The Dallas Cowboys may have won state bragging rights after Week 3′s 27-13 win over the Houston Texans, but they have won nothing else, literally. The 1-3 Cowboys are in last place in the NFC East, a division plagued with three 3-2 teams atop the division standings.
I know early success is fickle in this division. Surely, the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins will eat each other alive as the division stumbles toward three eight- or nine-win teams. However, the Cowboys cannot simply wait for the tide to turn in their favor. If they continue to give away games in the fourth quarter (the Bears and Titans still need to send Jimmy Jones thank you cards), then the Cowboys season– and Wade Phillips’ tenure as head coach- will be effectively over in the next five games.
Does this sound a bit hyperbolic? Well it is not. Let us look at the schedule. Next week the Cowboys head to Minnesota to take on Favre and newly acquired Moss in a dome (after they have a practice game Monday night). Then Dallas is selling Cowboys tickets for the first match up with the New York Giants, a team that has found its inner-46 and has been decimating quarterbacks the past two weeks. Sure the Jacksonville Jaguars sound like an easy win in Week 8, but they are 3-2, winning two straight and scoring into the 30s both weeks. Heck, the Jaguars even beat the Colts in Week 4. Week 9 takes the Cowboys to Green Bay to play won of the most prolific offenses in the league. Then comes Week 10 and another date with the quarterback-eating Giants.
If I were a diehard fan of “America’s Team” I’d be shuddering right now. The Cowboys could very easily be 1-8 and effectively out of the postseason discussion before the Redskins implode amidst McNabb’s penchant for inconsistent play. I am sure Jimmy Jones did not see this coming when he declared this would be the first season a Super Bowl team would have home field advantage.