Just like that, the Cowboys control their own destiny to win the division! The Giants getting spanked was lovely not only because of the "1" added to their loss column, but it HAS to be a confidence shaker. Their defense got TORCHED! I guarantee that film is gonna be studied inside and out by all teams that play the NYG from here on out. It's only one game, but the Giants are undoubtedly going to lose some of their swagger and momentum--particularly with the following teams forthcoming:
a) the suddenly-hot AZ Cardinals, b) an angry Eagles team @ Philly, c) the Chargers (then they have a bye here to hopefully dwell on 2 or 3 losses), d) the Falcons, e) at Denver, and then f) at home vs. the 'Boys. It's a bit of a longshot, but at the end of the day on Nov. 1st, I could see us leading the division at 5-2 whilst NY is at 5-3 heading into their Chargers game. I'm praying for SD to continue to lose so that their games vs. our NFC East foes are "must winners" (go Denver tomorrow night!).
Philly, like Dallas, has only beaten Carolina, KC and TB, but I guarantee we're gonna beat the Raiders at home (which essentially puts us a game ahead of the Eagles), and we've got two games vs. Philly to control our own destiny and pull away from them. Also, the only "easy" games Philly has left on their schedule the rest of the season are two games vs. Washington.
[Washington was probably out of the picture heading into October; clearly they're done. I won't even discuss them here.]
Meanwhile, assuming the Giants DO hang on and win the division, I scan all the other teams in the NFC, and it is pretty easy to determine already who is going to win their divisions to gauge who we're realistically competing with for the two wild card spots: New Orleans is gonna win the South, Minnesota is gonna win the North, and Arizona is gonna win the West (SF is going nowhere fast). That means we're competing with (realistically) Philly, GB, ATL, and Chicago for the 2 Wild Card spots. The only team of that bunch that we don't actually play is the Bears, and as I type this, they are losing to ATL (good!).
The next two home games are crucial (we CAN'T come out of the bye week and lose at home to ATL and fall to 3-3): With wins at home vs. ATL and Seattle, we'll be 5-2 and suddenly sitting VERY pretty to not only go to the playoffs, but possibly win the division. But we HAVE to win those games not only to make up for the heartbreakers earlier this year, but more importantly, so that losses on the road at GB or Philly in early November are not Earth shattering (I'm going to assume we'll win the home games to end November vs. the 'Skins and Raiders). However, I will take a 7-game winning streak heading into December's final stretch!
Of course this is all VERY wishful thinking; The Cowboys need to quickly start playing mistake-free, 60-minute games of football, or we ain't even gonna end the season at .500. But we're certainly capable beating anyone in this league, and today, thankfully, the rest of the NFL helped us out to get a little closer to our goals.
It's time to put a streak together and win a few blowout "statement" games like New England did today. We've got the #1 offense in the NFL and a pretty darn good defense that feels like it's ready to explode.
C'mon! Let's finally do this, Cowboys!