Marshall Faulk had two questions again this week as part of his GMC Playbook series. And once again, both were worth answering. Here is the second one. (If you missed the first one, you can follow this link to it.)
Here is the transcript: "When you're GMC Professional Grade, you finish what you start. Let's say your team finishes strong this season and wins EVERY single game left. How does it happen? And what does it mean?"
First off, you can be assured that the Dallas Cowboys, each and every one, are totally and completely focused on only one game, and that is the next one. They visit the New York Giants, looking to sweep their division rival. Jason Garrett drives home the point that you have to focus on the next game, and the next game only, so this question is pretty much irrelevant for the team and staff.
However, we aren't the team or part of the staff. We are fans, and we are allowed to look ahead. It may be a silly thing to do, but face it. We enjoy it.
The how part of this question is pretty straightforward. The team stays healthy, especially Tony Romo. After ten games, the Cowboys are about as healthy as they have ever been for this stage of a season. Outside of the now traditional Romo Wednesday, the only player who did not participate fully in practice was injured cornerback Tyler Patmon (expect for him to be replaced by Micah Pellerin). It would probably indicate that the Cowboys got back to the winning formula of the earlier six-game winning streak, running the ball with DeMarco Murray and controlling the clock to minimize the exposure of the defense (which is actually more effective in many ways than last year's version). And above all it would involve avoiding obvious traps, especially in the four games against division opponents remaining on the schedule.
What it would mean: The NFC East title, almost certainly a first-round bye in the playoffs, and maybe the number one seed (depending on how the Arizona Cardinals do with their backup quarterback, Drew Stanton).
The team would finally say good-bye to the years of 8-8 frustration. It would go roaring into the playoffs with a tremendous confidence in itself. It would also mean a rich new contract for Jason Garrett, and the promise of stability in Dallas unlike anything since the Tom Landry era. A strong finish like that would silence any questions about Garrett's status and, for the foreseeable future, Jerry Jones would still have the very important governing influence of the red-haired one around to help protect him from his own worst ideas.
Of course, the chances of going 6-0 down the stretch are rather slim. That would mean a seven-game winning streak (on the way, perhaps, to a ten game streak) and those don't happen very often in the NFL.
But . . . four of the teams that Dallas still has to face were, frankly, embarrassed last week in one way or another. And the fifth, the Chicago Bears, had it's moment of humiliation the previous Sunday. Perhaps they will all come back from those defeats with renewed determination and purpose. But all have shown real vulnerability lately.
That six-game winning streak is not impossible. Really, really hard to do, but still it could be done.
First, they have to win the next game, of course. Then they will just need to stack one good game on top of another. To coin a phrase.