Are the Dallas Cowboys Celebrating Too Early: What Lies Ahead?
First off, congratulations to the Dallas Cowboys for winning the NFC East and for Tony Romo passing Troy Aikman as the all-time leading passer in the organization.
With that out of the way, are the Dallas Cowboys celebrating too early? Or better yet, can they get over the hurdle and win the Super Bowl? It feels like, since Tony Romo began his tenure in Dallas, that every analyst has picked them to go deep into the playoffs: something they have obviously not been able to do. And the one-year where almost nobody chose them, they decided to upset the Eagles for the NFC East title.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) December 21, 2014
Now, the featured photo shows wide receiver Cole Beasley running in a Tony Romo pass for a touchdown: Romo played exceptional in the 42-7 beat down of the Indianapolis Colts. He closes out Week 16 with an 11-3 record, 70.3 completion percentage, 3,406 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions: quality numbers for a great year. But are they MVP caliber numbers? Well, the organization certainly believes so.
Jerry Jones commented, “Yes, he is, because [DeMarco] Murray has certainly carried his share, but Tony’s quarterbacking this year was indispensable. We couldn’t have had the team, and we have a team that probably right now is in the top four or five teams in the league. That’s pretty good qualification of the vote.” For once uSports agrees with Jones: the one-week Romo was sidelined due to his back fracture, the Arizona Cardinals stuffed the box: holding Murray to only 79 yards, while also garnering two Brandon Weeden interceptions.
While we do not believe he will win the MVP — Aaron Rodgers is the current frontrunner — he should certainly be in the conversation: especially since his torching of the Colts’ defense was a prime example of his importance in a Murray-less offense. Yes, Murray played, but he was limited, which many thought was going to hurt the production.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) December 22, 2014
Now the big question is will this success transfer over in the 2014 playoffs: the Cowboys are likely going to be a three seed — well, unless a lot of other games go their way. This would place them against the six seed, which could either be the Arizona Cardinals or the loser of the NFC North match up between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions — the Seahawks is also a possibility, but it is slim. So between the Cardinals run defense, the Lions’ monstrous third ranked defense and Aaron Rodgers, there is very little to celebrate with these teams on the horizon.
But out of those three teams, which are all seemingly difficult match ups, the best for Dallas is likely the Cardinals: yes, this is odd considering the Cowboys lost to them during the season, but both the Packers and Lions have a passing game — and while the boys’ secondary is far from terrible, they are middling at best. And offensively, Romo stacks up well against the 30th ranked passing defense: even the highest paid cornerback has not improved the Cardinals secondary. However, Bruce Arians is a wildcard because his team finds a way to win: they bite and claw their way to victories despite countless injuries to key positions — making him a frontrunner for coach of the year.
Yet their success will boil down to a few things: will DeMarco Murray be healthy? And will Tony Romo finally shake his non-clutch ways and show the league why Dallas is the seventh ranked offense in the league? uSports has already wrote at length over Romo’s non-clutch past: Romo is 1-6 in win or go home scenarios, with 60.5 completion percentage, 217 yards per game, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions and 77.6 passer rating. In other words, now is the time for America’s QB to win: if he loses again, there is simply no sticking up for him anymore.