Could a Loss Sunday be the End of the Cowboys Season?
The Cowboys are in a familiar situation on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. If they win, they will remain first in the division as they cling to the ever fading hope of reaching the playoffs.
If they lose, it places them one game back in the division as they cling to the ever fading hope of reaching the playoffs.
Before week seven of the 2012 season, the Cowboys stared directly at 2-4 as they faced the Carolina Panthers in a game that would possibly save their season. After aligning their record at 3-3 by disposing of Carolina, the Cowboys promptly lost two of their next three.
So isn’t this all pretty recognizable?
As I continue to scratch the same record of the Cowboys being just an average team, they will once again have the opportunity to prove that sentiment wrong. The Redskins aren’t that good, which matches the rest of the division, and the Cowboys should take advantage of the Redskins meager state.
But before getting to far ahead of ourselves, let’s revisit some not so recent history, say 2012?
Last season the Cowboys lost to the Redskins twice as they gave up 66 points and over 313 rushing yards to ‘Skins running back Alfred Morris. The Cowboys have been more stringent against the run this season, but Morris gashed them twice in 2012 and they will have to do a better job of containment.
Outside of Morris, the Cowboys did a poor job of handling quarterback Robert Griffin III, or Bobby Three Sticks. In his first game versus the Cowboys last year, Griffin passed for over 304 yards and four touchdowns. The Cowboys sacked him three times but they gave up five passing plays of 20 yards or more, two of those going for more than 55.
There is good news for the Cowboys. The team hasn’t lost three straight since the disastrous 2010 season when former head coach Wade Phillips was let go after the team’s 45-7 loss to the Packers. That was the last game of a five game losing streak.
If the Cowboys do fall into the negative of this three game stretch, it may be the start of something larger. With games upcoming against the Eagles, Lions, Vikings, Saints, and Giants, the Cowboys have to tread carefully.
Playing the Eagles is always tough as it is a division rival, the Lions know how to score points in clusters, the Saints remain undefeated, and the Vikings may have a new quarterback by the game week nine rolls around.
Nothing for this Cowboys team is guaranteed as evidenced by their loss to the Broncos last week.
If this turns into a losing streak of five or more games, not only will the Cowboys say goodbye to the 2013 season, they just may do the same to head coach Jason Garrett once it concludes.
Jason Henry is a team journalist for Pro Football Spot reporting on the Dallas Cowboys. He also hosts a weekly podcast called “The Jason Henry Project” where he talks sports, politics, news, and international affairs. Follow him on Twitter @JHenryProject.