How can a 3-5 football team that has four losses in the last five games possibly make the NFL playoffs? This is the situation facing the Dallas Cowboys. They are in a big hole, and it would be easy to dismiss their chances of making the postseason. However, I still believe that the Cowboys can do it. Their circumstances are going to get better.
Their push for the playoffs starts this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys need a win in the worst way. Beating a division rival like the Eagles would give them a much-needed boost. If the New York Giants lose in Cincinnati, then the Cowboys will be just a game and a half behind the Giants. Beating the Eagles won’t be easy, but the Eagles are struggling themselves. The Eagles are also 3-5. They have lost four games in a row. The winner of this game will keep their season alive, while the loser will unofficially pack it in.
Then, the Cowboys will need to gain momentum with a win streak. Their remaining schedule could facilitate this. Of their remaining eight opponents, only the Pittsburgh Steelers have a winning record. The Cowboys could conceivably have an 8-5 record entering the Steelers game. They have played very close games against tough opponents, so they can definitely win these upcoming games. But the Cowboys also have a losing record, so we will learn a lot about them in the next few games.
Finally, the running game will soon get a boost. The Cowboys have not been able to run the ball without DeMarco Murray in the lineup. But Murray returned to practice yesterday. Whether he plays on Sunday or not remains to be seen. But Murray is getting healthy, so he will be available soon. The Cowboys have struggled to score points without a consistent running game. When Murray is healthy, he could fix the offense immediately.
I originally thought the Cowboys’ chances of making the playoffs were bleak. But considering what lies ahead for them, they can definitely make it. However, a third straight loss this Sunday would be devastating. 3-6 teams don’t usually make the playoffs, no matter how favorable the circumstances.
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Edwin Torres has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since the days of Tony Dorsett and Roger Staubach. He roots hard for the Cowboys even though he is sandwiched between New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles fans. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.