Wow, this December thing is such a big deal. The Cowboys are wretched and are going to lose to San Diego because the Cowboys can't win now and San Diego can't lose nowBut, leaving aside issues of sample size, let's take a look at their respective records a wee bit more closely since 2006. Why 2006? Well, because the Chargers were 2-3 in 2005, so we're going to cherry-pick the Chargers better years.
- 2008 (4-0)
- 2007 (5-0)
- 2006 (5-0)
- 2008 (1-3)
- 2007 (2-2)
- 2006 (2-3)
The overall record is definitely in San Diego's favor, 14-0 vs. 5-8. Yet, while we have to give San Diego its props, lets take a closer look and you'll realize that there's more to the story.
Let's look at San Diego's opponents:
- 2008: Oakland (5-11), Kansas City (2-14), Tampa Bay (9-7), Denver (8-8)
- 2007: Kansas City (4-12), Tennessee (10-6), Detroit (7-9), Denver (7-9), Oakland (4-12)
- 2006: Buffalo (7-9), Denver (9-7), Kansas City (9-7), Seattle (9-7), Phoenix (5-11)
- 2008 Pittsburgh (12-4), New York (12-4), Baltimore (11-5), Philadelphia (9-6-1)
- 2007 Detroit (7-9), Philadelphia (8-8), Carolina (7-9), Washington (9-7)
- 2006 New York (8-8), New Orleans (10-6), Atlanta (7-9), Philadelphia (10-6), Detroit (3-13)
Combined Opponents Records:
- San Diego: 95-129 (.424)
- Dallas: 113-94-1 (.543)
I define teams like this: Good: 10 or more wins, Average: 7-9 wins, Bad: 6 or less wins.
San Diego in that time played 1 team with double figure wins. One good team plus 2 average teams that slid into the playoffs (Seattle and Kansas City in 2006). They played 8 average teams. They played 5 bad teams, some of whom were really really bad.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, played 5 good teams. They also played 3 average teams that slid into the playoffs (New York in 2006, Washington in 2007, and Philadelphia in 2008). Overall they played 7 average teams. They played 1, count them, 1 bad team in three years.
In 2008 they played 4 playoff teams. 2007 was the easy year, they played 4 solid teams, one which went the playoffs. In 2006, 3 out of the 5 teams they played ended up in the playoffs.
It also bears remembering that in 2007 they rested their starters in the last game against Washington because they could.
Look, I'm not saying I don't want to see the Cowboys play better, but this December thing is more reflective of the Cowboys schedule than it is the Cowboys mindset. The Cowboys routinely play tough schedules in December because the NFC East is routinely good. The Chargers have benefited in the latter part of their seasons by getting to play the AFC West.
I think the Cowboys will win this game solidly. It's at home. These December things are overblown. The Chargers are good but not better than the Cowboys. The Cowboys have responded well after a loss in the three previous opportunities. It won't be easy, but I think we'll win.