a playoff berth.
This next stretch of four games is very crucial for the Cowboys; they play three games in a row at home before going on the road in the second week of December. The combined record of their next four opponents is 12-24; this is the perfect time for Dallas to put themselves in position for a playoff spot.
First things first though, the Dallas Cowboys now, more than ever, need to listen to the words of their coach and approach things one day at a time. They need to work on the little things everyday to get better because we’ve seen this story before. The Cowboys will get a big win and then revert right back to the same old Cowboys. It’s already happened this year, anyone remember the difference in play from week’s 1 and 2?
There cannot be any let up for the Cowboys this week, the Cleveland Browns are coming off of a bye week and are not as bad as their record suggests. Dallas should win this game and I would love to see them do so in a convincing fashion, but nothing is easy in the NFL. The Browns will not lay down for the Cowboys and they need to continue with the attitude that their backs are still against the wall because they are. They have left themselves no room for error at 4-5.
Wins against Cleveland and then against the rival Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving will allow the Cowboys to go into December with the momentum they need. Washington presents unique challenges for the Cowboys so it’s another game where the Cowboys need to stay focused.
Their early games in December are also games the Cowboys can win, at home against the Philadelphia Eagles and then on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, who just whipped the Giants at home. Also in their next three games, the Cowboys will face a rookie quarterback.
The Cowboys have the potential to win all four of these games and go into the crucial final three games of their season at 8-5. Then the tough final three games await, where they play the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints at home before going on the road to Washington DC to end the year.
For this Cowboys team though, they cannot look ahead. They need to get better each week and continue to stack good days, and wins, on top of each other. Do that and they can ride their momentum into late December with confidence. Losing to a sub-par team in this next four game stretch could prove fatal.
It’s nine weeks into the schedule and somehow it feels like their season is just getting started. Everything the Cowboys want is in front them, they just have to be good enough to take it.
If the Dallas Cowboys want to be a playoff team, there’s nothing to stop them from putting ‘ole Mo on their side in these next four games.
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