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12/22/2013

Cowboys Cold Truths: A first is required for playoff berth

BcHgNLICIAAHIciLANDOVER, Maryland - The Cowboys will win the Super Bowl, provided they play teams from the NFC East. Probably won't happen, but - hey - gotta let it play out. Change happens fast in the National Football League.

The Cowboys are 5-0 against the NFC East this season, which means they are 3-7 against the rest of the National Football League. Such advanced sports analytics says the Cowboys will win Sunday's regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, and make the playoffs for the first time since the '09 season.

(BTW - Shoutout to Twitter follower David Crocker @Dec1968 for passing along this little fun with Jerry )

According to breaking reports from ESPN.com, the Eagles are in the NFC East. Again, the Cowboys are 5-0 against the NFC East.

However ....

To make the playoffs, the Cowboys will have to go undefeated against the NFC East at 6-0. They have never done that before. Since the NFL reconfigured divisions in 2002, the Cowboys have never finished undefeated against the Eagles, Giants and Redskins in one season. The last time the Cowboys finished undefeated against the division was 1998, when the Arizona Cardinals were also in the NFC East.

This NFC East may be a collection of over-priced underachievers, but to the Cowboys credit they have exploited this scheduling loophole by beating them all.

At the start of the season, the theory was all the Cowboys had to do to make the playoffs was beat the bad teams. Mission accomplished. The Cowboys have defeated only one team that currently has a winning record.

2013-12-22T183234Z_16361251_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_NFL-DALLAS-COWBOYS-AT-WASHINGTON-REDSKINSThe Cowboys' wins:
2-0 New York Giants (6-9)
2-0 Washington Redskins (3-12)
1-0 Philadelphia Eagles (8-7*)
1-0 St. Louis Rams (7-8)
1-0 Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1)
1-0 Oakland Raiders (4-11)

(* Does not include Sunday night's result against the Chicago Bears.)

The great news: The only team the Cowboys have defeated with a winning record are the Eagles.
The bad news: The Eagles look nothing like the team Cowboys defeated so handily defeated on Oct. 20 in Philly, 17-3.

More bad news: According to this genuine stat Tweeted by ESPN Stats & Info, "The Cowboys are 2-11 in Week 17 since the 2000 season (worst winning percentage in NFL)"

By record, the Eagles are the only "good team" the Cowboys have defeated this season. To reach the playoffs, they're going to have do it one more time and make history in the process.

Twitter @MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

lances

No way we beat the Eagles. Totally hopeless

Davidmar

This is not the same Eagles team we saw back in October, so fans who think this will be a cakewalk for Dallas are delusional. Philadelphia has won 6 of the last 7 games they've played, and they look like a team that's really in sync. If the Cowboys were playing in Philadelphia, I wouldn't give them a chance in this game, but playing in Jerryworld gives them an outside shot at the upset. The Eagles are flat out a better team than the Cowboys at this stage of the season, and frankly I have no idea what they can do defensively to keep Philadelphia from scoring in bunches. With that said, if on offense Dallas can stick with the run, control the clock, and keep the explosive Eagles offense off the field maybe the Cowboys can keep it close and steal the game in the final minutes. A lot of things have to go right for Dallas to pull this one out, but they do have a chance if they play (and coach) the perfect game.

Davidmar

Well, I just found out that Romo is out for the rest of the year with a back injury. Forget about the playoffs and my last post. Eagles win big next week with Orton as QB for the Cowboys.

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