While watching the game, I was wondering how two teams could be going in such opposite directions at the end of the season. I started trying to figure out what was the best arguement as to why its happening. Were the Cowboys that different? Is this a drastically different Eagles team from last year? While looking at everything I have come up with some pretty good conclusions to this equation but only one that sticks out to me.
First , the Eagles.........
They truly are a very young team. As we all have heard they are the second youngest team. Did youth play a big part in their demise? I don't think so, cause they had a very good season with this same team.
They had lots of injuries and had to patch holes up with backup players. Well again they had a very nice season , credit to the team on this one, even with all the injuries.
They have a veteran QB, great skill at the WR and TE postitions. They have shown at times to be a good defense during the year. They have always proven to be a clutch team at the end of a season. As well as in the playoffs, where they were 7-0 in the first round under Reid till this week. Did this Eagle team just become that bad that quickly after reeling off 6 straight wins till week 17? All of this doesn't prove that the Eagles were bad , but more of the Cowboys were better. There is still one thing to me that stands out about this team that I am not seeing or hearing much about. So lets jump to the Cowboys for a sec.
Secondly, the Cowboys.......
Aside from the Offensive line, they too are a young team. They possess a very strong core of probowl players just like the Eagles do. One thing that can be told is we were healthy coming into the end of the season. Is that the reason we won? I would think that had to help but they still have to execute. They still have to get over the mental hurdle of winning at the end. The hurdle of winning in the playoffs. The mental part of the game can sometimes be harder than anything they endure physically.
Did Garrett and the offense just all the sudden become alot harder to figure out for defenses? Did Wade all the sudden become a great head coach? Did the offensive line, all the sudden , learn how to pick up blitzes? All these are telling to the end of the stroy and are all good arguements.
I personally feel both sides went in different directions on one thing.
My reasoning is this, Owens was a cancer on and off the field. He had more bad games on the field than good. He complained alot and made our offense easy to defend. They knew he wanted the Damn ball. So removing him with nothing in return could have been the biggest and best thing the Dallas Cowboys did all offseason. We did change 5 new players on defense, found a safety in Sensi. . My theory is still the same, remove the cancer and the team lives on.
On the flip side is Brian Dawkins. I know as a Cowboy fan , I hated seeing this guy on that defense. He was their heart and soul. As TO was a cancer, Dawkins is the cure. He made that defense click, and he did it tremendously. When he was on the field you could just see how other players feed off of him. He also was a great leader on the field and a mentor for all the young players. Losing his knowledge on the defensive side of the ball was equal to when Dallas lost Woodson. I know we all remember how that turned out. The Defense just went into a shell for many years.
I know some won't agree and rightfully so. Can one guy change a team that drastically? I think in both cases it played a major, major part in how these two teams went in opposite directions and changed mentally.