Can this season be over already?
The Cowboys are 13-2 heading into Philadelphia and I have to admit, I’m ready for the regular season to end. I’ve been a Cowboys fan for thirty years and for some reason this season feels like it’s taken forever. I don’t know about you guys, but the season started for me at the draft and although the team has made the playoffs, as many of you know, this is when the real season begins. What kind of fan are you? I’m the fan that has the star on the back of his vehicle, a Cowboys flag flying in the office, shit, I’m the fan that purchased the lights that display the star when you open your car doors. (note to ed. not sure if i can say the sh*t word, so feel free to be creative with your edit). I’m the fan that places twenty-dollar bets every year that the Cowboys will win the Super Bowl, not necessarily believing it, but never backing down from a bet. Here we are, playing a meaningless game in Philadelphia and the members of the Cowboys Hater Group are still praying for our downfall.
I can’t step out of my office without someone saying “So what you made the playoffs, you know that they’re going to choke right!” or “The Giants gave the Cowboys the two L’s in Dallas”. Most of these characters yelling this rhetoric are Redskin fans who are still bitter about being swept. These are the same fans that were heckling me when Tony Romo was injured in the preseason and predicting another 4-12 season. These same fans were quiet as the Cowboys and their rookie Quarterback and Running Back ignited the entire NFL with their play and cool demeanor. For the people who are surprised by the Cowboys regular season play, I have three words for you: “I’m surprised too”.
If you’re a Cowboys fan and can say that you predicted this record or anything close to it feel free to send me a message. In this message, I will need you to show me an email, Facebook post, text message with a date stamp, something that will prove the belief that you showed in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to transform this once 4-12 team to possible Super Bowl contenders. I’m not sure if I should call myself a writer at this point, or if i’m even worthy to hold a title, but I will tell you that I did minimal research on Prescott due to the fact that I never would have thought that we would be seeing him play. During the season, we have seen Prescott’s college coaches talk about his leadership qualities and his high football IQ, but all of that information is irrelevant because we’ve seen quarterbacks drafted in the first round win Super Bowls and we’ve seen a sixth round pick from Michigan win his way into the conversation of “Who is the greatest quarterback of all-time”. The reality is that as good as this season has been for Prescott, it could crash at any moment. If that does happen, it will not be because he’s a bad quarterback, but because the NFL talent is that good.
The Cowboys are built for traditional playoff football and it only helps that they will be at home for however long their run lasts. After watching the Cowboys dismantle the Lions on Monday night football, this team showed that they are versatile enough to take what defenses will give them. The Lions were not going to let Elliott beat them, so they dropped a safety into the box for the majority of the game. Prescott showed his maturity by spreading the ball to six different receivers. The Cowboys are a more dangerous offense when Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are involved because it makes defensive coordinators account for them in their coverage schemes. As Scott Linehan takes this offense into the playoffs, he should continue to diversify his calls because it seems that teams have caught up with the bootleg plays.
I’m not sure if I am correct in describing this game as the Super Bowl for the Eagles, but the Cowboys are hoping that they leave this game with everyone intact. It will be interesting to see how long the team allows Prescott to play. If I am Jason Garrett, there is no way that I allow him to play deep into the second quarter. With the injuries to the offensive line, I would strongly consider keeping Romo out of the game, no matter how much he is chomping at the bit. The Eagles will be looking to make a statement. In my opinion, that statement should be made against Mark Sanchez and Darren McFadden. Jason Garrett should allow Ezekiel Elliott 18-20 carries and if he doesn’t break Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record by then “So Mote It Be”. As exciting as it would be for Elliott to own the record, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. The Cowboys have taken Elliott out of a minimum of two games to save the wear and tear on his body, so why push it now?
I’m predicting that the Cowboys will lose this game as the Eagles come out attacking the Cowboys defense throwing for 300 yards against the secondary due to the defensive lines inability to create pressure due to injuries. Darren Sproles will have a big play in the punt return game and will catch a touchdown pass from Carson Wentz. I’m predicting that Tony Romo will play the third quarter, throwing a touchdown pass to Brice Butler and Darren McFadden will have ten carries for eighty yards.
So Mote It Be