Dusting Off the Cowboy Myth
There is this local myth that says, in spite of over 15 years of evidence to refute it, one sound victory over a worthy opponent renders the Dallas Cowboys deserving of its “America’s Team” moniker, which until the team wins another championship is more of a curse than a blessing.
A lot of hot air has been heard on the airwaves this week in Dallas. After only the second impressive win of the season, the first being the early victory over the otherwise undefeated 49ers, the talk moved from the toilet to the title, NFC East champs.
So, as the talk has shifted, dangerous assumptions are being made, including the one about the next three games being a cinch. Yes, the Cowboys are playing the Redskins, the Miami Dolphins, and the Arizona Cardinals, teams with a combined record of 8-19 on the season. By reasonable standards, the Cowboys should win them all, except for the one problem: this is the NFL.
The Redskins are ranked 27th in offense, playing against the Cowboys’ ninth ranked defense. The Redskins have not led in scoring against any opponent at any time since the first weekend in October (according to ESPN Dallas). It is tempting for Cowboys fans to throw caution to the wind and chalk up the victory prematurely. But, the diehards must trouble themselves with the actual game to be played.
Five Things to Watch Besides the Score
Here are some things to watch if you are a fan of the Dallas Cowboys:
- Will Tony Romo repeat his game of a week ago, or will he revert to the mistakes from earlier in the season?
- Is DeMarco Murray for real? Putting another consecutive game of greatness in place will convert more of those fans who are still nonbelievers. He converted me last week.
- Will the offensive line keep getting better? For a bunch of rookies, these guys have already exceeded my expectations.
- Can the defense dominate as much as they should against the hapless Redskins offense? A mediocre performance by the Cowboys defense would be disappointing even if the team comes away victorious.
- Can the Cowboys handle success?
My prediction is in line with the Las Vegas odds this week. I pick the Cowboys by eight points.