As Dallas rests and recuperates during its bye week, they run the risk of falling out of first place without even playing a game. If the Philadelphia Eagles come out of this weekend’s division game against Washington Redskins with a win, they’ll sit on top of the NFC East at 6-5.
That’s not exactly a doomsday scenario. Philly has yet to take its own bye week, and Dallas still has three full division games to play to re-position itself in the standings. But it puts the Cowboys in an uncomfortable situation, as not only will they lose possession of first for the first time this season, but they’ll do so ahead of a critical division road trip to New York.
Adversity hasn’t always been bad for the Dallas Cowboys this season, though. The last time the NFC East lead was up for grabs, the Cowboys went up to Philadelphia in Week 7 and clobbered the Eagles, 17-3. Perhaps the pressure of a rival team breathing down their necks, they’d respond with a similar performance against the Giants.
Still, the smart play is to root for a Washington win Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. A Redskins win would put both teams just behind the Cowboys, but it would also give both teams two losses within the division, which is a tremendous boost for Dallas at 3-0 in division games.
The smart money is that this’ll be an entertaining game. The last time these two met, way back on Sept. 9, they combined for 825 yards of offense and 60 points. The Eagles raced out to a 33-7 lead thanks largely to 184 rushing yards from LeSean McCoy, but the Redskins rallied to lose by just six.
Not much has changed. Philly is tallying 413 yards per game, and Washington is right behind them at 410 yards per game. Meanwhile, thanks to some bad pass defense, Washington’s defense ranks 27th in the league, while Philadelphia is just one spot above Dallas at No. 31 overall.
Ultimately, it comes down to mistakes. The margin between the two isn’t big when it comes to turnover differential, but Nick Foles has yet to throw an interception in 136 attempts this season. Robert Griffin III, however, has almost doubled his interception total from last season and has only avoided throwing a pick in two games.
A Washington win is the preferable scenario.
Just up the road in New Jersey, the Giants have the potential to climb even closer to second place – depending on the result of the Philadelphia game. They’ll have the benefit of going for their fourth-straight win against an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay team.
It looks like Scott Tolzien is going to get his second start for the Packers, despite the re-signing of Matt Flynn to the roster earlier this week. Tolzien was impressive, though far from perfect in his start against Philadelphia last week.
He’ll need to be better in MetLife Stadium, as the Giants boast the league’s 10th best pass defense. New York’s effort against the run isn’t bad either, at just 3.7 yards per attempt. Between Tolzien and rookie sensation Eddie Lacy, someone is going to have to star if Green Bay is to get a road win.
So there are two very real possible outcomes for Sunday’s games, both played while the Cowboys sit out of the action. The Eagles could be on top of the standings by Sunday night. Equally as likely is that at least two, if not all three division foes could have sixes losses – putting them just one game behind Dallas – by the end of Week 11.
Pick your poison.
THE GOOD-BYE BLOWOUT: Despite Saints loss, Jerry Jones wants team focused on playoff run and a good bye week
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted today on his radio show that he still hasn’t recovered from last Sunday’s 49-17 blowout loss to the Saints.
“That was a rough one in New Orleans,” Jones said with a sigh as he opened his radio show on KRLD-FM. “We have not (recovered). That was one that should and will hang with us a little while. Unlike those one- or two-point losses, it’s one that should get your attention.”
Jones has his eyes wide open but also doesn’t think the Saints game is truly representative of the Dallas Cowboys this year.
He said the Cowboys were severely impacted in that game by the injuries on defense and feels they will play better when some of the players return.
He also said the offense is much better than it showed against the Saints when quarterback Tony Romo passed for just 128 yards and the Cowboys were 0-for-9 on third downs.
“What is representative of our team is some of the early games we had than this past Sunday,” Jones said.
The Cowboys’ owner acknowledges, however, that work must be done during this week’s bye if he hopes for a happy ending to the 2013 season.
He said coach Jason Garrett, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and Romo are hard at work evaluating and making adjustments to improve the slumping offense, namely fixing their problems on third down and finding ways to get receiver Dez Bryant and tight Jason Witten the ball and away from double teams.
“I don’t think we are far away, an adjustment here and an adjustment there,” Jones said. “I think they are making adjustments that are called for.”
Jones acknowledges the defense will still be challenged because the loss of middle linebacker Sean Lee for next two or three games and the offense must pick up the slack to “keep the defense off the field. It needs some help.”
Jones said he will spend the bye week watching football, particularly the NFC East games. He will play close attention to the battle between the Redskins (3-6) and Eagles (5-5), who are tied with the Dallas Cowboys atop thee division. The Giants (3-6) also have a winnable game against Packers, who playing without their quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and could be one game back when the Cowboys face them Nov. 24 following the bye.
And as much as he’s disappointed in the team’s play against Saints, he said the season-long goals are still out there for the Cowboys to achieve: win the division, make the playoffs and go from there.
“We got six more games,” Jones said. “It’s before us if we want to take it. That’s the way we should look at it. It would be wrong to look at the past weekend and count it out and say, ‘That’s the way we are’.”
Listen to The Jerry Jones Show in it’s entirety for best context.
Dez Bryant is on his bye week as the Dallas Cowboys go-to wide receiver.
He was on buy night Thursday at an area Wal-Mart store (some had said Best Buy). Bryant walked into the store and became an impromptu Santa Clause by purchasing PlayStation4 game systems for six people.
A lot of Dez Bryant fans went to his Twitter page to commend the popular Cowboy for his generosity. And rightfully so.
The Dallas Cowboys are off this week but receiver Dez Bryant scored big in the court of public opinion.
Bryant was there to buy the new Sony PlayStation 4 video game system. And according to several people on Twitter, Bryant bought the system for six people in line. The PS4 retails for $399.00, so it was an early Christmas gift for the lucky few who were blessed by Bryant.
Here are a few other tweets about Bryant’s night at Wal-Mart from some customers, teammate Phillip Tanner and Texas receiver Mike Davis.
Money Magic Davis jr @MikeDavis_110h
My bro @DezBryant have always had a good heart .Now he done bought some people some PS4s everybody want to say everything great about him…
Phillip Tanner @PTanner3411h
S/O to my boy @DezBryant- I’m not surprised at all #Respect
Ben Freeman @BWayneFree11h
Holy crap @DezBryant is cool… just bought a bunch of people PS4s wish I was there lol
Marquis Rodgers @MRodgers240511h
Damn, @DezBryant just bought whoever was in line at a Wal-Mart in Dallas a PS4.